Novel Method for Welding of High-Strength Aluminum Alloys
A cost-effective method that drastically increases high-strength aluminum alloys' resistance to environmental degradation.
Manufacturers seek low-density, high-strength metals that can withstand environmental stress. High-strength aluminum alloys (AAs) are increasingly used for light-weighting in automotive and aerospace structure applications, but welds with such alloys are susceptible to environmental degradation, which may contribute to stress corrosion cracking. To develop lighter, more energy efficient vehicles for aerospace and automotive applications, it is critical to establish welding techniques for high-strength AAs, specifically those in the 7000 series that can be 80% stronger than 6000 series alloys and that are not vulnerable environmental exposure.
Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Wei Zhang, have developed an efficient, cost-effective method that dresses the weld toe region using cold metal transfer (CMT) to reduce stress corrosion cracking on welds of a 7000 series AA. This technology compares favorably to the existing friction stir processing (FSP) method.