With the desire to lighten the frame while keeping or increasing the strength, Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) have been developed for use in the automotive industry. AHSS meet many vehicle functional requirements because of their excellent strength and acceptable ductility. But joining AHSS is a challenge, because weldability is lower than that of mild steels. Friction stir spot welding (FSSW) is a solid state joining process that can provide a solution to the weldability issues in AHSS, but FSSW has not been studied in great detail for this application. In this work, Si3N4 tools were used for FSSW experiments on DP 980 steel with 1.2mm thickness. Joint strength was measured by lap shear tension testing, while thermocouples were used for the temperature measurements. A finite element model was developed in order to predict material flow and temperatures associated with FSSW. Since a 3D model of the process is very time consuming, a novel 2D model was developed for this study. An updated Lagrangian scheme was employed to predict the flow of sheet material, subjected to the boundary conditions of the fixed backing plate and descending rotating tool. Heat generation by friction was computed by including the rotational velocity component from the tool in the thermal boundary conditions. Material flow was calculated from a velocity field while an isotropic, viscoplastic Norton-Hoff law was used to compute the material flow stress as a function of temperature, strain and strain rate. Shear stress at the tool/sheet interface was computed using the viscoplastic friction law. The model predicted welding temperatures to within 4% of the experiments. The welding loads were significantly over predicted. Comparison with a 3D model of FSSW showed that frictional heating and the proportion of total heat generated by friction were similar. The position of the joint interface was reasonably well predicted compared to experiment.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Utsab Karki, high speed friction stir spot welding, simulation, DP 980, Si3N4 tool, advanced high strength steel



Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)