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Solved with COMSOL Multiphysics 4.

3b

F r ic t i o n S ti r We ld i n g
Introduction
Manufacturers use a modern welding method called friction stir welding to join aluminum plates. This model analyzes the heat transfer in this welding process. The model is based on a paper by M. Song and R. Kovacevic (Ref. 1). In friction stir welding, a rotating tool moves along the weld joint and melts the aluminum through the generation of friction heat. The tools rotation stirs the melted aluminum such that the two plates are joined. Figure 1 shows the rotating tool and the aluminum plates being are joined.
joint shoulder

pin aluminum welded region

Figure 1: Two aluminum plates being joined by friction stir welding. The rotating tool is in contact with the aluminum plates along two surfaces: the tools shoulder, and the tools pin . The tool adds heat to the aluminum plates through both interfaces. During the welding process, the tool moves along the weld joint. This movement would require a fairly complex model if you want to model the tool as a moving heat source. This example takes a different approach that uses a moving coordinate system that is fixed at the tool axis (Ref. 1 also takes this approach). After making the coordinate transformation, the heat transfer problem becomes a stationary convection-conduction problem that is straightforward to model. The model includes some simplifications. For example, the coordinate transformation assumes that the aluminum plates are infinitely long. This means that the analysis neglects effects near the edges of the plates. Neither does the model account for the stirring process in the aluminum, which is very complex because it includes phase changes and material flow from the front to the back of the rotating tool.

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Model Definition
The model geometry is symmetric around the weld. It is therefore sufficient to model only one aluminum plate. The plate dimensions are 120 mm-by-102 mm-by-12.7 mm, surrounded by two infinite domains in the x direction. Figure 2 shows the resulting model geometry:
insulation natural convection and surface-to-ambient radiation

T0
u

qs
symmetry surface

Qpin

infinite domains

Figure 2: Model geometry for friction stir welding. The following equation describes heat transfer in the plate. As a result of fixing the coordinate system in the welding tool, the equation includes a convective term in addition to the conductive term. The equation is ( k T ) = Q Cp u T where k represents thermal conductivity, is the density, Cp denotes specific heat capacity, and u is the velocity. The model sets the velocity to u = 1.59103 m/s in the negative x direction. The model simulates the heat generated in the interface between the tools pin and the workpiece as a surface heat source (expression adapted from Ref. 2): 2 q pin ( T ) = ---------------------------- r p Y ( T ) (W/m ) 2 3(1 + ) Here is the friction coefficient, rp denotes the pin radius, refers to the pins angular velocity (rad/s), and Y ( T ) is the average shear stress of the material. As indicated, the average shear stress is a function of the temperature; for this model, you approximate this function with an interpolation function determined from experimental data given

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in Ref. 1 (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Yield stress (MPa) vs. temperature (K) for 6061-T6 aluminum. Additionally, heat is generated at the interface between the tools shoulder and the workpiece; the following expression defines the local heat flux per unit area (W/m2) at the distance r from the center axis of the tool: ( F n A s ) r ; T < T melt q shoulder ( r, T ) = ; T T melt 0 Here Fn represents the normal force, As is the shoulders surface area, and Tmelt is aluminums melting temperature. As before, is the friction coefficient and is the angular velocity of the tool (rad/s). Above the melting temperature of aluminum, the friction between the tool and the aluminum plate is very low. Therefore, the model sets the heat generation from the shoulder and the pin to zero when the temperature is equal to or higher than the melting temperature. Symmetry will be assumed along the weld joint boundary.

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The upper and lower surfaces of the aluminum plates lose heat due to natural convection and surface-to-ambient radiation. The corresponding heat flux expressions for these surfaces are q up = h up ( T 0 T ) + ( T amb T ) q down = h down ( T 0 T ) + ( T amb T ) where hup and hdown are heat transfer coefficients for natural convection, T0 is an associated reference temperature, is the surface emissivity, is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, and Tamb is the ambient air temperature. The modeling of an infinite domain on the left-hand side, where the aluminum leaves the computational domain, makes sure that the temperature is in equilibrium with the temperature at infinity through natural convection and surface-to-ambient radiation. You therefore set the boundary condition to insulation at that location. You can compute values for the heat transfer coefficients using empirical expressions available in the heat-transfer literature, for example, Ref. 3. In this model, use the values hup = 12.25 W/(m2K) and hdown = 6.25 W/(m2K)
4 4 4 4

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Results and Discussion


Figure 4 shows the resulting temperature field. Consider this result as what you would see through a window fixed to the moving welding tool.

