The effect of post-welding conditions in friction stir welds: From weld simulation to Ductile Failure

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The post-welding stress state, strain history and material conditions of friction stir welded joints are often strongly idealized when used in subsequent modeling analyses, typically by neglecting one or more of the features above. But, it is obvious that the conditions after welding do influence the weld performance. The objective of this paper is to discuss some of the main conflicts that arise when taking both the post-welding material conditions and stressestrain state into account in a subsequent structural analysis. The discussion is here based on a preliminary numerical study of the possible effect of the post-welding conditions when subjecting a friction stir weld to loading transverse to the weld line. The numerical model of the friction stir welded joint, employs a step-wise modeling approach to combine an in-situ weld simulation with a post-welding failure analysis. Using the commercial software ANSYS, a thermo-mechanical model is employed to predict the thermally induced stresses and strains during welding, while an in-house finite element code is used to study the plastic flow localization and failure in a subsequent structural analysis. The coupling between the two models is made by mapping the postwelding stressestrain conditions predicted in ANSYS to the in-house code by using re-meshing techniques. The study indicates a noticeable influence of the post-welding stressestrain condition when subjecting the welded plate to tension. E.g. an increase of the tensile curve prior to plastic flow localization was observed, with a substantial influence on the specimen elongation at the onset of localization and thereby failure. This influence is, however, shown to be strongly affected by the applied boundary conditions. Specimens cut from the welded plate, transverse to the weld line, showed the largest influence of the post-welding conditions, even though significant relaxation of the residual stress state was predicted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics A - Solids
Pages (from-to)67-74
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Friction stir welding
  • Gurson modeling
  • Thermo-mechanical modeling
  • Residual stresses


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