Electron and Laser Beam Welding of High Strain Rate Superplastic Al-6061/SiC Composites

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2575-2584
Journal / PublicationMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


The welding characteristics of a fine-grained 6061 Al and three 6061/1, 5, and 20 pct SiC composites under high energy electron beam welding (EBW) and laser beam welding (LBW) were examined. The three composites exhibited high strain rate superplasticity (HSRS). The 6061 Al was more readily welded by EBW than by LBW, and the situation was reversed in the reinforced composites. In the reinforced composites, the fusion zone contained the once fully melted matrix and fully reacted SiC, and the heat affected zone (HAZ) contained the partially melted matrix and nearly unreacted SiC. This effect was particularly apparent in the 20 pct SiC composite. With increasing SiC content from 0 to 20 pct, the reflection of the laser beam decreased, and the melt viscosity increased due to the increasing amount of Al4C3 compounds. For the HSRS fine-grained 6061/20 pct SiC composite, there formed a sharp V-notch under EBW. The high viscosity or low fluidity of the melt inside the fusion zone of 6061/20 pct SiC resulted in incomplete backfill and notch formation. The postweld mechanical performance and joint efficiency both became seriously degraded. The original fine structures in the HSRS composites could not be restored after welding.

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