Models (both physical and numerical) of the friction stir (FS) welding process are used to develop a greater understanding of the influence of independent process parameters on dependent process output variables, such as torque, power, specific weld energy, peak temperature, cooling rates and various metallurgical factors (e.g., grain size and precipitates). An understanding of how the independent process parameters influence output variables and ultimately their effect on resultant properties (e.g., strength, hardness, etc..) is desirable. Most models developed have been validated primarily for aluminum alloys with relatively small amounts of experimental data. Fewer models have been validated for steels or stainless steels, particularly since steels and stainless steels have proven more challenging to friction stir than aluminum alloys. The Gleeble system is also a powerful tool with the capability to perform thermomechanical simulations in a known and controlled environment and provide physical representation of resultant microstructure and hardness values. The coupling of experimental data and physical simulated data can be extremely useful in assessing the capabilities of friction stir numerical process models. The overall approach is to evaluate Isaiah an existing three-dimensional finite element code developed at Cornell University by comparing against experimental and physically-simulated data to determine how well the code output relates to real FS data over a range of nine processing conditions. Physical simulations replicating select thermomechanical streamline histories were conducted to provide a physical representation of resultant metallurgy and hardness. Isaiah shows promise in predicting qualitative trends over a limited range of parameters and is not recommended for use as a predictive tool but rather a complimentary tool, Once properly calibrated, the Isaiah code can be a powerful tool to gain insight into the process, strength evolution during the process and coupled with a texture evolution model may also provide insight into microstructural and texture evolution over a range for which it is calibrated.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





friction stir welding, friction stir processing, 3-D viscoplastic finite element models, hot uniaxial compression tests, physical simulation