The following thesis is a study on the ability to create acceptable welds in thin-plate, ultra-high-strength steels (UHSS) by way of friction stir welding (FSW). Steels are welded together to create tailor-welded blanks (TWB) for use in the automotive industry. Dual Phase (DP) 590, 780, and 980 steel as well as Transformation-Induced Plasticity (TRIP) 590 steel with thicknesses ranging from 1.2 mm to 1.8 mm were welded using friction stir welding under a variety of processing conditions, including experiments with dissimilar thicknesses. Samples were tested under tensile loads for initial determination if an acceptable weld had been created. Acceptable welds were created in both TRIP 590 and DP 590 at speeds up to 102 centimeters-per-minute. No acceptable welds were created in the DP 780 and DP 980 materials. A series of microhardness measurements were taken across weld samples to gain understanding as to the causes of failure. These data indicate that softening, caused by both excessive heat and insufficient heat can result in weld failure. Not enough heat causes the high concentration of martensite in these materials to temper while too much heat can cause excessive hardening in the weld, through the formation of even more martensite, which tends to promote failure mode during forming operations. Laser welding is one of the leading methods for creating tailor-welded blank. Therefore, laser welded samples of each material were tested and compared to Friction Stir Welded samples. Lower strength and elongation are measured in weld failure while the failure location itself determines the success of a weld. In short, an acceptable weld is one that breaks outside the weld nugget and Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) and where the tensile strength (both yield and ultimate) along with the elongation are comparable to the base material. In unacceptable welds, the sample broke in the weld nugget or HAZ while strength and elongations were well below those of the base material samples.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





tailor welded blanks, TWB, friction stir welding, FSW, dual phase, DP, high strength steel, HSS, tensile, hardness



Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)