Understanding the mechanisms of friction stir welding based on computer simulation using particles

A. Yu Smolin, E. V. Shilko, S. V. Astafurov, E. A. Kolubaev, G. M. Eremina, S. G. Psakhie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Friction stir welding (FSW) is a novel technique for joining different materials without melting. In FSW the welded components are joined by stirring the plasticized material of the welded edges with a special rotating pin plunged into the material and moving along the joint line. From the scientific point of view, the key role of the FSW processes belongs to formation of the special plasticized conditions and activation of physical mechanisms of mixing the materials in such conditions to produce the strong homogeneous weld. But it is still a lack of complete understanding of what are these conditions and mechanisms. This paper is devoted to understanding the mechanisms of material mixing in conditions of FSW based on a computer simulation using particles. The movable cellular automaton method (MCA), which is a representative of the particle methods in mechanics of materials, was used to perform all computations. Usually, material flow including material stirring in FSW is simulated using computational fluid mechanics or smoothed particle hydrodynamics, which assume that the material is a continuum and does not take into account the material structure. MCA considers a material as an ensemble of bonded particles. Breaking of inter-particle bonds and formation of new bonds enables simulation of crack nucleation and healing, as well as mass mixing and micro-welding. The paper consists of two main parts. In the first part, the simulations in 2D statements are performed to study the dynamics of friction stir welding of duralumin plates and influence of different welding regimes on the features of the material stirring and temperature distribution in the forming welded joints. It is shown that the ratio of the rotational speed to the advancing velocity of the tool has a dramatic effect on the joint quality. A suitable choice of these parameters combined with additional ultrasonic impact could considerably reduce the number of pores and microcracks in the weld without significant overheating of the welded materials. The second part of the paper considers simulation in the 3D statement. These simulations showed that using tool pins of different shape like a cylinder, cone, or pyramid without a shoulder results in negligible motion of the plasticized material in the direction of workpiece thickness. However, the optimal ratio of the advancing velocity to the rotational speed allows transporting of the stirred material around the tool pin several times and hence producing the joint of good quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-656
Number of pages14
JournalDefence Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Deformation mechanisms
  • Friction stir welding
  • Particle method
  • Plastic flow
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the mechanisms of friction stir welding based on computer simulation using particles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this