In the flared probe, the core remains as a taper frustum but the flute lands are flared out at an inverted angle so as to increase the tip diameter. In addition, a tip profile has been included in the shape of a three pronged whisk. These features collectively increase the difference between the swept volume and the static volume of the probe, thereby further improving the flow path around and underneath the probe. The whisk type tip profile provides an improved mixing action for oxide fragmentation and dispersal at the weld interface (see Fig.2).
A lap joint made with a Flared-Triflute TM probe is shown in Fig.3. In this example the width of the weld region is 190% of that of the plate thickness and little upper plate thinning is apparent at the weld interface.
The outer regions of the weld at the overlapping plate/weld interface show a slight upturn (see Fig.4a and b). A greater presence of oxide interface remnant is revealed at the retreating side (see Fig.4a) compared with the advancing side (see Fig.4b).
Flared-Triflute TM probes are well suited for lap and 'T' and similar welds where the interface is 90◦ to the machine axis. Welds made with this tool, using the same process conditions, showed improvement over conventional pin type probes. Moreover, tool and technique used provide an effective method of increasing the width of the weld region; particularly advantageous for material processing. Repeatability trials achieved consistent and good results and when compared with results from a conventional threaded pin type probe the following was established.
- Flared-Triflute TM probe gave >100% improvement in travel speed.
- It also allowed a 20% reduction in axial force.
- Upper plate thinning was also reduced by a factor of 4.
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