In order to investigate the viability of friction stir welding for use in Naval construction, mode one elastic-plastic fracture toughness of friction stir processed HSLA-65 was determined using current ASTM 1820 and BS 7448 standards. Double-sided welds were used to achieve 12.7 mm thick samples. A constant feed rate of 100 mm/min was used for all welds. To explore the effect of weld parameters on toughness, welds were produced using two rotational speeds: 340 RPM and 490 RPM. The weld centerline, advancing side hardened region (ASHR), and TMAZ/HAZ regions were sampled, in addition to un-welded parent material. All elastic-plastic fracture toughness values were thickness dependent. For welds produced at 340 RPM, toughness ranged from 33% to 75% below parent material. By increasing the rotational speed to 490 RPM, weld toughness was likewise less than the parent material, but increased 12% to 50% relative to welds produced at 340 RPM. The lowest measured toughness was in the ASHR samples for both parameters. This region of the weld exhibited mixed mode stress-strain conditions and toughness 75% and 62% less than parent material. Toughness values for all samples failed to meet qualification requirements of both ASTM 1820 and BS 7448 due to non-uniform crack extension. Irregular crack extension was caused by the through thickness change in tensile properties due to welding and the affect this had on the plastic zone size compared to the thickness. Increased weld toughness from 340 RPM to 490 RPM was attributed to microstructural differences as a result of increased rotational speed. In addition, higher crack extensions were observed in the second weld pass relative to the first for both rotational speeds. This was attributed to weld tempering of the first pass by the second. The ASHR samples exhibited the highest crack extensions. In this location, the weld microstructure consisted of Widmanstatten ferrite, a microstructure known to be detrimental to toughness.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





toughness, friction stir, welded, processed, HSLA-65, mode one, fracture toughness, rotational speed