Surface Modification on Magnesium Alloys’ Hardness and Microstructure Using Friction Stir Processing – A Review


  • Zuhairah Zulkfli Faculty of Manufacturing and Mechatronic Engineering Technology, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, 26600 Pahang, Malaysia.
  • Zamzuri Hamedon Faculty of Manufacturing and Mechatronic Engineering Technology, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, 26600 Pahang, Malaysia.
  • Nanang Fatchurrohman Universitas Putra Indonesia YPTK Padang



Friction Stir Processing, Surface Modification, Magnesium Alloys, Hardness, Microstructure


Low density of magnesium-based alloy is one potential as the lightest structural material for light weight-high strength applications for automotive and aerospace. Severe plastic deformation (SPD) together with thermomechanical processing are proved to be a successful method for attaining desired microstructural modifications through achieving fine and highly misoriented microstructures and creating various structures to the bulk properties of magnesium alloy. The material's deformation can result in an altered microstructure that is gainful to the material's requirements. However, the poor deformability of magnesium and its alloys limits the application of the thermomechanical approach. Controlling over temperature and deformation rate is hard to achieve. Among the thermomechanical processes, friction stir processing (FSP) offers an easy way to achieve process stability and mechanical properties enhancement by heat treatment which results in the closure of porosity and refined grain size. During this process, heat is generated by the rotation of the FSP processing tool. Few process parameters such as rotational and traverse speeds should be controlled to make FSP stay within the defined processing condition. It is critical to set the right tool rotational speed as well as traverse speed to ensure adequate heat generation. As there are no established standards for operating the FSP, the only solution is to experiment with different settings to find the best parameter which will produce better quality on processed magnesium alloy workpiece. This paper explores earlier studies on surface modification via FSP technique to improve the mechanical properties strengthening of magnesium alloy mainly on grain size and hardness. The surface modification was done mostly on popular series of magnesium alloy (AZ series) using different tool material, tool geometry and different parameters combination. A comprehensive view of surface modification on magnesium alloys which includes the FSP tool and workpiece material used, variations of FSP parameters settings as well as the effect on hardness and microstructure analysis will be discussed.


Mahto, R. P., Anishetty, S., Sarkar, A., Mypati, O., Pal, S. K., & Majumdar, J. D. (2018). Interfacial microstructural and corrosion characterizations of friction stir welded AA6061-T6 and AISI304 materials. Metals and Materials International, 25(3), 752–767.

Sharma, H. K., Bhatt, K., Shah, K., & Joshi, U. (2016). Experimental analysis of friction stir welding of dissimilar alloys AA6061 and Mg AZ31 using circular butt joint geometry. Procedia Technology, 23, 566–572.

Sandeepa Sarma, K. L. N., Srikanth, A., & Venkateshwarlu, B. (2020). Methodological approach for best tool geometry determination in friction stir welding process. Materials Today: Proceedings, xxxx.

Sevvel, P., & Jaiganesh, V. (2014a). An detailed examination on the future prospects of friction stir welding – a green technology. Proceedings of Second International Conference on Advances in Industrial Engineering Applications (ICAIEA 2014), 275–280.

Zykova, A. P., Tarasov, Sergei Yu Chumaevskiy, A. V, & Kolubaev, E. A. (2020). A review of friction stir processing of structural metallic materials : process, properties, and methods. Metals, 10(772).

Azizieh, M., Kokabi, A. H., & Abachi, P. (2011). Effect of rotational speed and probe profile on microstructure and hardness of AZ31/Al2O3 nanocomposites fabricated by friction stir processing. Materials and Design, 32, 2034–2041.

Ahmad, B., Galloway, A., & Toumpis, A. (2018). Advanced numerical modelling of friction stir welded low alloy steel. Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 34, 625–636.

Arun Kumar, R., Aakash Kumar, R. G., Anees Ahamed, K., Denise Alstyn, B., & Vignesh, V. (2019). Review of friction stir processing of aluminium alloys. Materials Today: Proceedings, 16, 1048–1054.

Padhy, G. K., Wu, C. S., & Gao, S. (2018). Friction stir based welding and processing technologies - processes, parameters, microstructures and applications: A review. Journal of Materials Science and Technology, 34(1), 1–38.

Simar, A., & Avettand-Fènoël, M.-N. (2016). State of the art about dissimilar metal friction stir welding. Science and Technology of Welding and Joining, 1718, 0–15.

Balaji, V., Bupesh Raja, V. K., Palanikumar, K., Ponshanmugakumar, Aditya, N., & Rohit, V. (2021). Effect of heat treatment on magnesium alloys used in automotive industry: A review. Materials Today: Proceedings, 46, 3769–3771.

Wang, W., Han, P., Peng, P., Zhang, T., Liu, Q., Yuan, S.-N., Huang, L.-Y., Yu, H. L., Qiao, K., & Wang, K.-S. (2020). Friction stir processing of magnesium alloys: A review. Acta Metallurgica Sinica (English Letters), 33(1), 43–57.

Chintalu, R. S., Padmanaban, R., & Vignesh, R. V. (2021). Finite element modelling of thermal history during friction stir processing of AA5052. Materials Today: Proceedings, xxxx, 1–7.

