Experimental and Numerical Investigations into Magnetic Pulse Welding of Aluminum Alloy 6016 to Hardened Steel 22MnB5
By means of magnetic pulse welding (MPW), high-quality joints can be produced without some of the disadvantages of conventional welding, such as thermal softening, distortion, and other undesired temperature-induced effects. However, the range of materials that have successfully been joined by MPW is mainly limited to comparatively soft materials such as copper or aluminum. This paper presents an extensive experimental study leading to a process window for the successful MPW of aluminum alloy 6016 (AA6016) to hardened 22MnB5 steel sheets. This window is defined by the impact velocity and impact angle of the AA6016 flyer. These parameters, which are significantly dependent on the initial gap between flyer and target, the charging energy of the pulse power generator, and the lateral position of the flyer in relation to the inductor, were determined by a macroscopic coupled multiphysics simulation in LS-DYNA. The welded samples were mechanically characterized by lap shear tests. Furthermore, the bonding zone was analyzed by optical and scanning electron microscopy including energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy as well as nanoindentation. It was found that the samples exhibited a wavy interface and a transition zone consisting of Al-rich intermetallic phases. Samples with comparatively thin and therefore crack-free transition zones showed a 45% higher shear tensile strength resulting in failure in the aluminum base material.