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Advances in Materials & Material Processing

Advances in Materials & Material Processing

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Published by Faisal Ashraf Asmi

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Published by: Faisal Ashraf Asmi on Jan 17, 2010
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01/16/2010

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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCES IN MATERIALS AND MATERIALS PROCESSING
 
NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF MELTING AND SOLIDIFICATIONIN LASER WELDING OF MILD STEEL
M. Sundar*, D.K. Bandyopadyay, S.P. Chaudhuri, P.K. Dey, D. Misra and S. Roy
School of Laser Science & Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata-700032
*
E-mail: marimuthusundar@yahoo.com
Abstract
:
Melting and solidification in a laser welding process is analyzed following two differenttransient models: (I) with fluid flow and (II) without fluid flow i.e. pure conduction and with variousbeam powers and scanning speeds. Based on these models, numerical simulations for laser welding of mild steel have been carried out using commercial software, Fluent. The present study investigates theeffects of fluid flow, beam power and scanning speed on heat transfer and the weld pool geometry.Analysis shows that consideration of fluid motion has pronounced effects on temperature and weld poolgeometry. It is observed that the effect of fluid flow becomes prominent at higher beam power. Theweld pool length, width and depth decreases and approaches to a near constant value with increase inscanning speed. Advection becomes prominent in the weld pool and, thereby, plays an important role indetermining the size and shape of the final weld pool geometry.
Key Words:
CFD,
 
Laser welding, Melting, Solidification, Weld pool.
 
INTRODUCTION
In laser welding process the parts to be joined are locally melted by an intense laser beam, followedby a solidification process as the beam moves away. The mechanical strength and microstructure of such joints are strongly dependent on the thermal history in the weld zone and the nearby heataffected zone (HAZ). One of the main advantages of laser welding is its low HAZ. To keep track of the HAZ and other properties, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the fluid flow andheat transfer mechanism in the weld pool. Since molten metals are opaque, flow visualization of theweld pool is difficult. Hence, it is necessary to have an appropriate mathematical model for clearunderstanding of the transport mechanism in the weld pool.Figure 1: Schematic Diagram of Laser Welding Process.
Figure 1
is a schematic representation of the laser welding process considered. A continuous laserbeam of sufficient intensity is incident upon the work piece, which is moving at a constant velocity(scanning speed). A significant fraction of the incident energy is absorbed by the work piece leadingto the formation of weld pool. As the work piece passes the intense laser beam, the weld pool travelsalong the scanning direction. The weld pool starts solidifying as it crosses the laser beam.
 
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCES IN MATERIALS AND MATERIALS PROCESSING
 
NOMENCLATURE
A
m
= Mushy Zone Constant
 
T = Temperature (K)B = Thickness (m)T
= Ambient temperature (K)C
p
= Specific heat (J/kg-K) u = Fluid Velocity (m/s)g= Acceleration due to gravity (m/s
2
) U = Scanning Velocity of Laser Beam (m/s)h = Sensible enthalpy (J/kg) W = Width (m)h
c
= Combined transfer coefficient for radiativeand convective boundary condition. (W/m
2
K)x, y, z = coordinates (m)h
ref 
= Reference enthalpy (J/kg) t = time (s)H = specific enthalpy (J/kg)H
L
= Latent heat of fusion (J/kg)
Greek symbols
Δ
H = Latent Heat =
β
H
L
(J/kg)
β
= Liquid fraction.K = Conductivity (W/m K)
ε
r
= EmissivityL = Length (m)
μ
= Molecular viscosity(Pa-s)P = Static pressure (Pa)
ρ
= Density (kg/m
3)
q
flux
=
 
