Microstructural and Mechanical Behaviour Evaluation of Mg-Al-Zn Alloy Friction Stir Welded Joint
The weight reduction concept is most effective to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles, which also improves fuel efficiency. Amongst lightweight materials, magnesium alloys are attractive to the automotive sector as a structural material. Welding feasibility of magnesium alloys acts as an influential role in its usage for lightweight prospects. Friction stir welding (FSW) is an appropriate technique as compared to other welding techniques to join magnesium alloys. Field of friction stir welding is emerging in the current scenario. The friction stir welding technique has been selected to weld AZ91 magnesium alloys in the current research work. The microstructure and mechanical characteristics of the produced FSW butt joints have been investigated. Further, the influence of post welding heat treatment (at 260 °C for 1 h) on these properties has also been examined. Post welding heat treatment (PWHT) resulted in the improvement of the grain structure of weld zones which affected the mechanical performance of the joints. After heat treatment, the tensile strength and elongation of the joint increased by 12.6 % and 31.9 % respectively. It is proven that after PWHT, the microhardness of the stir zone reduced and a comparatively smoothened microhardness profile of the FSW joint obtained. No considerable variation in the location of the tensile fracture was witnessed after PWHT. The results show that the impact toughness of the weld joints further decreases after post welding heat treatment.