ABSTRACT. Presented here are the re-sults from a series of experiments inwhich dissimilar metal welds were madeusing the gas tungsten arc weldingprocess with pure argon or argon-6% hy-drogen shielding gas. The objective wasto determine if cracking near the fusionboundary of dissimilar metal welds couldbe caused by hydrogen absorbed duringwelding and to characterize the mi-crostructures in which cracking oc-curred. Welds consisted of ER308 andER309LSi austenitic stainless steel andERNiCr-3 nickel-based filler metals de-posited on A36 steel base metal. Crack-ing was observed in welds made with allthree filler metals. A ferrofluid color met-allography technique revealed thatcracking was confined to regions in theweld metal containing martensite. Mi-crohardness indentations indicated thatmartensitic regions in which cracking oc-curred had hardness values from 400 to550 HV. Cracks did not extend into bulkweld metal with hardness less than 350HV. Martensite formed near the fusionboundary in all three filler metals due toregions of locally increased base metaldilution.
Dissimilar metal welds are used ex-tensively in the power generation, petro-chemical and heavy fabrication indus-tries. Numerous instances of crackingalong the dissimilar metal fusion bound-ary have been reported, particularly incladding applications where a corrosion-resistant austenitic alloy is applied to aferritic structural steel. Often this crack-ing, or disbonding, has been associatedwith exposure to hydrogen in serviceand, as a result, the mechanism has beendescribed by various authors as a form ofhydrogen-induced cracking (Refs. 1–13).This type of cracking has been repro-duced in the laboratory by exposingaustenitic cladding to hydrogen, either inan autoclave or by cathodic charging(Refs. 1–3, 7, 8, 11–13).In practice, however, this form ofcracking has occurred during fabrica-tion, prior to exposure to a hydrogen en-vironment. The fact that disbonding canoccur without prolonged exposure to hy-drogen in service suggests that either hy-drogen is not necessary for disbonding tooccur, or hydrogen absorbed duringwelding can cause cracking near the dis-similar metal fusion boundary.The fusion boundary microstructurein dissimilar welds often possesses someunique features. Normal epitaxial nucle-ation during solidification along the fu-sion boundary gives rise to grain bound-aries that are continuous from the basemetal into weld metal across the fusionboundary. These boundaries are roughlyperpendicular to the fusion boundaryand have been referred to as “Type I”boundaries. In dissimilar welds, wherean austenitic weld metal and ferritic basemetal exist, a second type of boundarythat runs roughly parallel to the fusionboundary is often observed. This hasbeen referred to as a “Type II” boundary(Ref. 6). These boundaries typically haveno continuity across the fusion boundaryto grain boundaries in the base metal.Several investigators have reported thathydrogen-induced disbonding typicallyfollows Type II grain boundaries (Refs.1–4, 7, 8, 12,13). The disbonding phe-nomenon that occurs following fabrica-tion and prior to service has also been as-sociated with these Type II boundaries.An additional complication inaustenitic/ferritic dissimilar welds is thedramatic transition in composition and
WELDING RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT |
R E S E A R C H / D E V E L O P M E N T / R E S E A R C H / D E V E L O P M E N T / R E S E A R C H / D E V E L O P M E N T / R E S E A R C H / D E V E L O P M E N T
SUPPLEMENT TO THE
, FEBRUARY 1999
Sponsored by the American Welding Society and the Welding Research Council
Hydrogen-Induced Cracking along the FusionBoundary of Dissimilar Metal Welds
BY M. D. ROWE, T. W. NELSON AND J. C. LIPPOLD
The susceptibility of dissimilar austenitic/ferritic combinations to hydrogen-induced cracking near the fusion boundary has been investigated
HydrogenWeld CrackingDissimilar MetalAustenitic StainlessFiller MetalsNickel-Based FillerGTAWMartensite
M. D. ROWE, T. W. NELSONand J. C. LIP- POLDwere all with the Welding and Joining Metallurgy Group, The Ohio State University,Columbus, Ohio, at the time this paper was written. Currently, M. D. ROWE is a graduate student at the Colorado School of Mines,Golden, Col., and T. W. NELSON is an Assis- tant Professor at Brigham Young University,Provo, Utah.