Heat flux (W/m
2
)
ε
= a constant to prevent division by zeroIn order to model the dynamic development of the weld pool, the transient analysis of the temperatureand the fluid flow must be considered [1]. As the workpiece melts, the absorbed energy induces apredominantly surface tension driven flow from the top, which redistributes the fluid momentum aswell as the thermal energy in the weld pool. The induced flow, as a result of the beam power and thescanning speed, determines the final shape and size of the weld pool and the HAZ.Current research in the area of laser welding is mainly focused on the solidification behaviors and themicrostructural evolution through interaction between the laser beam and materials [2, 3]. A threedimensional quasi-steady state heat transfer model for the laser material processing without latentheat and a moving heat source of Gaussian type distribution has been studied by Damborenea [4].The Marangoni effect has been studied by Mazumder [5] and Schmidt [6] in a cylindrical geometry.The present work considers two models: (I) involving latent heat of fusion and fluid flow, (II)involving latent heat of fusion and pure conduction and compares results in terms of transienttemperature distribution and the weld pool geometry. The present study addresses the simulation of the laser welding process and discusses the effects of laser power and scanning speed on the weldpool geometry.
FORMULATION
Numerical simulation is carried by the finite volume based code FLUENT. The mathematical modelused in this work is based on the Navier-Stokes equations [7].
()()()
u v wt x y z
 ρ  ρ ρ ρ 
+ + +
= 0 (1)
()().(())
v vv p g v s
 ρ ρ ρ μ 
+Δ = Δ + +Δ Δ
(2)
 
The enthalpy-porosity technique [8] treats the mushy region (partially solidified region) as a porousmedium. The porosity in each cell is set equal to the liquid fraction in that cell. In fully solidifiedregions, the porosity is equal to zero, which extinguishes the velocities in these regions. Themomentum sink, s in Eq. (2) due to the reduced porosity in the mushy zone takes the following form:
23
(1)s()()
m
 A v
 β φ  β ε 
=+
(3)
 
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ADVANCES IN MATERIALS AND MATERIALS PROCESSING
 
The energy equation based on enthalpy is as follows:
()()()()
 H uH vH wt x y z
 ρ  ρ ρ ρ 
+ + +
=
 ()()()
T T K K  x x y y z z
+ +∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
(4)H=h+
Δ
H, h = h
ref 
+
ref 
 p
C dT 
∫ 
(5)
 Boundary conditions
:
At the top surface:Heat flux input with heat loss due to convection [9] and radiation can be expressed as,
fluxc
q - h (T-T )
n
=
(6)
-41.61c
h = 24.110T
ε 
×
(7)The shear stresses caused by the variation of surface tension [10] due to temperature is givenby
s
σ τ 
=
(8)where,
σ 
= Surface tension gradient and
s
= Surface gradientAt all other surfaces (except at the top surface):Heat loss due to convection and radiation is given by
c
h (T-T )
n
=
(9)The governing equations and boundary conditions setup in the present analysis are discretized andsolved using simplex algorithm. The equations in this model are solved sequentially. As thegoverning equations are non-linear and coupled, several iterations of the solution loop is performedbefore a converged solution is obtained.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
The processing of a mild steel plate with dimensions of length (L) 15 mm, width (W) 7.5 mm andthickness (B) 5 mm has been considered for the purpose of computation. The transient simulation iscarried out with initial temperature of 300 K and beam diameter 2 mm throughout the study. Forsimplicity, we have taken constant thermophysical properties for the present analysis, except for thevariation of surface tension. Because of the presence of surface-active elements such as sulfur andmanganese, the temperature coefficient of surface tension is usually positive for the case of mildsteel. For the present case, we have taken a positive surface tension coefficient (0.0005 N/m K [11]).Results are presented for various beam powers and scanning speeds considering two different modelsas shown in
Table 1
.
 
Table 1: Process parameters used for studyCase No Power (kW) Speed (mm/sec)1 1 5,10,20,302 2 5,10,20,303 4 5,10,20,30To highlight the transport phenomena vis-à-vis the models considered, typical results are presented inthe form of temperature contours (
Figures 2 and 3
) for a beam power of 2 kW and scanning speedof 20 mm/s. Analysis shows that the isotherms expand as time progresses and it moves with the beam

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