Bobbin-Tool Friction-Stir Welding of Thick-Walled Aluminum Alloy Pressure Vessels

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It was desired to assemble thick-walled Al alloy 2219 pressure vessels by bobbin-tool friction-stir welding. To develop the welding-process, mechanical-property, and fitness-for-service information to support this effort, extensive friction-stir welding-parameter studies were conducted on 2.5 cm. and 3.8 cm. thick 2219 Al alloy plate. Starting conditions of the plate were the fully-heat-treated (-T62) and in the annealed (-O) conditions. The former condition was chosen with the intent of using the welds in either the 'as welded' condition or after a simple low-temperature aging treatment. Since preliminary stress-analyses showed that stresses in and near the welds would probably exceed the yield-strength ... continued below

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PDF-file: 17 pages; size: 1.7 Mbytes

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Dalder, E C; Pastrnak, J W; Engel, J; Forrest, R S; Kokko, E; Ternan, K M et al. June 6, 2007.

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It was desired to assemble thick-walled Al alloy 2219 pressure vessels by bobbin-tool friction-stir welding. To develop the welding-process, mechanical-property, and fitness-for-service information to support this effort, extensive friction-stir welding-parameter studies were conducted on 2.5 cm. and 3.8 cm. thick 2219 Al alloy plate. Starting conditions of the plate were the fully-heat-treated (-T62) and in the annealed (-O) conditions. The former condition was chosen with the intent of using the welds in either the 'as welded' condition or after a simple low-temperature aging treatment. Since preliminary stress-analyses showed that stresses in and near the welds would probably exceed the yield-strength of both 'as welded' and welded and aged weld-joints, a post-weld solution-treatment, quenching, and aging treatment was also examined. Once a suitable set of welding and post-weld heat-treatment parameters was established, the project divided into two parts. The first part concentrated on developing the necessary process information to be able to make defect-free friction-stir welds in 3.8 cm. thick Al alloy 2219 in the form of circumferential welds that would join two hemispherical forgings with a 102 cm. inside diameter. This necessitated going to a bobbin-tool welding-technique to simplify the tooling needed to react the large forces generated in friction-stir welding. The bobbin-tool technique was demonstrated on both flat-plates and plates that were bent to the curvature of the actual vessel. An additional issue was termination of the weld, i.e. closing out the hole left at the end of the weld by withdrawal of the friction-stir welding tool. This was accomplished by friction-plug welding a slightly-oversized Al alloy 2219 plug into the termination-hole, followed by machining the plug flush with both the inside and outside surfaces of the vessel. The second part of the project involved demonstrating that the welds were fit for the intended service. This involved determining the room-temperature tensile and elastic-plastic fracture-toughness properties of the bobbin-tool friction-stir welds after a post-weld solution-treatment, quenching, and aging heat-treatment. These mechanical properties were used to conduct fracture-mechanics analyses to determine critical flaw sizes. Phased-array and conventional ultrasonic non-destructive examination was used to demonstrate that no flaws that match or exceed the calculated critical flaw-sizes exist in or near the friction-stir welds.

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PDF-file: 17 pages; size: 1.7 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Welding Journal, vol. 87, no. 4, April 1, 2008, pp. 40-44; Journal Volume: 87; Journal Issue: 4

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-233687
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 942019
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902678

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 6, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 8:40 p.m.

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Dalder, E C; Pastrnak, J W; Engel, J; Forrest, R S; Kokko, E; Ternan, K M et al. Bobbin-Tool Friction-Stir Welding of Thick-Walled Aluminum Alloy Pressure Vessels, article, June 6, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902678/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.