Ultrasonic welding was investigated as a method of joining 0.076 in. (1.93 mm) thick aluminum 6061 flat sheet material. Joints were produced with ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) equipment in a modified application of the ultrasonic welding process. Through joint design development, successful welds were achieved with a scarf joint configuration. Using a design of experiments (DOE) approach, weld parameters including weld amplitude, scarf angle, and weld speed were optimized for mechanical strength. Lower angles and higher amplitudes were found to provide the highest strengths within the levels tested. Finite-element studies indicate that 5 deg and 10 deg angles produce an increased relative motion of the workpieces as compared to 15 deg, 20 deg, and 25 deg angles, likely leading to increased strength. Successful joints showed no indication of voids under optical microscopy. As-welded joints produce tensile strengths of 221 MPa, while heat treated joints produce tensile strengths of 310 MPa, comparable to heat treated bulk material. High-temperature tensile testing was conducted at 210 °C, with samples exhibiting strengths of 184.1 MPa, similar to bulk material. Room temperature fatigue testing resulted in cyclic failures at approximately 190,000 cycles on average, approaching that of bulk material.
Seam Welding of Aluminum Sheet Using Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing System
Manuscript received April 27, 2015; final manuscript received June 20, 2016; published online August 15, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Wayne Cai.
Wolcott, P. J., Pawlowski, C., Headings, L. M., and Dapino, M. J. (August 15, 2016). "Seam Welding of Aluminum Sheet Using Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing System." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. January 2017; 139(1): 011010. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4034007
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