Friction stir forming utilizes a friction stirring action to soften and extrude a base material into a cavity in a substrate material thereby forming a joint. In this research, Abaqus software was used to model the process in order to understand the key joint features of interest and provide direction for experimental optimization. A three dimensional, thermo-mechanical finite element model was developed and applied to simulate the process and obtain detailed stress and temperature distribution plots. Adaptive mesh and contact features were utilized for large deformation of the aluminum work material. It was found that the model accurately predicted the shape of the joint and flash extrusion during the process. The maximum temperature was found at the outer radius of the tool, but was much lower than temperatures in friction stir welding.

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