Evaluation of post-weld heat treatments for corrosion protection in friction stir welded 2024 and 7075 aluminum alloys

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Widener, Christian Aragon
Bahr, Behnam

This dissertation presents the results of an investigation into the corrosion resistance of friction stir welding (FSW) for aerospace structures. Two of the most common aerospace aluminum alloys, 2024 and 7075, were investigated. In the as-welded condition, both alloys were found to be highly susceptible to exfoliation corrosion, and 7075 was found to be susceptible to stress corrosion cracking as well. The goal of this research was to identify proper initial temper selection and postweld aging treatments for enhancing the corrosion resistance of both 2024 and 7075 alloys, and their dissimilar joints. A large number of heat treatments were investigated for 7075 in the T6 and T73 tempers, including retrogression re-aging (RRA). Heat treatments were also investigated for 2024-T3 and 2024-T81. Samples were evaluated for resistance to exfoliation corrosion using optical microscopy. Microhardness, electrical conductivity, tension, and fatigue crack propagation tests were also performed on the samples. Beneficial heat treatments were found for both alloys as well as for their dissimilar joints.

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"December 2005."
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering