Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solid state welding process in which a non-consumable rotating tool with a specially designed pin and shoulder is inserted into the abutting edges of sheets or plates to be joined and subsequently traversed along the joint line. In FSW, a pin tool with different shapes spins against the edges of two metal pieces of same or different thickness positioned next to each other. As the pin travels along, it creates friction that generates heat, mixes, and joins the alloys without melting them. To optimize the process, several researchers created pins of different shape, and geometry, and used them in FSW but varied the depth, rotational speed, and tilt angle of the pins. Statistical analysis has been used to identify the most optimum combination of tool and weld parameters that could support high-speed production. Many studies support that the faster FSW is carried out, the stronger (better weld quality) the resulting welds will be.
The objective of this paper is to predict the effects of some of the process parameters on the performance of the aluminum alloy components joined using ANSYS simulation tool. Although not reported in this paper, the mechanical and metallurgical properties of the welded members have been measured in the laboratory. The goal is to gain an understanding of how FSW can be used to successfully join aluminum alloys and to study the effect of the various process parameters on the process. The material used is AA6061 as it is one of the popular choices for automotive applications. Experiments have been conducted to validate some of the simulation results from ANSYS software.