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**VARIABLE AMPLITUDE LOADING
**

J.D. Costa

1

, J.A.M. Ferreira

1

and L.P. Borrego

2

1

CEMUC, Mechanical Engineering Department,

University of Coimbra, Rua Luís Reis Santos, Pinhal de Marrocos, 3030-788, Coimbra, Portugal.

E-mail: jose.domingos@dem.uc.pt.; martins.ferreira@dem.uc.pt.

2

CEMUC, Mechanical Engineering Department,

Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Quinta da Nora - 3030, Coimbra, Portugal.

E-mail: borrego@isec.pt.

ABSTRACT

In addition to uncertainty such as material strength, notch geometries, defect contents and residual stresses, welded

components are often subjected to variable amplitude service loads. In the case of friction stir welding of aluminium

alloys, no data is available concerning fatigue behaviour under variable amplitude loading. The objective of this

investigation is to determine the fatigue strength of friction stir welds in AA6082-T6 under constant and variable

amplitude loading and analyse the validity of Miners´s rule in this specific welding process. Fatigue tests were carried

out in a servo-hydraulic testing machine using stress ratios of R = 0 and R=-1. Typified Gassner amplitude spectra were

considered, using four values for the shape exponent. Microhardness tests were performed to characterize the Vickers

hardness profile in the vicinity of the weld area. Friction stir welding process leads to a decrease of the static

mechanical properties relatively to base material. Detailed examination revealed a hardness decrease in the thermo

mechanically affected zone and the nugget zone average hardness was found to be significantly lower than the base

alloy hardness. Welded specimens show significantly lower lives than base material specimens. For the welded

specimens tested at a stress ratio R=0 a good agreement was observed between constant and variable fatigue loading,

using the equivalent stress calculated by Miner´s rule. For R=-1, Miner´s rule seems to overestimate the fatigue life.

KEY WORDS: Friction Stir Welding, aluminium alloy, fatigue, variable amplitude loading.

1. INTRODUCTION

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a relatively new solid-

state joining process and is very energy efficient,

environment friendly, and versatile, being considered to

be the most significant development in metal joining in

a decade. Since its invention in 1991 at the Welding

Institute (TWI) of UK [1], a large amount of research

was carried out in several fields and different materials.

Aluminium alloys are the materials more often studied

and where this technique has shown a better

performance. Comparative mechanical properties

studies of base material and welded specimens,

including fatigue strength tests have been performed by

several authors [2-6].

In addition to uncertainty such as material strength,

notch geometries, defect contents and residual stresses,

welded components are often subjected to variable

amplitude service loads. The lack of Miner´s validity

accumulation rule [7] has been demonstrated in many

applications and, in consequence, its usage will

introduce uncertainties which must be compensated by

safety factors. In the case of friction stir welding (FSW)

no data is available concerning fatigue behaviour under

variable amplitude loading

The objective of this work is to study the fatigue

strength of friction stir welds under constant and

variable amplitude loading and analyse the validity of

Miners´s rule for this specific welding process.

2. EXPERIMENTAL DETAILS

2.1 Preparation of welds

This research was conducted using the AA6082

aluminium alloy with a T6 heat treatment. The T6 heat

treatment corresponds to a conversion of heat-treatable

material to the age-hardened condition by solution

treatment, quenching and artificial age-hardening. The

alloy chemical composition and mechanical properties

are shown in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.

The friction stir welds were performed in an aluminium

plate with 4 mm thickness using a tool with a 5 mm

diameter threaded pin and the shoulder had 16 mm

diameter.

Table 1

Si Mg

1.05 0.8

Table 2

Tensile stre

Yield streng

Elongation,

Hardness, H

Welding par

alloy type, p

parameters w

good surface

identified by

300 mm/min

rpm. Figure

welds concer

also a good

obtained. Th

excessive pe

could affect m

Figure 1

The penetrat

butt joint. Fr

the plate we

order to exc

due to the t

start. In orde

tunnel or kiss

cross-section

analysis in pl

were also p

accordingly

etched in o

different wel

poor quality

size of abo

parameters o

cross sectio

parameters

observed by

tend to appea

zone near th

- Chemical co

aluminium

Mn Fe

0.68 0.26

- Mechanical

alumin

ength, σ

UTS

(M

gth, σ

YS

(MPa

, ε

r

(%)

Hv,02

ameters depen

penetration de

were chosen in

e aspect and

y microscopic

n, tilt angle o

1 is an exam

rning its surfa

d penetration

his is a very

enetration wi

mainly the fat

1. Surface asp

tion depth wa

rom each wel

ere not used

clude possible

typical lower

er to analyse t

sing bond def

ning of the

lanes perpend

performed. T

to standard

order to enab

ld zones. Figu

y welded plat

out 0,6 mm

optimization,

on of a wel

above referr

microscopy o

ar in the advan

he thermo-me

omposition of

m alloy (wt%)

