The welding/joining of polymeric components is essential for the production of polymer parts with complex design, large size and with combination of materials with different properties. This has driven the improvement of current techniques and developing new welding/joining processes. Friction Spot Welding (FSpW) was developed and patented in 2005 by the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) research centre, in Germany. The use of FSpW for welding lap joints of polymers and composites has been studied through a collaboration between Prof. Leonardo Canto (UFSCar, Brazil) and Prof. Sergio Amancio (HZG, Germany). The aim of this study is to perform the characterization of lap joints of polyamide 6 sheets and carbon fiber reinforced polyamide 66 laminates. These joints were welded by FSpW using 43 different experimental conditions. Lap joints will be analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to evaluate the changes in the degree of crystallinity of polymers as a function of the welding conditions. The polymer degradation of welded area will be assessed through evaluation of the molecular weight of the polymers by solution viscosimetry. Microstructural analyses of polymer/composite interface will be performed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The data will be treated through an experimental design (DOE) in order to make a correlation between welding conditions, microstructural characteristics and mechanical performance.
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