Metalic Fluidity: The Plastic Flow Key

Semi-finalist 2024

Artistic rendering of Friction Stir Welding with a swirling Van Gogh-inspired background.
Submitted by:Sofia Salazar
Department:Chemical & Materials Engineering

Friction Stir Welding is a unique process that joins metal plates in a dance of creation. Through the rotation of the main tool composed of the pin and the shoulder, it stirs two metal pieces together. This technique forges a bond without melting the base materials, making FSW a cold state welding process that allows the joining of aluminum material. This process unfolds a tapestry of physical phenomena—among them, friction capable of generating temperatures just high enough to plastically deform metal. Despite extensive research, the intricate physics behind this innovative method retain their mysteries, eluding complete scientific understanding. This artwork encapsulates the beauty of Friction Stir Welding through a Van Gogh-inspired lens, where a luminous point marks the weld and is enveloped by concentric rings, echoing the signature circular isotherms characteristic of this process. The background, reminiscent of space, serves as a metaphor for the aerospace industry where FSW finds extensive application. It’s a visual symphony that celebrates the unseen artistry of metal joining, a convergence of science and art that transforms raw force into the most elegant metal union.

Was your image created using Generative AI?

Which model of generative AI did you use?
DALL-E 2 by OpenAI

How was your image created?
The image you see was crafted using an iterative process with the advanced image generation feature of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence model developed by OpenAI. This tool interprets written descriptions and translates them into complex visual representations. To create this particular piece, a detailed text prompt was provided to the AI, describing the essence of the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process, coupled with the request for an artistic style reminiscent of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. The AI then processed this input to produce an initial image. Following the initial creation, further refinements to the prompt were made to adjust the visual style, composition, and elements to more closely align with the desired artistic interpretation of FSW.

How did you craft your prompt to guide the generative AI in creating your image? Please describe the technique or approach you used to convey your vision to the AI.
The image was created using generative AI, which I directed with detailed prompts to illustrate the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process. In seeking a lateral view of the welding on an aluminum plate, I emphasized the stirred mass and the temperature gradient through a spectrum of vivid colors. Inspired by Van Gogh’s style, my goal was to visualize the circular isotherms of heat with the precision of metalwork, merging scientific insight with artistic expression. One of my initial instructions was: “Provide me with a picture that captures the beauty and complexity of Friction Stir Welding, including the temperature gradient, weld pool, and the plastic deformation of the metal around the pin, rendered in Van Gogh’s style to also evoke the cosmos and metal texture simultaneously.” I then added more specifics to refine the image.