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164 (1-15)


In this research effort, we explore the use of a donor material to help heat workpieces without wearing the tool or adding more heat than necessary to the system. The donor material would typically be a small piece (or pieces) of material, presumably of lower strength than the workpiece but with a comparable melting point. The donor, a sandwich material, is positioned between the tool head and the material to be welded, where the tool initially plunges and heats up in the same manner as the parent material that is intended for welding. The donor material heats up subsequent to tool penetration due to friction and as a result heats up the material beneath it. This preheating technique softens the harder parent material, which helps to minimize tool wear and produce better weld performance. The goal is to investigate the use of the donor material as a preheating technique that minimizes wear and tear on the tool head without negatively impacting the structural properties of the weld. To demonstrate the donor material concept, a combination of Cu-Al, Cu-1045 Carbon steel (CS), and Al-1045 CS sets of donor and parent materials were used in the simulation, in addition to control samples Al-Al and CS-CS. We simulated two thicknesses of donor material 25 and 50% of the parent material thickness, respectively. The simulation suggests that the donor material concept generates phenomenal results by reducing the temperature and axial forces for the friction stir welding of aluminum AA6061 and carbon steel 1045. It also assists downstream during welding, resulting from frictional mechanical work which is converted into stored heat.


© 2023 by the authors.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Data Availability

The data presented in this study are available upon request from the corresponding author.

Original Publication Citation

Maniscalco, J., Elmustafa, A. A., Bhukya, S., & Wu, Z. (2023). Numerical simulation of the donor-assisted stir material for friction stir welding of aluminum alloys and carbon steel. Metals, 13(1), 1-15, Article 164.