This paper studies an electrically assisted friction stir spot welding (FSSW) process for joining aluminum alloy 6061-T6 to TRIP 780 steel. The electrical current shows to reduce the axial plunge force and assist the material flow of the aluminum matrix during the welding process. When electrical pulses and direct current (DC) with the same energy input are applied, the results show insignificant differences. Bulk material flow can be observed in the weld cross sections. A more uniform hook is generated at the Fe/Al interface after applying the current. Besides, the diffusion of aluminum atoms into the steel matrix is enhanced. Regarding the weld quality, electrically assisted FSSW improves the joint lap shear strength when compared with regular FSSW process.

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