Cr Cu

0.01 0.04 0

l properties of

nium alloy

MPa)

a)

nd on several

epth and join

n order to obt

d where no d

observation: w

of 2º; rotating

mple of the b

ace aspect. In t

control of th

important asp

ll create a n

tigue strength.

pect of a frictio

as adapted to

lded plate, the

in specimens

e deviation fr

temperatures

that no defect

fects were pres

welds for

dicular to the w

The samples

metallograph

ble the ident

ure 2a shows

te, presenting

m, obtained

while figure

lded plate w

ed, where n

observation. T

ncing side of

echanically af

f AA6082-T6

)

Zn Ti Ot

0.02 0.01 0

f AA6082-T6

300

245

9

110

l factors, nam

nt. The follow

tain welds wit

defects could

welding speed

g speed of 1

better succee

this weld samp

he shoulder w

pect, because

notch effect t

.

on stir weld.

fully penetra

e first 40 mm

s preparation

rom steady s

s during weld

ts like root fla

sent in the we

metallograp

welding direct

were prepa

hic practice

tification of

an example o

a tunnel de

before weld

e 2b shows

welded with

no defects w

The tunnel defe

the nugget low

ffected zone

ther

.05

mely,

wing

th a

be

d of

500

eded

mple,

was

e an

that

ated

m of

, in

tate

ding

aws,

elds,

phic

tion

ared

and

the

of a

fect

ding

the

the

were

fects

wer

and

the

siz

we

ach

F

Th

lea

in

tun

wh

fat

avo

a h

lea

cre

liv

cor

avo

we

2.2

Fat

tes

loa

160

spe

sur

the

F

Sp

ide

μm

on

stre

dir

wit

wa

stre

(

(

ey are continu

ze of these def

elding proces

hieved.

Figure 2. a) w

weld withou

he majority of

ads to the pre

the retractin

nnel defects o

hich did not in

igue resistanc

oid tunnel def

higher axial fo

ads the forma

eating stress c

e. It was real

rrect optimiza

oid the prese

ere performed

2 Fatigue deta

tigue tests w

sting machine

adings. The di

0x15x4 mm

3

ecimens (Fig.

rface preparat

e thickness exc

Figure 3. Photo

pla

ecimens mac

entified, typic

m, were also te

fatigue resis

ess axis in th

rection. A sin

th the stress

as in the inte

ess level. Life

(a)

(b)

uously formed

fects tends to

s due to low

weld presenting

ut defects iden

f welds perform

sence of a tun

ng side. Alth

observed had a

nfluence static

ce was signific

fects is increas

orce. Howeve

ation of shear

concentration

lized to be ve

ation of all

ence of the tu

with two pass

ails

were carried

under consta

imensions of t

3

(length, wi

3) were mill

tion was mad

ceeding mater

o of a fatigue

ate before edg

chined of pl

cally tunnel d

ested in order

stance. The w

he S–N tests a

nusoidal load

ratio R set to

rval of 20–40

e was defined

d in the weld d

be great at th

wer temperatu

g a defect typ

tifiable by mic

med with only

nnel defect fo

hough, in som

a size smaller

c mechanical p

cantly affected

sing heat inpu

er, an excess o

lips in the u

which also re

ery difficult to

parameters. T

unnel defects

sages.

out in a se

ant and variab

the fatigue sp

idth, thickne

led at the edg

de only by gri

rial.

specimen cut f

ges machining.

lates where

defects with l

r to evaluate th

weld was tran

and to the ma

d–time functio

o 0 and -1. T

0 Hz depend

as the numbe

direction. The

he start of the

ure generally

e tunnel; b)

croscopy.

y one passage

ormed mainly

me cases the

r than 30 μm,

properties, the

d. One way to

ut by applying

of axial force

upper surface,

educes fatigue

o perform the

Therefore, to

s some welds

ervo-hydraulic

ble amplitude

ecimens were

ss). The cut

ges, and weld

ind removing

from welded

.

defects were

less than 200

heir influence

nsverse to the

aterial rolling

on was used,

The frequency

ding upon the

er of cycles to

e

e

y

e

y

e

,

e

o

g

e

,

e

e

o

s

c

e

e

t

d

g

e

0

e

e

g

,

y

e

o

failure and a total of 57 specimens were tested. For the

variable loading amplitude tests, typified amplitude

spectra [8], according to equation 1, were considered,

using four values for the shape exponent ν, namely, 1,5,

2, 4 and 5,

logE

ì

= _1 -_

S

c,i

S

c,mcx

]

v

_ logE

0

(1)

where

H

i

cumulative frequency of load cycles for level S

a,i

H

0

block size (number of cycles)

ν shape exponent

Equation 2 specifies an additional number, the

‘spectrum shape factor’, SSF, that represents the

distance (factor, life ratio) between an (arbitrary)

Wohler S–N curve and the associated spectrum fatigue

life curve (in Germany sometimes referred to as Gassner

curve in honour of Ernst Gassner).

