Published in Metals Vol. 8 (3), pp. 183, 2018
This work studies the metallurgical and microstructural aspects of Friction Stir Welding (FSW) in terms of grain size and microhardness. The modelling is based on the combination of an apropos kinematic framework for the local simulation of FSW processes and a material particle tracing technique for tracking the material flow during the weld. The resulting grain size and microhardness values are validated with experimental observations from an identical processed sample. A Sheppard-Wright constitutive relation is adopted to describe the mechanical behavior of AZ31 Mg alloy considered in this work. The strain rate and temperature histories obtained from the numerical model are stored on the tracers. The relationship among the grain size, microhardness, strain rate, and temperature is obtained using Zener-Hollomon parameter and Hall-Petch relationship. A linear description relates the logarithm of average grain size to the logarithm of Zener-Hollomon parameter. The relationship between microhardness and average grain size stands away from the linear trend.