Figure 4: Temperature field in the aluminum plate. The temperature is highest where the aluminum is in contact with the rotating tool. Behind the tool, the process transports hot material away, while in front of the tool, new cold material enters.

References
1. M. Song and R. Kovacevic, International Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture, vol. 43, pp. 605615, 2003. 2. P. Colegrove and others, 3-dimensional Flow and Thermal Modelling of the Friction Stir Welding Process, Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Friction Stir Welding , Gothenburg, Sweden, 2000. 3. A. Bejan, Heat Transfer, Wiley, 1993.

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Model Library path: Heat_Transfer_Module/


Thermal_Contact_and_Friction/friction_stir_welding

Modeling Instructions
MODEL WIZARD

1 Go to the Model Wizard window. 2 Click Next. 3 In the Add physics tree, select Heat Transfer>Heat Transfer in Solids (ht). 4 Click Add Selected. 5 Click Next. 6 Find the Studies subsection. In the tree, select Preset Studies>Stationary. 7 Click Finish.
GLOBAL DEFINITIONS

Parameters
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Global Definitions and choose Parameters. 2 In the Parameters settings window, locate the Parameters section. 3 In the table, enter the following settings:
Name T0 T_melt h_upside h_downside epsilon u_weld mu n omega F_n Expression 300[K] 933[K] 12.25[W/(m^2*K)] 6.25[W/(m^2*K)] 0.3[1] 1.59[mm/s] 0.4[1] 637[1/min] 2*pi[rad]*n 25[kN] Description Ambient temperature Workpiece melting temperature Heat transfer coefficient, upside Heat transfer coefficient, downside Surface emissivity Welding speed Friction coefficient Rotation speed (RPM) Angular velocity (rad/s) Normal force

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Name r_pin r_shoulder A_s

Expression 6[mm] 25[mm] pi*(r_shoulder^2-r_ pin^2)

Description Pin radius Shoulder radius Shoulder surface area

Interpolation 1
1 Right-click Global Definitions and choose Functions>Interpolation. 2 In the Interpolation settings window, locate the Definition section. 3 In the Function name edit field, type Ybar. 4 In the table, enter the following settings:
t 311 339 366 394 422 450 477 533 589 644 f(t) 241 238 232 223 189 138 92 34 19 12

5 Click the Plot button.

If you have entered the numbers correctly, the curve should look like that in Figure 3.

Step 1
1 Right-click Global Definitions and choose Functions>Step. 2 In the Step settings window, click to expand the Smoothing section. 3 In the Size of transition zone edit field, type 5.
GEOMETRY 1

1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1 click Geometry 1. 2 In the Geometry settings window, locate the Units section. 3 From the Length unit list, choose mm.

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Block 1
1 Right-click Model 1>Geometry 1 and choose Block. 2 In the Block settings window, locate the Size and Shape section. 3 In the Width edit field, type 320. 4 In the Depth edit field, type 102. 5 In the Height edit field, type 12.7. 6 Locate the Position section. In the x edit field, type -160. 7 Click the Build Selected button.

Block 2
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Geometry 1 and choose Block. 2 In the Block settings window, locate the Size and Shape section. 3 In the Width edit field, type 420. 4 In the Depth edit field, type 102. 5 In the Height edit field, type 12.7. 6 Locate the Position section. In the x edit field, type -210. 7 Click the Build Selected button.

Cylinder 1
1 Right-click Geometry 1 and choose Cylinder. 2 In the Cylinder settings window, locate the Size and Shape section. 3 In the Radius edit field, type r_shoulder. 4 In the Height edit field, type 12.7. 5 Click the Build Selected button.

