Microstructure and corrosion properties of diode laser melted friction stir weld of aluminum alloy 2024 T351
Abstract Friction stir welding is a promising solid state joining process for high strength aluminum alloys. Though friction stir welding eliminates the problems of fusion welding as it is performed below melting temperature ( T m ), it creates severe plastic deformation. Friction stir welds of some aluminum alloys exhibit relatively poor corrosion resistance. This research enhanced the corrosion properties of such welds through diode laser surface melting. A friction stir weld of aluminum alloy 2024 T351 was laser melted using a 1 kW diode laser. The melt-depth and microstructure were investigated using optical and scanning electron microscopy. The melt zone exhibited epitaxially grown columnar grains. At the interface between the melted and the un-melted zone, a thick planar boundary was observed. Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyzed the redistribution of elemental composition. The corrosion properties of the laser melted and native welds were studied in aqueous 0.5 M sodium chloride solution using open circuit potential and cyclic potentiodynamic polarization. The results show noticeable increase in the pit nucleation resistance (390 mV) after the laser surface treatment. The repassivation potential was nobler to the corrosion potential after the laser treatment, which confirmed that the resistance to pit growth was improved.