SSF = log

∑n

i

∑n

i

_

S

c,i

S

c,mcx

]

m

(2)

Using the loading spectrum defined by equation 1, SSF

can be more precisely calculated using the following

equation

SSF = log

H

c

]

d

dx

j- H

c

(1-(x)

u

)

[·(x)

m

dx

1

0

(3)

where, x =

S

c

S

c,mcx

(4)

SSF depends on the shape of the spectrum under

consideration (parameters H

0

and ν) and the slope, m, of

Wohler´s curve. Table 3 present SSF values for some ν

values and a description of its typical applications. This

factor was calculated using the Miner damage rule

(without endurance limit), taking H

0

=10

6

cycles and

m=5,5

Table 3. Spectrum shape parameters ν and SSF for

typified amplitude spectra: H

0

=10

6

; m=5,5.

v SSF

Description

∞ 0 Constant amplitude loading

5 1,30

4 1,56

ν>2 typical of bridge and crane

structures

2 2,61 Stationary Gaussian process

1,5 3,14

1 3,95

Typical for road roughness induced

loads

0,8 4,39

ν<1 typical for wind gusts, wave

actions, etc.

Figures 4 and 5 show the several variable loading

amplitude spectra applied during fatigue tests. Figure 4

is the typical form of spectrum presentation where the

normalized stress amplitude is plotted against the

cumulative number of cycles, while in figure 5 a more

intuitive way for spectrum interpretation is shown,

depicting the number of cycles versus the normalized

stress amplitude.

Figure 4. Typified amplitude spectra: normalized stress

amplitude versus cumulative number of cycles

(H

0

=10

6

cycles).

Figure 5. Typified amplitude spectra: number of cycles

versus the normalized stress amplitude.

2.3 Microhardness details

Microhardness tests were performed to characterize the

Vickers hardness profile in the vicinity of the weld area

using a 2 N load. Measurements were performed along

three lines: 0,5 mm far from both surfaces and at the

0

0,2

0,4

0,6

0,8

1

1E0 1E2 1E4 1E6

S

a

/

S

a

,

m

a

x

Cumulative number of cycles, H

ν=0,8

ν=1

ν=1,5

ν=2

ν=4

ν=5

ν=

∞

0,0E0

2,0E4

4,0E4

6,0E4

8,0E4

1,0E5

1,2E5

1,4E5

1,6E5

1,8E5

2,0E5

0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0

N

u

m

b

e

r

o

f

c

y

c

l

e

s

Sa/Sa,max

ν=1

ν=1,5

ν=2

ν=4

ν=5

Typified amplitude spectra

(H

o

=10

6

cycles):

ν=

∞

specimen middle thickness, in successive positions with

1 mm of distance.

Figure 6. Hardness profiles measured along three lines.

This figure shows clearly a hardness decrease in the

thermo mechanically affected zone and that the nugget

zone average hardness is significantly lower than the

base alloy hardness. Hardness profiles were measured in

all plates. Microstructures hardness of the welds

typically ranged between 70 and 80 HV

0,2

, leading to a

softening up to 60% relatively to the base material

hardness (about 115 HV

0,2

). The results show similar

hardness profiles for the three measurement lines,

although bottom measurements show that the lower

hardness is restricted to a shorter zone.

3. RESULTS

Table 4 shows the mechanical properties of welded

specimens obtained in tension tests. Compared with

base material (table 2), friction stir welding process

leads to a decrease of the material mechanical

properties: yield and rupture stresses of friction welded

specimens are significantly lower than for base material.

Yield stress decreases 33% and the rupture stress

decreases 20% relatively to base material values.

Table 4 - Mechanical properties of friction stir welds

performed in AA6082-T6 aluminium alloy.

Tensile strength, σ

UTS

(MPa) 241

Yield strength, σ

YS

(MPa) 165

Elongation, ε

r

(%) 6,8

Fatigue results obtained for the stress ratio R=0 under

constant and variable amplitude loadings are plotted in

figure 7. Fatigue data for constant amplitude loading

were statistically analysed accordingly ASTM E739-91

Standard [9]. A low dispersion of fatigue data was

obtained: the standard deviation was 0,04 for stress and

0,21 for fatigue life. This is a lower dispersion when

compared with fatigue data obtained in tests of

specimens welded by other processes. Fatigue data

obtained with variable amplitude loading, using the

equivalent stress range calculated accordingly to

Miner´s rule, are in the same scatter band of the

constant amplitude loading results, indicating that

Miner´s rule gives real damage sum values near unity.

