The effects of metal matrix composite (MMC) on the joint strength of Spot Friction Welded (SFW) specimens made of Al 1100 and Al 6111 alloys are studied. The MMC-SFW joints were created by sandwiching metal reinforcing powder (<75μm mesh) between the upper (1.3mm thick) and lower (1.5mm thick) Al coupons, at the center of the SFW joint. To maximize the heat input into the specimen, a Zirconium (ZrO2) ceramic anvil was used. Depth of penetration of the tool played an important role in determining the distribution of the reinforcing material within the MMC during plastic mixing in the SFW joint, and hence its influence on the joint strength. At a lower depth of penetration, 2.1 mm, the results showed that the MMC-SFW reinforced with Ancorsteel 1000, copper or Al12Si powders did not increase the joint strength since they did not spread uniformly in the stir zone. However, at a higher depth of penetration, 2.5 mm, the MMC-SFW joint reinforced with Ancorsteel 1000, copper, or Al12Si did increase the joint strength compared to that of the base SFW specimens. Using steel powder as the reinforcement material, the MMC showed the maximum increase in the lap shear joint strength. For example, at 2.5 mm depth of penetration, the SFW joint strength increased by 19% and 24% compared to that of the base SFW specimen made of Al 1100 and Al 6111 alloys respectively.

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