Shang, Q., Ni, D. R., Xue, P., Xiao, B. L., Wang, K. S., & Ma, Z. Y. (2019). An approach to enhancement of Mg alloy joint performance by additional pass of friction stir processing. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 264, 336–345.

Babu, J., Anjaiah, M., & Mathew, A. (2018). Experimental studies on friction stir processing of AZ31 magnesium alloy. Materials Today: Proceedings, 5, 4515–4522.

Rajmohan, T., Prasad, K. G., Jeyavignesh, S., Kamesh, K., Karthick, S., & Duraimurugan, S. (2018). Studies on friction stir processing parameters on microstructure and micro hardness of Silicon carbide (SiC) particulate reinforced Magnesium(Mg) surface composites. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 390(1), 012013.

Vedabouriswaran, G., & Aravindan, S. (2018). Development and characterization studies on magnesium alloy (RZ 5) surface metal matrix composites through friction stir processing. Journal of Magnesium and Alloys, 6(2), 145–163.

Ramaiyan, S., Santhanam, S. K. V., & Muthuguru, P. (2018). Effect of scroll pin profile and tool rotational speed on mechanical properties of submerged friction stir processed AZ31B magnesium alloy. Materials Research, 21(3).

Mehrian, S. S. M., Rahsepar, M., Khodabakhshi, F., & Gerlich, A. P. (2021). Effects of friction stir processing on the microstructure, mechanical and corrosion behaviors of an aluminum-magnesium alloy. Surface and Coatings Technology, 405, 126647.

Luo, X. C., Zhang, D. T., Cao, G. H., Qiu, C., & Chen, D. L. (2019). High-temperature tensile behavior of AZ61 magnesium plate prepared by multi-pass friction stir processing. Materials Science and Engineering A, 759, 234–240.

Sidhu, H. S., Singh, B., & Kumar, P. (2021). To study the corrosion behavior of friction stir processed magnesium alloy AZ91. Materials Today: Proceedings, 44, 4633–4639.

Luo, X. C., Kang, L. M., Liu, H. L., Li, Z. J., Liu, Y. F., Zhang, D. T., & Chen, D. L. (2020). Enhancing mechanical properties of AZ61 magnesium alloy via friction stir processing: Effect of processing parameters. Materials Science and Engineering A, 797(139945), 1–8.

Singh, K., Singh, G., & Singh, H. (2018). Investigation of microstructure and mechanical properties of friction stir welded AZ61 magnesium alloy joint. Journal of Magnesium and Alloys, 6(3), 292–298.

Ugender, S. (2018). Influence of tool pin profile and rotational speed on the formation of friction stir welding zone in AZ31 magnesium alloy. Journal of Magnesium and Alloys, 6, 205–213.

Sevvel, P., & Jaiganesh, V. (2014b). Characterization of mechanical properties and microstructural analysis of friction stir welded AZ31B Mg alloy thorough optimized process parameters. Procedia Engineering, 97, 741–751.

Arora, H. S., Singh, H., & Dhindaw, B. K. (2012). Some observations on microstructural changes in a Mg-based AE42 alloy subjected to friction stir processing. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science, 43B(1), 92–108.

Sevvel, P., & Jaiganesh, V. (2017b). Investigation on evolution of microstructures and characterization during FSW of AZ80A Mg alloy. Archives of Metallurgy and Materials, 62(3), 1779–1785.

Iwaszko, J., Kudla, K., Fila, K., & Strzelecka, M. (2016). The effect of friction stir processing (FSP) on the microstructure and properties of AM60 magnesium alloy. Archives of Metallurgy and Materials, 61(3), 1555–1560.

Zhen, Y., Shen, J., Hu, S., Yin, C., Yin, F., & Bu, X. (2022). Effect of rotation rate on microstructure and mechanical properties of CMT cladding layer of AZ91 magnesium alloy fabricated by friction stir processing. Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 79, 553–561.

Huang, L., Wang, K., Wang, W., Yuan, J., Qiao, K., Yang, T., Peng, P., & Li, T. (2018). Effects of grain size and texture on stress corrosion cracking of friction stir processed AZ80 magnesium alloy. Engineering Failure Analysis, 92, 392–404.

Liu, Q., Ma, Q. xian, Chen, G. qiang, Cao, X., Zhang, S., Pan, J. luan, Zhang, G., & Shi, Q. yu. (2018). Enhanced corrosion resistance of AZ91 magnesium alloy through refinement and homogenization of surface microstructure by friction stir processing. Corrosion Science, 138, 284–296.

Yousefpour, F., Jamaati, R., & Aval, H. J. (2021). Effect of traverse and rotational speeds on microstructure, texture, and mechanical properties of friction stir processed AZ91 alloy. Materials Characterization, 178, 111235.




How to Cite

Zulkfli, Z., Hamedon, Z. ., & Fatchurrohman, N. . (2023). Surface Modification on Magnesium Alloys’ Hardness and Microstructure Using Friction Stir Processing – A Review. Jurnal Teknologi, 13(1), 39–45.