In this chapter, we describe the development of a new approach to simulate the friction stir-welding (FSW) process using a solid-mechanics formulation of a mesh-free Lagrangian method called smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). Although this type of a numerical model typically requires long calculation times, we have developed a very efficient parallelization strategy on the graphics processing unit (GPU). This simulation approach allows the determination of temperature evolution, elastic and plastic deformation, defect formation, residual stresses, and material flow all within the same model. More importantly, the large plastic deformation and material mixing common to FSW are well captured by the mesh-free method. The parallel strategy on the GPU provides a means to obtain meaningful simulation results within hours as opposed to many days or even weeks with conventional FSW simulation codes.
Part of the book: Joining Technologies