Visualization of Material Flow in the Refill Friction Stir Spot Welding Process 2006-01-1206
Friction Stir Spot Welding (FSSW) is a solid state joining technology that has the potential to find applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. One of the FSSW approaches currently used is the refill method. Having numerical models capable to represent the physics of this process with reasonable accuracy can be useful to optimize process parameters and explore new tool designs. In this paper, a three-dimensional isothermal finite element model of the plunge phase of a refill FSSW process is presented. ABAQUS/Explicit is employed to obtain the deformations, stresses and strains induced in the plates being spot welded. Virtual tracers are also incorporated in the simulation in an attempt to visualize the material flow near the tool. A comparison of results provided by the simulation with previously reported experimental data shows that it gives an acceptable approximation but additional refinement of the model is needed.