Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



Welding is a fabrication process that joint materials, is extensively utilized in almost every field of metal constructions. Heterogeneity in mechanical properties, metallurgical and geometrical defects, post-weld residual stresses and distortion due to non-linear welding processes are prime concerns for performance reduction and failures of welded structures. Consequently, structural integrity analysis and performance improvement of weld joints are important issues that must be considered for structural safety and durability under loading. In this study, an extensive experimental program and analysis were undertaken on the challenges towards structural integrity analysis and performance improvement of different welded joints. Two widely used welding techniques including solid-state “friction- stir- welding (FSW)” and fusion arc “gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)” were employed on two widely utilized materials, namely aluminum alloys and structural steels. Various destructive and non-destructive techniques were utilized for structural integrity analysis of the welded joints. Furthermore, various “post-weld treatment (PWT)” techniques were employed to improve mechanical performances of weld joints. The work herein is divided into six different sections including: (i) Establishment of an empirical correlation for FSW of aluminum alloys. The developed empirical correlation relates the three critical FSW process parameters and was found to successfully distinguish defective and defect-free weld schedules; (ii) Development of an optimized “adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS)” model utilizing welding process parameters to predict ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of FSW joints; (iii) Determination of an optimum post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) condition for FS-welded aluminum alloys; (iv) Exploration on the influence of non-destructively evaluated weld-defects and obtain an optimum PWHT condition for GTA-welded aluminum alloys; (v) Investigation on the influence of PWHT and electrolytic-plasma-processing (EPP) on the performance of welded structural steel joints; and finally, (vi) Biaxial fatigue behavior evaluation of welded structural steel joints. The experimental research could be utilized to obtain defect free weld joints, establish weld acceptance/rejection criteria, and for the better design of welded aluminum alloy and steel structures. All attempted research steps mentioned above were carried out successfully. The results obtained within this effort will increase overall understanding of the structural integrity of welded aluminum alloys and steel structures.



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Committee Chair

Wahab, Muhammad