The performance of a coupled viscoplastic model of FSW has been evaluated over a variety of tool RPMs and feed rates. Initial results suggested that further optimization of the material parameters and an additional ability to model the thermal recovery of the material would improve the overall performance of the model. Therefore, an experimental/numeric approach was taken to improve and quantitatively compare the performance of the model based upon the thermal profile of the workpiece. First, an experimental method for obtaining real-time temperature measurements during Friction Stir Processing (FSP) of 304L Stainless Steel was developed. The focus of the method was to ensure that the obtained temperatures were both accurate and repeatable. The method was then used to obtain thermal cycle data from nine welds, each at different operating conditions ranging in tool rotational speed from 300 to 500 RPMs and in feed rate from 0.85 to 2.54 mm/s (2 - 6 in/min). Then a family of nine numerical models was created, each model corresponding to one welding condition. The performance due to improved convergence stability and the added thermal recovery term are also discussed. A gradient following technique was used to optimization and iteratively adjust nine material parameters to minimize the difference between the numerical and experimental temperature for the whole family of models. The optimization decreased the squared error between the numerical and measured temperatures by 76%. Recommendations are also made that may allow the optimization method to return greater dividends.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





friction stir welding, 304L stainless steel, numerical modeling