Microstructure distribution in an AA2050 T34 friction stir weld and its evolution during post-welding heat treatment

18-07-2019

Microstructure distribution in an AA2050 T34 friction stir weld and its evolution during post-welding heat treatment

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Abstract

This paper presents a systematic study where the distribution of precipitate microstructures is mapped in the cross-section of a friction stir weld made with an AA2050 Al–Cu–Li alloy in the naturally aged temper, as well as the evolution of this microstructure during subsequent post-welding heat treatment (PWHT). This study is carried out using spatially resolved small-angle X-ray scattering, supported by transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and microhardness mapping. The as-welded microstructure is dominated by solute clusters, while very little precipitation has taken place during the welding operation. During PWHT, the precipitation kinetics in the different zones of the weld is mainly controlled by the local dislocation density inherited from welding, and by the amount of solute available for precipitation, which depends on the volume fraction of welding-induced intermetallics. Pre-deforming the weld before the PWHT results in a very effective strength recovery and a nearly homogeneous distribution of hardness.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2015.08.068