The damage sum D ranged between 0,6 and 2 for the

four spectra loadings. This conclusion is better visible in

Figure 8 where the probability of occurrence is plotted

against real damage sum values.

Figure 7. Wohler curves for R=0. Constant and

variable amplitude loadings.

Figure 8. Real damage sum distribution.

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

-20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20

H

a

r

d

n

e

s

s

H

v

0

,

2

Distance from weld centre (mm)

top

middle

bottom

50

100

200

1E4 1E5 1E6 1E7

S

t

r

e

s

s

r

a

n

g

e

,

Δ

σ

[

M

P

a

]

Number of cycles, N

f

R=0; CA

R=0; VA

95% confidence bands for

the median S-N curve

S

N

=0.21

S

σ

=0.04

R

2

=0.87

B

m

=-5,52

B

Stdv

=0,35

t

p

B

Stdv

=0,71

B

lower

=-6,22

B

upper

=-4,81

A

m

=16,87

A

Stdv

=0,72

t

p

A

Stdv

=1,45

A

lower

=15,41

A

upper

=18,32

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5

P

r

o

b

a

b

i

l

i

t

y

Damage sum

Figure 9 compares fatigue results obtained with constant

and variable amplitude loadings for the stress ratios R=0

and R=-1, plotting stress range against the number of

cycles to failure. Data for variable amplitude loading and

R=-1 were restricted to the shape exponent ν=2.

Figure 9. Wohler curves for R=0 and R=-1. Constant

and variable amplitude loadings.

As expected, a significant influence of the mean stress

was observed: for the same stress range, specimens

tested with R=-1 present higher lives than specimens

tested with R=0. For R=-1 fatigue data obtained under

variable amplitude present lower lives than under

constant amplitude loading, indicating that damage sum

values are lower than unity for the majority of the tests.

Therefore, Miner´s rule seems to overestimate the

fatigue life in the case of the stress ratio of R=-1. More

tests are in course under variable amplitude loading for

R=-1 and other spectrum shape exponents in order to

confirm this trend.

Figure 10 shows the Wohler curve (stress range versus

life) and Gassner curves (spectrum maximum stress

range versus life) for R=0 and for several values of the

spectrum shape exponent, ν. The graphical meaning of

the SSF parameter is also indicated. It is clear that as v

increases the Gassner curve becomes more close to

Wohler curve. As referred before SSF=1 when ν=∞.

Figure 11 compares fatigue results obtained in this work

for R=0 under constant amplitude loading with results

obtained by other authors [1,3] in welded specimens of

the same alloy. S-N curves obtained with specimens

welded by FSW, MIG and TIG processes as well as

base material are superimposed in the figure for

comparison. Design curve for full-penetration both-

sided butt joint accordingly to Eurocode 9 (class 35-4)

is also depicted in the figure.

Figure 10. Wohler and Gassner curves for R=0.

Figure 11. S-N curves for aluminium alloy AA 6082-T6

under constant amplitude loading. R=0.

Fatigue results obtained in this work are close with data

obtained by other authors for this welding process. FSW

specimens show higher fatigue resistance than

specimens welded by the other two processes (MIG and

TIG). However, the friction stir welded specimens

presented significantly lower lives than base material.

Figure 12 shows the two typical crack initiation modes

identified by optical observation, from the tunnel defect

(Figure 12a) or at surface near stress concentration due

to shear lips (figure 12 b).

50

100

200

1E4 1E5 1E6 1E7

S

t

r

e

s

s

r

a

n

g

e

,

Δ

σ

[

M

P

a

]

Number of cycles, N

f

R=0; CA

R=0; VA

R=-1; CA

R=-1; VA

50

100

200

400

1E4 1E5 1E6 1E7

S

t

r

e

s

s

r

a

n

g

e

,

Δ

σ

[

M

P

a

]

Number of cycles, N

f

Wholer: R=0 Gassner: R=0; n=1,5

Gassner: R=0; n=2 Gassner: R=0; n=4

Gassner: R=0; n=5

SSF

50

100

200

400

1E4 1E5 1E6

S

t

r

e

s

s

r

a

n

g

e

,

Δ

σ

Number of cycles, N

f

Base material

TIG [2]

MIG [2]

FSW [2]

MIG [3]

FSW [3]

Results

obtained

Eurocode 9:

class 35-4

ν=2

ν=5

ν=1,5

ν=4

Figure 12. Fatigue crack initiation modes identified in

welded specimens.

Tunnel defects revealed to be more detrimental on

fatigue resistance than stress concentration due to shear

lips. Therefore, to reduce the difference between FSW

welds and base material fatigue strengths is crucial to

avoid the presence of tunnel defects. The higher fatigue

resistance was obtained when axial force during

welding process was well controlled, leading to a

smooth upper surface and performing two welding

passages in order to eliminate completely tunnel defects.