Cylinder 2
1 Right-click Geometry 1 and choose Cylinder. 2 In the Cylinder settings window, locate the Size and Shape section. 3 In the Radius edit field, type r_pin. 4 In the Height edit field, type 12.7. 5 Click the Build Selected button.

Block 3
1 Right-click Geometry 1 and choose Block. 2 In the Block settings window, locate the Size and Shape section.

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3 In the Width edit field, type 2*r_shoulder. 4 In the Depth edit field, type r_shoulder. 5 In the Height edit field, type 12.7. 6 Locate the Position section. In the x edit field, type -r_shoulder. 7 In the y edit field, type -r_shoulder. 8 Click the Build Selected button.

Difference 1
1 Right-click Geometry 1 and choose Boolean Operations>Difference. 2 In the Difference settings window, locate the Difference section. 3 Under Objects to add, click Activate Selection. 4 Select the objects cyl1 and cyl2 only. 5 Under Objects to subtract, click Activate Selection. 6 Select the object blk3 only. 7 Click the Build Selected button.

Form Union
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1>Geometry 1 right-click Form Union and

choose Build Selected. The model geometry is now complete.

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2 Click the Zoom Extents button on the Graphics toolbar to see the entire geometry.

DEFINITIONS

Variables 1
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1 right-click Definitions and choose Variables. 2 In the Variables settings window, locate the Geometric Entity Selection section. 3 From the Geometric entity level list, choose Boundary. 4 Select Boundary 14 only. 5 In the Variables settings window, locate the Variables section. 6 In the table, enter the following settings:
Name R q_shoulder Expression sqrt(x^2+y^2) (mu*F_n/ A_s)*(R*omega)*step1((T _melt-T)[1/K]) Description Distance in xy-plane from tool center axis Surface heat source, shoulder-workpiece interface

Variables 2
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Definitions and choose Variables.

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2 In the Variables settings window, locate the Geometric Entity Selection section. 3 From the Geometric entity level list, choose Boundary. 4 Select Boundaries 15 and 19 only. 5 In the Variables settings window, locate the Variables section. 6 In the table, enter the following settings:
Name q_pin Expression mu/ sqrt(3*(1+mu^2))*(r_pin *omega)*Ybar(T[1/ K])[MPa]*step1((T_meltT)[1/K]) Description Surface heat source, pin-workpiece interface

H E A T TR A N S F E R I N S O L I D S

Initial Values 1
1 In the Model Builder window, expand the Model 1>Heat Transfer in Solids node, then

click Initial Values 1.


2 In the Initial Values settings window, locate the Initial Values section. 3 In the T edit field, type T0.

Heat Transfer in Solids 1


The domain selection for the default equation model is fixed to all domains to ensure that no domain lacks a defining equation. To modify the equation model for some specific domains, you simply add nodes that override the default equation.

Translational Motion 1
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1>Heat Transfer in Solids right-click Heat Transfer in Solids 1 and choose Translational Motion. 2 In the Translational Motion settings window, locate the Translational Motion section. 3 In the utrans table, enter the following settings:
-u_weld 0 0

x y z

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DEFINITIONS

Infinite Element Domain 1


1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1 right-click Definitions and choose Infinite Element Domain. 2 Select Domains 1 and 5 only.
H E A T TR A N S F E R I N S O L I D S

Surface-to-Ambient Radiation 1
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1 right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and

choose Surface-to-Ambient Radiation.


2 Select Boundaries 3, 4, 8, 9, 13, 25, and 26 only.

Together, these boundaries form the top and bottom surfaces of the geometry.
3 In the Surface-to-Ambient Radiation settings window, locate the Surface-to-Ambient Radiation section. 4 From the list, choose User defined. In the associated edit field, type epsilon. 5 In the Tamb edit field, type T0.

Outflow 1
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and choose Outflow. 2 Select Boundary 1 only.

Heat Flux 1
1 Right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and choose Heat Flux. 2 Select Boundaries 3, 8, 13, and 25 only. 3 In the Heat Flux settings window, locate the Heat Flux section. 4 Click the Inward heat flux button. 5 In the h edit field, type h_downside. 6 In the Text edit field, type T0.

