Antonia Martínez Luévanos
Abstract: Precipitation hardening aluminum alloys are used in many industries due to their excellent mechanical properties, including good weldability. During a welding process, the tensile strength of the joint is critical to appropriately exploit the original properties of the material. The welding processes
are still under study, and gas metal arc welding (GMAW) in pulsed metal-transfer configuration is one of the best choices to join these alloys. In this study, the welding of 6061 aluminum alloy by pulsed GMAWwas performed under two heat treatment conditions and by using two filler metals, namely: ER 4043 (AlSi5) and ER 4553 (AlMg5Cr). A solubilization heat treatment T4 was used to dissolve the precipitates of ”- phase into the aluminum matrix from the original T6 heat treatment, leading in the formation of -phase precipitates instead, which contributes to higher mechanical resistance. As a result, the T4 heat treatment improves the quality of the weld joint and increases the tensile strength in comparison to the T6 condition. The filler metal also plays an important role, and
our results indicate that the use of ER 4043 produces stronger joints than ER 4553, but only under specific processing conditions, which include a moderate heat net flux. The latter is explained because Mg, Si and Cu are reported as precursors of the production of ”- phase due to heat input from the welding process and the redistribution of both: ” and precipitates, causes a ductile intergranular fracture near the heat aected zone of the weld joint.