A small loss of hardness resulting from the second

welding passage was observed, however fatigue

resistance was not significantly affected.

Comparing with Eurocode 9 design curve, FSW welds

are clearly in the safe side, indicating that a higher class

than 35-4 can be attributed to butt joints welded by

FSW, providing that a good control of welding

parameters is performed in order to avoid severe

internal defects and that stress concentration near shear

lips is minimized.

4. CONCLUSIONS

Friction stir welding process leads to a decrease of the

material mechanical properties: yield and rupture stress

are lower than for base material. Detailed examination

revealed a hardness decrease in the thermo

mechanically affected zone and the nugget zone average

hardness was found to be significantly lower than the

base alloy hardness.

The friction stir welded AA6082-T6 specimens

presented significantly lower lives than base material

specimens. Tunnel defects and shear lips, formed

mainly in the retracting side, lead to a significantly

reduction of the fatigue lives. Tunnel defects revealed to

be more detrimental on fatigue resistance than stress

concentration created near shear lips. The higher fatigue

resistance was obtained when the axial force was well

controlled in order to obtain a smooth upper surface,

and performing two welding passages to eliminate

completely tunnel defects.

A good agreement was observed between constant and

variable amplitude fatigue tests, plotting equivalent

stress, calculated accordingly to Miner´s rule, against

the number of cycles to failure. The damage sum was

ranged between 0,6 and 2 for the stress ratio R=0 under

the four spectra loadings analysed. For R=-1 fatigue

data obtained under variable amplitude presented lower

lives than under constant amplitude loading, indicating

that damage sum values are lower than unity for the

majority of the tests. Therefore, Miner´s rule seems to

overestimate fatigue life for R=-1.

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Much, M. G., Templesmith, P. und Dawes, C. J.,

G. B. patent application No. 9125978.8 (December

1991)..

[2] Ericsson, M., and Sandstrom, R., Influence of

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Journal of Fatigue 25 (2003)1379–1387

[3] Moreira, P.M.G.P, Jesus, A.M.P, Ribeiro, A.S. and

Castro, P.M.S.T. Fatigue crack growth in friction

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Standards, vol. 03.01, Wset Conshohocken, USA.

a) b)

while figure 2b shows the e cross sectio of a wel on lded plate w welded with the parameters above referred.68 0. εr (%) .05 0. o avo tunnel def oid fects is increas sing heat inpu by applying ut g a higher axial fo h orce.Chemical co omposition of AA6082-T6 f aluminium alloy (wt%) m ) Si Mg Mn Fe Ti Ot Cr Cu Zn ther 1. wit the stress ratio R set to 0 and -1. tunnel or kiss sing bond def fects were pres in the we sent elds.04 0 0.01 0. wh did not in hich nfluence static mechanical properties. a) w presenting a defect type tunnel. 3) were mill at the edg and weld led ges. The frequency th o T y wa in the interval of 20–40 Hz depend as 0 ding upon the e stre level. typic cally tunnel d defects with less than 200 l 0 μm were also te m. σUTS (M MPa) Tensile stre 245 Yield streng σYS (MPa gth. on . Therefore. ested in order to evaluate th influence r heir e on fatigue resis stance. The di imensions of t fatigue specimens were the e 160 0x15x4 mm3 (length. In orde to analyse t er that no defect like root fla ts aws. cre eating stress c concentration which also re educes fatigue e live. ey uously formed in the weld direction. o e lea the forma ads ation of shear lips in the upper surface. cross-section ning of the welds for metallograp phic analysis in pl lanes perpend dicular to the w welding direct tion were also p performed. d sur rface preparat tion was mad only by gri removing de ind g the thickness exc e ceeding mater rial. Photo of a fatigue specimen cut from welded F o f pla before edg machining. pect on The penetrat tion depth wa adapted to fully penetra as ated butt joint.8 0. in ere s order to exc clude possible deviation fr e rom steady state due to the t typical lower temperatures during weld s ding start. ate ges . The d d e the are continu siz of these def ze fects tends to be great at th start of the he e we elding process due to low temperatu generally wer ure y ach hieved. where n defects w no were observed by microscopy o observation.01 0. Figure 1 is an exam mple of the b better succee eded welds concer rning its surfa aspect. to T o avo the prese oid ence of the tu unnel defects some welds s s we performed with two pass ere sages. T tunnel defe The fects tend to appea in the advan ar ncing side of the nugget low wer zone near th thermo-me he echanically af ffected zone and Fat tigue tests w were carried out in a se ervo-hydraulic c tes sting machine under consta and variab amplitude ant ble e loa adings. The w weld was tran nsverse to the e stre axis in th S–N tests a to the ma ess he and aterial rolling g dir rection.2 Fatigue deta 2 ails Figure 1 Surface asp of a frictio stir weld. r . Fr rom each wel lded plate. (a) ( (b) ( Figure 2. Figure 3. Howeve an excess of axial force er. thickness). rotating speed of 1500 n.6 mm obtained before weld m. The cut t spe ecimens (Fig. Figu 2a shows an example o a ld ure of poor quality welded plat presenting a tunnel defect y te. nam nd l mely. . 1. u . wing parameters w were chosen in order to obt n tain welds wit a th good surface aspect and where no d e d defects could be identified by microscopic observation: w y welding speed of d 300 mm/min tilt angle o 2º.02 0. because an e excessive pe enetration will create a n notch effect t that could affect m mainly the fat tigue strength. A sin nusoidal load d–time functio was used. he f med y e Th majority of welds perform with only one passage lea to the presence of a tun ads nnel defect fo ormed mainly y in the retractin side. Specimens mac chined of pl lates where defects were e ide entified. size of abo out 0. H Hv. alloy type. It was real lized to be ve difficult to perform the ery o e cor rrect optimiza ation of all parameters. of g rpm. Th is a very important asp his pect. also a good penetration control of th shoulder w d he was obtained. b) F weld g weld withou defects identifiable by mic ut croscopy.26 0. ding parameters o optimization.05 Table 2 . Life was defined as the numbe of cycles to ess e er o . wi idth.Table 1 . the c p e fatigue resistanc was signific ce cantly affected One way to d. a) 9 Elongation. 2.02 110 Welding parameters depen on several factors. Hardness. Alth ng hough. In t weld samp ace this mple.Mechanical properties of AA6082-T6 l f alumin nium alloy 300 ength. in som cases the me e tun nnel defects o observed had a size smaller than 30 μm. p penetration de epth and join The follow nt. T The samples were prepa ared accordingly to standard metallograph practice and hic etched in o order to enab the ident ble tification of the different wel zones. the first 40 mm of e m the plate we not used in specimens preparation.

