Friction Stir Spot Welding of a High Ductility Aluminum Alloy 2014-01-0793
High ductility cast aluminum alloys are seeing more use in vehicles as a greater effort is made to replace components made from heavier steel and iron alloys with lighter weight alloys such as aluminum. High ductility cast aluminum has significant advantages by allowing for complex shape and considerable consolidation of parts in body structures. However, joining can be a challenge because one popular method for aluminum joining, self-piercing riveting (SPR), requires a ductility of greater than 10%, forcing the common high ductility Al alloys to undergo a T6 heat treatment which adds cost and potential distortion issues to Al component. In this study, friction stir spot welding was investigated as a potential joining technique for this material in the as-cast condition. Samples of as-cast Aural-2™ alloy were joined to Aural-2™, 5754, and 6061 alloys, to determine the manufacturing feasibility, weld strength, and fatigue strength using this joining technique.