The research work reported here was aimed at investigating the feasibility of joining high-porosity stainless steel discs and wrought iron bars by friction welding. The sound friction-welded joints were then subjected to a metallurgical investigation and an analysis of failure resulting from tensile loading. Discs having 50 mm diameter and 10 mm thickness were produced by loose sintering of stainless steel powder at a temperature of 1350 oC in an argon atmosphere for one hour. Minor machining was then carried out to control the dimensions of the discs, and the density of each disc could then be determined. The level of porosity was calculated and was found to be about 40% in all of those discs. Solid wrought iron bars were also machined to facilitate tensile testing of the joints produced by friction welding. Using our previously gained experience, the porous stainless steel disc and the wrought iron tube were successfully friction welded. SEM was employed to examine the fracture surface after a tensile test of the joint in order to determine the type of failure. It revealed that the failure did not occur in the joint, but rather in the in the porous metal in the area adjacent to the joint. The load carrying capacity was actually determined by the strength of the porous metal and not by that of the welded joint. Macroscopic and microscopic metallographic examinations were also performed and showed that the welded joint involved a dense heat-affected zone where the porous metal underwent densification at elevated temperature, explaining and supporting the findings of the SEM study.
Fiber reinforced polymeric (FRP) composites are finding wide-spread industrial applications because of their exceptionally high specific strength and specific modulus of elasticity. Nevertheless, it is very seldom to get ready-for-use components or products made of FRP composites. Secondary processing by machining, particularly drilling, is almost always required to make holes for fastening components together to produce assemblies. That creates problems since the FRP composites are neither homogeneous nor isotropic. Some of the problems that are encountered include the subsequent damage in the region around the drilled hole and the drilling – induced delamination of the layer of ply, that occurs both at the entrance and the exit planes of the work piece. Evidently, the functionality of the work piece would be detrimentally affected. The current work was carried out with the aim of eliminating or at least minimizing the work piece damage associated with drilling of FPR composites. Each test specimen involves a woven reinforced graphite fiber/epoxy composite having a thickness of 12.5 mm (0.5 inch). A large number of test specimens were subjected to drilling operations with different combinations of feed rates and cutting speeds. The drilling induced damage was taken as the absolute value of the difference between the drilled hole diameter and the nominal one taken as a percentage of the nominal diameter. The later was determined for each combination of feed rate and cutting speed, and a matrix comprising those values was established, where the columns indicate varying feed rate while and rows indicate varying cutting speeds. Next, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) approach was employed using Minitab software, in order to obtain the combination that would improve the drilling induced damage. Experimental results show that low feed rates coupled with low cutting speeds yielded the best results.