failure and a total of 57 specimens were tested.5 1 0. using four values for the shape exponent ν. . etc. m.5 ν=2 ν=4 ν=5 ν= ∞ where.5 Table 3.8E5 1.8 1. (4) Number of cycles SSF depends on the shape of the spectrum under consideration (parameters H0 and ν) and the slope. 2.6 ν=0.5 mm far from both surfaces and at the .2E5 1. 2. namely.3 Microhardness details Microhardness tests were performed to characterize the Vickers hardness profile in the vicinity of the weld area using a 2 N load. SSF. (1) Figures 4 and 5 show the several variable loading amplitude spectra applied during fatigue tests. Table 3 present SSF values for some ν values and a description of its typical applications. Spectrum shape parameters ν and SSF for typified amplitude spectra: H0=106. that represents the distance (factor. life ratio) between an (arbitrary) Wohler S–N curve and the associated spectrum fatigue life curve (in Germany sometimes referred to as Gassner curve in honour of Ernst Gassner). 4 and 5. This factor was calculated using the Miner damage rule (without endurance limit).2 0.0E0 0.56 2.5.61 3.0E4 6.39 Typical for road roughness induced loads ν<1 typical for wind gusts. ∑ ∑ . .0E5 8.0E4 4. SSF can be more precisely calculated using the following equation · 0 Cumulative number of cycles.max 0.14 3. according to equation 1.4 (2) 0. 1. depicting the number of cycles versus the normalized stress amplitude.8 ν= ∞ Sa/Sa. 1 where Hi cumulative frequency of load cycles for level Sa.5 ν=2 ν=4 ν=5 1E0 1E2 1E4 1E6 0.0E5 1. .2 Using the loading spectrum defined by equation 1. Measurements were performed along three lines: 0. were considered. taking H0=106 cycles and m=5.6E5 Typified amplitude spectra (H o =10 6 cycles): ν=1 ν=1. 0. Figure 4 is the typical form of spectrum presentation where the normalized stress amplitude is plotted against the cumulative number of cycles.30 1. m=5. v ∞ 5 4 2 1.6 0. the ‘spectrum shape factor’.i H0 block size (number of cycles) ν shape exponent Equation 2 specifies an additional number. 1 . 2.0 0. Typified amplitude spectra: number of cycles versus the normalized stress amplitude.0E4 2.95 4. Typified amplitude spectra: normalized stress amplitude versus cumulative number of cycles (H0=106 cycles). wave actions. H (3) Figure 4.4 0. of Wohler´s curve. Description Constant amplitude loading 1.4E5 1.8 SSF 0 1.0E4 0.max Figure 5. typified amplitude spectra [8]. while in figure 5 a more intuitive way for spectrum interpretation is shown.5. For the variable loading amplitude tests.8 ν=1 ν=1.0 ν>2 typical of bridge and crane structures Stationary Gaussian process Sa/Sa.

