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CAVITATION EROSION RESISTANCE OF Co-ALLOYED STAINLESS STEEL WELD CLADDINGS AS COMPARED TO THERMAL SPRAYED COATINGS

CAVITATION EROSION RESISTANCE OF Co-ALLOYED STAINLESS STEEL WELD CLADDINGS AS COMPARED TO THERMAL SPRAYED COATINGS

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Published by Sérgio Barra
The cavitation resistance of various welded and thermal sprayed coatings was investigated by using the vibratory ultrasonic test. Taking the AISI 316 steel as a reference material, for each coating the incubation period and the steady state erosion rate were determined. It was shown that the superior performance of Co- alloyed austenitic stainless steels can further be increased through the evolution from manual SMAW to automatic GMAW with thermal pulsation and oscillation of the torch, whereby grain refining, low dilution and absence of welding defects are the most relevant factors to be controlled. These results were compared to the behaviour of arc X43Cr13 and high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) sprayed Stellite 6 and MCrAlY coatings. The erosion resistance of the thermal sprayed coatings is limited by pores, microcracks and oxides present in these coatings.
The cavitation resistance of various welded and thermal sprayed coatings was investigated by using the vibratory ultrasonic test. Taking the AISI 316 steel as a reference material, for each coating the incubation period and the steady state erosion rate were determined. It was shown that the superior performance of Co- alloyed austenitic stainless steels can further be increased through the evolution from manual SMAW to automatic GMAW with thermal pulsation and oscillation of the torch, whereby grain refining, low dilution and absence of welding defects are the most relevant factors to be controlled. These results were compared to the behaviour of arc X43Cr13 and high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) sprayed Stellite 6 and MCrAlY coatings. The erosion resistance of the thermal sprayed coatings is limited by pores, microcracks and oxides present in these coatings.

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Published by: Sérgio Barra on Nov 22, 2008
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05/09/2014

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CAVITATION EROSION RESISTANCE OF Co-ALLOYED STAINLESSSTEEL WELD CLADDINGS AS COMPARED TO THERMAL SPRAYEDCOATINGS
 
(1)
Leonardo Boccanera
(2)
 
Sérgio R. Barra
(3)
Augusto J. A. Buschinelli
(4)
Rainer Schwetzke
(5)
 
Heinrich Kreye
 
RESUMO
 
Estudou-se a resistência à cavitação de vários revestimentos, depositados por soldageme por aspersão térmica, através do ensaio vibratório ultrasônico. Tomando comoreferência o aço AISI 316, para cada revestimento, foram determinados o período deincubação e a taxa de erosão. Em relação a soldagem manual SMAW o processo GMAWautomatizado, com pulsação térmica e oscilação da tocha, confere superior desempenhoao revestimento de aços inoxidáveis austeníticos ligados ao Co, sendo refinomicroestrutural, baixa diluição e ausência de defeitos estruturais os principais fatores aserem controlados. Esses resultados são comparados ao comportamento de camadas deX43Cr13 aspergidas por arco-elétrico e de Stellite 6 e MCrAlY pelo processo a chama dealta velocidade (HVOF). A resistência à erosão das camadas aspergidas é limitada pelapresença de poros, microtrincas e óxidos, o melhor desempenho sendo alcançado com oprocesso HVOF.
 
Palavras-chave:
Cavitação, Aspersão térmica, Soldagem, Metalurgia.
 
ABSTRACT
 
The cavitation resistance of various welded and thermal sprayed coatings wasinvestigated by using the vibratory ultrasonic test. Taking the AISI 316 steel as a referencematerial, for each coating the incubation period and the steady state erosion rate weredetermined. It was shown that the superior performance of Co- alloyed austenitic stainlesssteels can further be increased through the evolution from manual SMAW to automaticGMAW with thermal pulsation and oscillation of the torch, whereby grain refining, lowdilution and absence of welding defects are the most relevant factors to be controlled.These results were compared to the behaviour of arc X43Cr13 and high-velocity oxy-fuel(HVOF) sprayed Stellite 6 and MCrAlY coatings. The erosion resistance of the thermalsprayed coatings is limited by pores, microcracks and oxides present in these coatings.
 
Keys-words:
Cavitation, Thermal spray, Welding, Metallurgy,
 
(1) Eng. Labsolda /EMC/UFSC - Email: emc3leon@emc.ufsc.br(2) Eng. Labsolda /EMC/UFSC – Email: barra@emc.usfc.br(3) Prof. Dr.-Ing.- Labsolda/EMC/UFSC - Email: buschi@emc.ufsc.brCx. Postal 476 – Campus Universitário Trindade / CEP.: 88040-900 – Florianópolis –SC – Brasil(4) Eng. FB-MB - UniBw-Hamburg - Germany(5) Prof. Dr. rer. nat.- FB-MB - UniBw-Hamburg – Germany
 
 
1. INTRODUCTION
 
Hydroturbine components such as runners, wicket gates and pump impellers are exposedto cavitation resulting from the collapse of vapor bubbles. In order to prevent damage bycavitation erosion, critical areas are cladded with materials possessing a high resistanceto cavitation erosion. Among the coatings usually applied by arc welding techniques thecobalt-base alloys are known to have excellent cavitation resistance, but have beenreplaced for that application with newer cobalt-alloyed stainless steels that offer equivalentor better cavitation resistance and are significantly lower in cost. The deformationbehaviour and fracture of these austenitic steels is typical of materials with low stackingfault energy, what in combination with the strain induced transformation of austenite intomartensite results in high strain hardening rates. The long incubation period and lowerosion rates of the alloy can be related to its high work hardening rate and high fatigueresistance. This relationship
 
has been established previously from cavitation testing and microstructural analysis
 
(1, 2)
.
 
