Evaluation of Usefulness of AlCrN Coatings for Increased Life of Tools Used in Friction Stir Welding (FSW) of Sheet Aluminum Alloy
The study presents the results of examinations of wear in tools made of 1.2344 steel without and with an anti-wear coating in the process of welding overlap joints of sheet metal made of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy using friction stir welding (FSW) technology. A commercial anti-wear AlCrN coating (Balinit® Alcrona Pro by Oerlikon Balzers Coating Poland Sp. z o.o., Polkowice, Poland) was examined, applied using physical vapor deposition (PVD) and used to improve tool life in metalworking processes.
... orking processes. Wear tests for the tools were conducted in industrial conditions at specific parameters of the friction stir welding process. Tool wear was evaluated through examination of the tool working surface. The results of the static tensile strength tests and metallographic examinations of the joints were used to evaluate the effect of tool wear and the coating impact on joint quality. The results obtained in the study show that the tool made of 1.2344 steel was intensively worn after the welding of a joint with the length of 200 m, increasing the risk associated with further use of the tool and suggesting the tool's low durability. The use of the AlCrN coating led to an increase in tool life. The coating limits the process of tool wear and can be used as an anti-wear coating for tools used in the FSW of aluminum alloys.