Constant and variable amplitude loadings. .2).specimen middle thickness. although bottom measurements show that the lower hardness is restricted to a shorter zone.71 Blower=-6. The results show similar hardness profiles for the three measurement lines. This figure shows clearly a hardness decrease in the thermo mechanically affected zone and that the nugget zone average hardness is significantly lower than the base alloy hardness.5 2 2. leading to a softening up to 60% relatively to the base material hardness (about 115 HV0. The damage sum D ranged between 0. Yield stress decreases 33% and the rupture stress decreases 20% relatively to base material values.52 BStdv =0. 3.22 Bupper=-4.6 and 2 for the four spectra loadings. Wohler curves for R=0. indicating that Miner´s rule gives real damage sum values near unity. Hardness profiles measured along three lines. Fatigue data for constant amplitude loading were statistically analysed accordingly ASTM E739-91 Figure 8.5 Damage sum Fatigue results obtained for the stress ratio R=0 under constant and variable amplitude loadings are plotted in figure 7. Fatigue data obtained with variable amplitude loading. A low dispersion of fatigue data was obtained: the standard deviation was 0. This conclusion is better visible in Figure 8 where the probability of occurrence is plotted against real damage sum values. Stress range. Compared with base material (table 2). σYS (MPa) Elongation.04 for stress and 0.Mechanical properties of friction stir welds performed in AA6082-T6 aluminium alloy. This is a lower dispersion when compared with fatigue data obtained in tests of specimens welded by other processes.2 200 Am=16.21 for fatigue life. Hardness Hv 0.45 Alower=15. are in the same scatter band of the constant amplitude loading results. σUTS (MPa) Yield strength.32 Bm=-5.35 tp BStdv =0. 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 top middle bottom Standard [9]. εr (%) 241 165 6.87 50 1E4 1E5 1E6 1E7 Number of cycles. friction stir welding process leads to a decrease of the material mechanical properties: yield and rupture stresses of friction welded specimens are significantly lower than for base material. Hardness profiles were measured in all plates. Real damage sum distribution.41 Aupper=18. RESULTS Table 4 shows the mechanical properties of welded specimens obtained in tension tests. Microstructures hardness of the welds typically ranged between 70 and 80 HV0. Δσ [MPa] -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 Distance from weld centre (mm) 20 100 R=0.8 100% 90% 80% 70% Probability 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0. Tensile strength. VA 95% confidence bands for the median S-N curve SN=0.04 R2=0. using the equivalent stress range calculated accordingly to Miner´s rule. Nf Figure 7.2.87 AStdv =0.21 Sσ=0.81 Figure 6.5 1 1. in successive positions with 1 mm of distance.72 tp AStdv =1. CA R=0. Table 4 .

n=5 200 Stress range. Miner´s rule seems to overestimate the fatigue life in the case of the stress ratio of R=-1. Data for variable amplitude loading and R=-1 were restricted to the shape exponent ν=2. Wohler and Gassner curves for R=0. a significant influence of the mean stress was observed: for the same stress range. n=1. Constant and variable amplitude loadings. Δσ [MPa] ν=1. VA R=-1. However. Wohler curves for R=0 and R=-1. 400 200 SSF 100 Wholer: R=0 ν=2 Gassner: R=0. indicating that damage sum values are lower than unity for the majority of the tests. the friction stir welded specimens presented significantly lower lives than base material. Δσ 200 FSW [3] Results obtained As expected. 100 Eurocode 9: class 35-4 MIG [3] 50 1E4 FSW [2] MIG [2] TIG [2] 1E5 Number of cycles. S-N curves obtained with specimens welded by FSW. Figure 10 shows the Wohler curve (stress range versus life) and Gassner curves (spectrum maximum stress range versus life) for R=0 and for several values of the spectrum shape exponent. It is clear that as v increases the Gassner curve becomes more close to Wohler curve. FSW specimens show higher fatigue resistance than specimens welded by the other two processes (MIG and TIG). Therefore. Figure 12 shows the two typical crack initiation modes identified by optical observation. n=2 ν=5 Gassner: R=0. Nf Base material Figure 9. Fatigue results obtained in this work are close with data obtained by other authors for this welding process. Nf 1E6 Figure 11. Δσ [MPa] Figure 9 compares fatigue results obtained with constant and variable amplitude loadings for the stress ratios R=0 and R=-1. CA R=-1. More tests are in course under variable amplitude loading for R=-1 and other spectrum shape exponents in order to confirm this trend. CA R=0. plotting stress range against the number of cycles to failure. n=4 100 R=0. 400 50 1E4 1E5 1E6 1E7 Number of cycles. Nf Figure 10. S-N curves for aluminium alloy AA 6082-T6 under constant amplitude loading. VA 50 1E4 1E5 1E6 1E7 Number of cycles. . Stress range. from the tunnel defect (Figure 12a) or at surface near stress concentration due to shear lips (figure 12 b). ν. MIG and TIG processes as well as base material are superimposed in the figure for comparison. R=0.Stress range.5 ν=4 Gassner: R=0. For R=-1 fatigue data obtained under variable amplitude present lower lives than under constant amplitude loading. The graphical meaning of the SSF parameter is also indicated. As referred before SSF=1 when ν=∞. Design curve for full-penetration bothsided butt joint accordingly to Eurocode 9 (class 35-4) is also depicted in the figure. Figure 11 compares fatigue results obtained in this work for R=0 under constant amplitude loading with results obtained by other authors [1. specimens tested with R=-1 present higher lives than specimens tested with R=0.3] in welded specimens of the same alloy.5 Gassner: R=0.

