Modelling of Friction Stir Welding
Supervisor: Dr Christophe Pinna

Solid state welding techniques have always been an area of interest for automotive and aerospace industries because of their salient features, for example superior weld properties, no melting of parent material, no requirement of filler material, minimal shrinkage and minimal heat input. Applications include welding blades to shafts, gears, turbine wheels, internal combustion engine valves and aero-engine parts.

This project will focus on Friction Stir Welding (FSW) invented by The Welding Institute (TWI Ltd.) in the 1990s. The FSW process gained world-wide attention due to its excellent features, such as energy efficiency cost effectiveness and ease of joining dissimilar metals.

Modelling the FSW process is still in the early stages of development and will be the focus of this project. Finite element modelling of FSW will be carried out using the arbitrary Lagrangian/Eulerian formulation embedded into ABAQUS to simulate the welding of two aluminium plates with validation data provided by TWI in terms of temperature measurements, as well as forces measured in the tool. Issues related to the development of voids during the process will be investigated experimentally and predicted through the development of a multi-scale model.

Previous experience / requirements: Finite element modelling, Continuum mechanics
Contact: c.pinna@sheffield.ac.uk
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