Heat Flux 2
1 Right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and choose Heat Flux. 2 Select Boundaries 4, 9, and 26 only. 3 In the Heat Flux settings window, locate the Heat Flux section. 4 Click the Inward heat flux button. 5 In the h edit field, type h_upside.

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6 In the Text edit field, type T0.

Heat Flux 3
1 Right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and choose Heat Flux. 2 Select Boundary 14 only. 3 In the Heat Flux settings window, locate the Heat Flux section. 4 In the q0 edit field, type q_shoulder.

Boundary Heat Source 1


1 Right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and choose Boundary Heat Source. 2 Select Boundaries 15 and 19 only. 3 In the Boundary Heat Source settings window, locate the Boundary Heat Source

section.
4 In the Qb edit field, type q_pin.

Temperature 1
1 Right-click Heat Transfer in Solids and choose Temperature. 2 Select Boundary 28 only. 3 In the Temperature settings window, locate the Temperature section. 4 In the T0 edit field, type T0.
MATERIALS

Now specify the materials. By default, the first material you add applies to all domains. To specify a different material in some domains you simply add another material for those domains.

Material Browser
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1 right-click Materials and choose Open Material Browser. 2 In the Material Browser settings window, In the tree, select Built-In>Aluminum. 3 Click Add Material to Model.

Add a material for the pin and specify the required properties.

Material 2
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Materials and choose Material. 2 Right-click Material 2 and choose Rename. 3 Go to the Rename Material dialog box and type Pin in the New name edit field.

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4 Click OK. 5 Select Domain 4 only. 6 In the Material settings window, locate the Material Contents section. 7 In the table, enter the following settings:
Property Name Value 42[W/(m*K)] 7800[kg/m^3] 500[J/(kg*K)]

Thermal conductivity Density Heat capacity at constant pressure


MESH 1

k rho Cp

Free Quad 1
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1 right-click Mesh 1 and choose More Operations>Free Quad. 2 Select Boundaries 4, 9, and 26 only.

Size
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1>Mesh 1 click Size. 2 In the Size settings window, locate the Element Size section. 3 From the Predefined list, choose Extremely fine. 4 Click the Build All button.

Free Triangular 1
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Mesh 1 and choose More Operations>Free Triangular. 2 Select Boundaries 14 and 18 only.

Size 1
Right-click Model 1>Mesh 1>Free Triangular 1 and choose Size.

Swept 1
In the Model Builder window, right-click Mesh 1 and choose Swept.

Distribution 1
1 In the Model Builder window, under Model 1>Mesh 1 right-click Swept 1 and choose Distribution. 2 In the Distribution settings window, locate the Distribution section. 3 In the Number of elements edit field, type 2.

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4 Click the Build All button.

STUDY 1

For this fairly small problem, use a direct solver for faster convergence.
1 In the Model Builder window, right-click Study 1 and choose Show Default Solver. 2 Expand the Study 1>Solver Configurations node.

Solver 1
1 In the Model Builder window, expand the Study 1>Solver Configurations>Solver 1>Stationary Solver 1 node. 2 Right-click Direct and choose Enable. 3 Right-click Study 1 and choose Compute.
RESULTS

Temperature (ht)
The first default plot group shows the temperature field as a surface plot. Use the second default plot group as the starting point for reproducing the plot in Figure 4.

Isothermal Contours (ht)


1 In the Model Builder window, expand the Results>Isothermal Contours (ht) node,

then click Isosurface.

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2 In the Isosurface settings window, locate the Levels section. 3 From the Entry method list, choose Levels. 4 In the Levels edit field, type range(300,20,980). 5 Locate the Coloring and Style section. Clear the Color legend check box. 6 In the Model Builder window, under Results>Isothermal Contours (ht) right-click Arrow volume and choose Disable. 7 Right-click Isothermal Contours (ht) and choose Slice. 8 In the Slice settings window, locate the Plane Data section. 9 From the Plane list, choose xy-planes. 10 From the Entry method list, choose Coordinates. 11 In the z-coordinates edit field, type 1. 12 Locate the Coloring and Style section. From the Color table list, choose ThermalLight. 13 Click the Plot button.

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