indicating that damage sum values are lower than unity for the majority of the tests. Characterisation of friction stir welded joints in aluminium alloy 6082-t6 plates. P. [6] Cavaliere. vol. Book of Standards. The higher fatigue resistance was obtained when axial force during welding process was well controlled. against the number of cycles to failure.a) b) ranged between 0. C. A...M.. The higher fatigue resistance was obtained when the axial force was well controlled in order to obtain a smooth upper surface. For R=-1 fatigue data obtained under variable amplitude presented lower lives than under constant amplitude loading. J. De Santis. M. Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics 50-2 (2008) 1-91.. F.. Therefore. [7] Miner MA. Generation and use of standardized load spectra and load–time histories. J. Fatigue crack growth in friction stir welds of 6082-T6 and 6061-T6 aluminium alloys: A comparison.. Sakuma. W. and comparison with MIG and TIG. formed mainly in the retracting side. and performing two welding passages to eliminate completely tunnel defects.M. Fatigue Strength of Friction Stir Welding Joints of Aluminium Alloy 6082 Extruded Shape.. Standard Practice for Statistical Analysis of Linear or Linearized Stress-Life (S-N) and Strain-Life (ε-N) Fatigue Data. Wset Conshohocken. P. Tunnel defects revealed to be more detrimental on fatigue resistance than stress concentration created near shear lips. [8] Heuler P. providing that a good control of welding parameters is performed in order to avoid severe internal defects and that stress concentration near shear lips is minimized. Welding International 21-1 (2007) 18–24. 03. D. P. A. M.04. Much. M. The damage sum was . G. Y. calculated accordingly to Miner´s rule. A small loss of hardness resulting from the second welding passage was observed. patent application No. The friction stir welded AA6082-T6 specimens presented significantly lower lives than base material specimens. [2] Ericsson. Panella. Effect of welding parameters on mechanical and microstructural properties of dissimilar AA6082–AA2024 joints produced by friction stir welding. and Castro. P.S. 9125978. B. FSW welds are clearly in the safe side. USA. Materials and Design 30 (2009) 609–616. REFERENCES [1] Thomas. A. Cumulative damage in fatigue. Tunnel defects revealed to be more detrimental on fatigue resistance than stress concentration due to shear lips. Welding International 17-8 (2003) 624-630. International Journal of Fatigue 25 (2003)1379–1387 [3] Moreira. [4] Lanciotti. CONCLUSIONS Friction stir welding process leads to a decrease of the material mechanical properties: yield and rupture stress are lower than for base material. Miner´s rule seems to overestimate fatigue life for R=-1. und Dawes.01. Jesus. J Appl Mech 1945. plotting equivalent stress. Therefore. Tanaka Y and Matsuoka K. leading to a smooth upper surface and performing two welding passages in order to eliminate completely tunnel defects. A good agreement was observed between constant and variable amplitude fatigue tests. indicating that a higher class than 35-4 can be attributed to butt joints welded by FSW. and Sandstrom.G.. E08.12: A159–A64. Int J Fatigue 27-8 (2005) 974–90. F.T. Fatigue crack initiation modes identified in welded specimens. Templesmith..S. E. C.8 (December 1991).. A and Vitali. [9] ASTM E739-91. Needham. R. however fatigue resistance was not significantly affected. [5] Kobayashi. Detailed examination revealed a hardness decrease in the thermo mechanically affected zone and the nugget zone average hardness was found to be significantly lower than the base alloy hardness.6 and 2 for the stress ratio R=0 under the four spectra loadings analysed. lead to a significantly reduction of the fatigue lives.P... Figure 12. to reduce the difference between FSW welds and base material fatigue strengths is crucial to avoid the presence of tunnel defects. Ribeiro. Comparing with Eurocode 9 design curve. Influence of welding speed on the fatigue of friction stir welds.P. 4. and Squillace A. Klatschke H. G. Tunnel defects and shear lips. Nicholas.M. M.

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