3D Visualization of Friction Stir Welds of Dissimilar Alloys
Material flow around a Friction Stir Welding (FSW) tool is examined by means of serial sectioning followed by reconstructive 3D visualization. A butt-weld between dissimilar alloy Al 2024 T6 and Al 6061 plates was welded with Al 6061 on the advancing side of the tool. The weld was interrupted and the pin was left embedded within the plate materials. The sample was sectioned in the normal-plane of the sheets, and etching was used in order to increase the contrast between both aluminum alloys. Successive slices of the sample were ground and micrographs were taken at 35 µm increments. The images were converted into a binary color scheme based on the alloy contrast and recombined into a 3D computer-generated visualization. The reproduction of the weld is compared to existing FSW flow models and flow arrangements inside the weld reproduction are outlined. Future studies include developing a visualization using Al 2024 on the advancing side and comparing the required power during welding and material flow stresses to the observed models for both tool rotation directions.