To improve the fuel economy, the automobile industry is vigorously shifting towards using a mix of lightweight materials which offers high strength-to-weight ratio. Dissimilar material joining is of critical importance in this area. Friction element welding (FEW) has been proposed for dissimilar materials, with the capability of joining high strength materials of varying thickness in minimal time with low input energy. A coupled thermal-mechanical finite element model is developed in this work to better understand the physical mechanisms involved in the process and predict the evolution of parameters such as temperature, stress, material flow, and weld quality. The Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) approach is adopted to capture the severe plastic deformation of both the tool and the workpiece. The material deformation and temperature evolution are analyzed at different steps, and good agreement are shown between the simulation results and the experimental data.

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