The Effectiveness of Surface Coatings on Preventing Interfacial Reaction During Ultrasonic Welding of Aluminum to Magnesium

Panteli, Alexandria; Robson, Joseph D.; Chen, Ying-Chun; Prangnell, Philip B.
December 2013
Metallurgical & Materials Transactions. Part A;Dec2013, Vol. 44 Issue 12, p5773
Academic Journal
High power ultrasonic spot welding (USW) is a solid-state joining process that is advantageous for welding difficult dissimilar material couples, like magnesium to aluminum. USW is also a useful technique for testing methods of controlling interfacial reaction in welding as the interface is not greatly displaced by the process. However, the high strain rate deformation in USW has been found to accelerate intermetallic compound (IMC) formation and a thick Al 12Mg 17 and Al 3Mg 2 reaction layer forms after relatively short welding times. In this work, we have investigated the potential of two approaches for reducing the IMC reaction rate in dissimilar Al-Mg ultrasonic welds, both involving coatings on the Mg sheet surface to (i) separate the join line from the weld interface, using a 100- μm-thick Al cold spray coating, and (ii) provide a diffusion barrier layer, using a thin manganese physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating. Both methods were found to reduce the level of reaction and increase the failure energy of the welds, but their effectiveness was limited due to issues with coating attachment and survivability during the welding cycle. The effect of the coatings on the joint’s interface microstructure, and the fracture behavior have been investigated in detail. Kinetic modeling has been used to show that the benefit of the cold spray coating can be attributed to the reaction rate reverting to that expected under static conditions. This reduces the IMC growth rate by over 50 pct because at the weld line, the high strain rate dynamic deformation in USW normally enhances diffusion through the IMC layer. In comparison, the thin PVD barrier coating was found to rapidly break up early in USW and become dispersed throughout the deformation layer reducing its effectiveness.


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