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Material flow forming the shoulder flow zone using scroll shoulder tool during friction stir welding of thick section aluminum alloys
conference contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by D Yan, Guy Littlefair, Z Chen
Scroll shoulder tools are widely used and they do not need to be tilted during friction stir welding (FSW). However, the detailed material flow, which is important for proper scroll shoulder tool design and subsequently for forming the defect-free shoulder flow zone, has not been fully explained. In the present study, features of material flow in shoulder flow zone, during FSW of thick 6061 aluminium (Al) plates using a scroll shoulder tool were investigated. It was observed that there is a simple layer-to-layer banded structure which appears in the bottom portion of shoulder flow zone, but disappears in the top portion of this weld zone. When the scroll shoulder tool is plunged into the workpiece to a determined depth, the workpiece material is extruded by the tool pin, and pushed up into the scroll groove beneath the shoulder forming the pick-up material. During the forward movement of the tool, the central portion of pick-up material was driven downward by the root portion of pin and then it detaches from the tip portion of pin in a layer-to-layer manner to form the weld.