Mechanical tensioning of high-strength aluminum alloy friction stir welds

J Altenkirch, A Steuwer, MJ Peel, PJ Withers, SW Williams, M Poad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The extent to which in-situ global mechanical tensioning (GMT) can be used to modify the residual stress state in friction stir (FS) welds is investigated in this article. Residual stress distributions have been determined by synchrotron X-ray and neutron diffraction for four sets of FS welds in high-strength AA7449-W51 and lithium containing AA2199-T8 aerospace aluminum alloys subjected to a systematic range of GMT levels. For the cases studied, the results indicate that the level of residual stresses present in the as-welded state is a function of the alloy. The rate of residual stress reduction brought about by GMT, however, is basically alloy independent; indeed, it is essentially linear with respect to the GMT load, so that the tensioning required to reduce the weld stresses to zero can be calculated directly from the stresses present in the untensioned case. For thin plates, proximity to the yield stress in the hot-softened zone means that a guideline rule is that 1 MPa of tensioning during welding reduces the tensile stress by approximately 1 MPa. The GMT was found to be less effective at greater depths in thick plates. Furthermore, a reduction in bending distortion and an increase in angular distortion was observed with increased GMT, while no effects on the weld microstructure and hardness were observed.
Translated title of the contributionMechanical tensioning of high-strength aluminum alloy friction stir welds
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3246 - 3259
Number of pages14
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Springer


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