This experimental investigation describes the effect of tilt angle and rotational speed on the characteristics of welding defects, intermetallic compounds, weld strength and micro-hardness in friction stir welding of thin sheets of AA6061-T6 and AISI304. Qualitative and quantitative assessments of the welding defects have been made by using X-ray micro computed tomography and metallographic study. Three-dimensional tomography and special distribution of internal voids (pores) have been discussed by correlating it to different values of tool rotational speed and tilt angle. Internal defects were localized in the stir zone. Welding at a tilt angle of 1° reduced both surface and internal defects. Non-uniform thickness of intermetallic compound (FexAly) layer has been found in the weld zone whose thickness varied with the values of process parameters. Higher weld porosity, bigger steel hook defect and increased layer thickness of intermetallic compound caused a significant reduction in the joint strength and elongation.
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