Lightweight structural applications of magnesium and aluminum alloys inevitably necessitate welding and joining, especially dissimilar welding between these alloys. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of joining ZEK100 Mg alloy to Al6022 alloy via ultrasonic spot welding, focusing on effects of welding energy. An interface diffusion layer consisting of α-Mg and Al12
eutectic structure was observed to form, with its thickness increased from ~0.5 µm to ~30 µm with increasing welding energy from 500 J to 2000 J. The tensile lap shear peak load or strength and critical stress intensity of the welded joints first increased and then decreased with increasing welding energy, with their peak values achieved at 750 J. Fatigue life of the joints made at 750 J and 2000 J was equivalent at the lower cyclic loading levels, while it was longer for the joints made at 750 J at the higher cyclic loading levels. Fatigue fracture mode changed from interfacial failure to mainly transverse-through-thickness crack growth with decreasing cyclic loading level, which corresponded well to the bi-linear characteristic of S-N curves. Crack initiation basically occurred at the weld nugget border and at the interface between the two sheets, which can be understood via a theoretical stress analysis.
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