Ultrasonic assisted friction stir welding (UaFSW) is an hybrid welding technique, where high frequency vibration is superimposed on the movement of a rotating tool. The benefit of using ultrasonic vibration in the FSW process refers to the reduction in the welding force and to the better welding quality. The UaFSW system is being developed and its mechanism needs to be understood using both the experiments and the numerical simulations. In this paper, FE simulations of FSW and UaFSW using ABAQUS/Explicit were carried out to examine plunge forces during the plunge phase of FSW and UaFSW, respectively. First, the simulations of the conventional FSW process were validated. Then, simulation of UaFSW process was performed by imposing sinusoidal horizontal ultrasonic vibrations on the tool.

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