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Military Systems Group. Friction Stir Welding Applications for Military Vehicles. Keith Lunkenheimer – Richard Teruya – Thomas Pearson – William Segale – John Vollmer. Project Goal. Materials Tested. Feasibility Results.

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Military Systems Group

Friction Stir Welding Applications for Military Vehicles

Keith Lunkenheimer – Richard Teruya – Thomas Pearson – William Segale – John Vollmer

Project Goal

Materials Tested

Feasibility Results

To perform feasibility tests of friction stir welding (FSW) using different metals for weight reduction of weapon mounting brackets

Magnesium (AZ31B) to Magnesium (AZ31B)

Magnesium (AZ31B) to Aluminum (6061-T6)

Aluminum Lithium (2090) to Aluminum (6061-T6)

Motivation: Within the Special Forces: 1lb≈$100,000 operating costs/year

Results for Mg to Mg

Friction Stir Welding

Mg is 34.5% lighter than Al but 13.4% weaker

Al-Li is 4% lighter than Al and 45.3% stronger

Process

Parent Sample

Tool Bit

Results for Mg to Al

Sample

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Tool Bit

Sample

Sample

Sample

Sample

Sample

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

Clamping Device

During a weld, a rotating cylindrical tool is driven through the material to be welded

This heats the material to a plasticized state and literally stirs the two pieces together

Parameters: Plunge Depth, Traverse Rate, Tilt angle, Rotation Speed, Applied Force

Friction Stir Welding Machine

Close-up of FSW machine

Results for Al-Li to Al

Parameters for Optimization

Mounting Bracket

  • Tool Geometry
  • Machine Improvement
    • - Force control - Auto Zero - Strength - More axes

Test Sample Preparation Before FSW

Test Sample Preparation After FSW

Weight Savings

Original 6061 design weighted 23.96 lbs

With Al-Li: 20.35 lbs, a savings of ~3.5 lbs

Cost Savings

Modified Design employing FSW

Original Design provided by MSG

~$350,000 savings/year if used by special forces