A refined microstructure is also a requisite for a good performance against cavitation, asthe fine grain size produces smaller eroded particles and consequently results in a lowererosion rate. The higher resistance against cavitation associated to the finer grain sizewould be explained by an increase in the work necessary to remove the material, relatedto the expression from Hall-Petch
(3, 4)
.
 
Compared to arc welding, thermal spray processes are less cost effective and cause lessdistortion of the coated parts due to the lower heat imput. Therefore, thermal spraying isoften considered as an attractive alternative to produce cavitation resistant coatings.
 
In this study the application of modern and controlled arc welding and thermal sprayingprocesses and their potential to produce highly protective coatings against cavitationerosion are investigated.
 
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
 
Weld Cladding:
On a carbon steel as base material two buttering layers about 2.5
 
mmthick were deposited with AWS 309-L16 consumable as solid wire with 1.2 mm diameter.For hardfacing with cobalt containing austenitic stainless steel (SS) different weldingprocesses were applied: (1) Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) with a 3.25 mm diameterelectrode (ER); (2) Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) with a flux-cored wire of 1.6 mmdiameter, carried out in a robotic welding cell implemented in Labsolda/UFSC. Table 1presents the chemical composition of the consumables and table 2 summarizes thewelding parameters employed. The GMAW were made with pulsed arc combined withthermal pulsation, oscillation of the torch controlled by robot and checking of the metaltransfer process and the interpass temperature. The weld positions were flat andoverhead with 45
o
to horizontal
(5)
.
 
The cladding SS-1 was deposited under the conditions: I = 120 A, Vs = 25 cm/min, heatinput 17 kJ/cm. The SS-2 cladding was deposited under two different procedures: i)conventional pulsed arc with a heat input of 26 kJ/cm; ii) thermal pulsation where the heatinput reached 14.5 and 9.5 kJ/cm, in the peak and base period respectively. A gas mixtureof 99%Ar-1%O
2
with a flow rate of 17 l/min was used.
 
 
 
TIG-remelting:
was performed transversally to the welding direction, without
 
previouslygrinding the surface, and with 3 different levels of heat input (6.0, 2.3 and 1.3 kJ/cm). Atungsten -2 % thoria electrode with a diameter of 2,4 mm and an angle of 60°at the tipwas used.
 
Thermal Spraying:
The HVOF and arc sprayed coatings were applied to carbon steel
 
ata thickness of 300 to 400 µm. For HVOF spraying a Diamond Jet Hybrid system, usinghydrogen, and a JP-5000 system using kerosene as fuel were employed. Arc sprayingwas conducted with a OSU LD/U2 spray gun using compressed air for atomization. Thecomposition of the materials sprayed is presented in table 3.
 
Cavitation Erosion Tests:
The cavitation erosion experiments were carried out by
 
usinga vibratory apparatus according to ASTM G 32
(6)
. The standardized test basically consistsof measuring the weight or volume loss of a 15.9 mm-diameter test specimen affixed tothe tip of an ultrasonic horn that pulsates in a distilled water bath at a frequency of 20
±
 0.2 kHz over an amplitude of 50 µm (peak to peak). The temperature of the water bath ismaintained at 22
o
C. In the present investigations a modified procedure, illustrated infigure 1, was used
(7)
, which facilitates the sample preparation. The test specimen wasplaced in a distance of 0.5 mm opposite to the vibrating steel disc immersed 8 to 10 mm indistilled water. Specimen weight loss was periodically measured up to a total of 45 h.Cavitation rates obtained from this modified testing procedure usually show 40-50% of therates determined with the standardized procedure.
 
Microstruture:
To study the erosion mechanism, the surface and cross sections of
 
thesamples were examined before and after erosion testing by optical and scanning
 
electron microscopy (SEM). The grain size was determined according to ASTM E112
(8)
.
 
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
 
Cavitation Erosion Resistance:
 
Weld claddings of conventional AWS 309 and 316 stainless steels show a relative shortincubation period of 2 h, while in special resistant Co-alloyed weld claddings significanterosion started only after 8 h, achieving in the permanent period an almost constant ratein the range of 0.4-0.7 mg/h (table 4). This high resistance to cavitation erosion iscomparable to that of Stellite 6, as the reported erosion rate of 1.2 mg/h for this material,determined with the standardized method
(6)
corresponds to about 0.5- 0.7 mg/h for themodified testing procedure used in this investigation.
 
The use of a robotic cell for GMAW, as compared to manual SMAW, turned out asadvantageous not only for the operational process, but also for the behaviour of thecladding against the cavitation erosion. Due to the automation of the pulsed arc GMAW abetter control of possible welding defects and a good surface planicity could be achievedeven in the overhead position, which reduced the time and costs for surface grinding andfinishment work
(5)
. The cladding deposited with thermal pulsation (PT) showed anincrease in the incubation period (12 h) as compared to the conventional welding condition(PN). The waving of the torch brought an additional increase in the cavitation resistance ofthe weld cladding: a higher incubation period (20 h) and a lower erosion rate (0.3 mg/h)(figure 2).
 
TIG-remelting of the weld cladding brought besides an improvement of the surfaceplanicity the best results in the cavitation test: a grain refined layer about 1.5 to 2.0 mmthick showed a high incubation period and the lowest erosion rate (0.3 mg/h).
 
By the other side a rough surface (as grinded condition) and porosity had a deleteriousinfluence on the cavitation resistance, reducing and even suppressing the incubationperiod, which results in a higher loss of material, by an erosion rate in the permanentstage of approximately 0.5 mg/h (figure 2).
 

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