The present study focuses on developing a relationship between process variables, mechanical properties and post weld microstructure in Friction Stir Welded HSLA 65 steel. Fully consolidated welds can be produced in HSLA 65 steel by PCBN Convex-Scrolled-Shoulder-Step-Spiral (CS4) tool over a wide range of parameters. Microstructures in the nugget center (NC) are dominated by lath bainite and a few polygonal/allotriomorphic grain boundary ferrites. FSW dependent variables are related to FSW independent variables by non-linear relationship. Heat input is identified to be the best parameter index to correlate with microstructures. With increasing heat input, the volume of bainite is reduced, the shape of bainite is more curved and grain/lath size become coarser. A linear relationship was established between heat input and semi-quantitative post-weld microstructures based on the optical microstructures. Further analysis has been applied on the NC to obtain more fundamental understanding of FSW. The new approach via Orientation Imaging Microscopy (OIM) was developed to acquire quantitative microstructural data including bainite lath/packet and prior austenite grain size (PAG). A linear relationship between heat input and quantitative microstructural features in the NC have been established. Mechanical properties exhibits linear relationship with heat input. These correlations can be utilized to determine FSW weld parameter to get desired mechanical properties welds.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Lingyun Wei, friction stir welding, high strength low alloy 65 steel, microstructures, bainite, prior austenite reconstruction, mechanical properties, controlled variables, quantitative grain size