Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India
The welding of materials by applying Friction Stir Welding technique is a new solid-state joining technique. The main advantage of this method compared to the traditional joining process is that it minimizes problem-related to metal resolidification as the method incorporates no melting phase. In this experimental work, the effect of friction stir welding (FSW) technique on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the cast composite matrix AA6063 reinforced with 7wt % SiC particles is studied. Friction stir welding, owing to the simultaneous effect of intense plastic deformation and frictional heat generated throughout welding, had impacts each on the reinforcement agents and the matrix alloy. FSW produced a notable reduction in the size of reinforcement agents and their homogeneous distribution in the weld region. It also induced the grain refinement due to dynamic recrystallization of the aluminum matrix alloy in the weld area. The frictional heat generated during friction stir welding had impacts on the growth, dissolution and reprecipitation of the hardening precipitates. The microstructural changes resulted in improved mechanical properties such as UTS, elongation, and hardness of the joint. A joint efficiency of 98.84% was observed for the welded joint. The XRD and EDX analysis of the welded area confirmed that there was no formation of any other compound due to the frictional heat produced during welding. The SEM fracture morphology of the welded joint revealed that the fracture behavior was changed from ductile to brittle following to FSW.