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Proceedings of the 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference IPC2012 September 24-28, 2012, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

IPC2012-90123

A NEW METHOD FOR REDUCING DIFFUSIBLE HYDROGEN IN WELD METAL

Susan Fiore Hobart Brothers Troy, Ohio, USA Mario Amata Hobart Brothers Troy, Ohio, USA

Steve Barhorst Hobart Brothers Troy, Ohio, USA Joe Bundy Hobart Brothers Troy, Ohio, USA

ABSTRACT The effect of hydrogen on weld metal and weld heat-affected zones (HAZ) has been well established over many years. The potential for hydrogen-assisted cracking increases as the strength of the steel increases. High fuel costs have driven the need for lower weights in the transportation and shipbuilding industries, and increased regulations have driven the need for higher safety factors in the pipeline industry. As a result, many industries are requiring higher and higher base metal strengths. The push for higher strength steels has resulted in an increased demand for ultra-low hydrogen welding consumables and processes. Manufacturers of flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) electrodes have generally attacked the problem of weld metal hydrogen through the use of raw materials that react with hydrogen to take it out of solution, by baking the wires in-process, and by using special drawing techniques and lubricants to minimize hydrogen pick-up. Unfortunately, many of the potential solutions result in electrodes that have poor operability, wire feeding problems, and/or increased welding fume. Hobart Brothers has recently developed a method of producing very low-hydrogen weld deposits, which utilizes fluorinecontaining gas compounds in the weld shielding gas. The modified shielding gas has no effect on the weld metal properties or the operation of the welding electrodes. This paper provides details of the method, along with test results that have been achieved using a number of flux- and metal-cored electrodes representing a variety of American Welding Society (AWS) classifications.

INTRODUCTION Hydrogen-assisted cracking has long been recognized as a serious problem in the welding industry [1,2,3,4,5]. Trends in many industries in recent years have been toward higher strength steels. As a result, the demand for high-strength steel welding electrodes that consistently produce less than 4 ml or even less than 2 ml of diffusible hydrogen per 100 gm of weld metal (i.e., that meet an H4 or an H2 designation, respectively) has grown considerably. Meeting such tight specification limits has presented major challenges for welding electrode manufacturers, especially those who produce rutilebased gas-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) electrodes; i.e., those of the E(X)XXT-1, E(X)XXT-9 and E(X)XXT-12 classifications [6]. During welding, hydrogen is absorbed into the molten weld metal from the arc atmosphere. While some hydrogen may be absorbed from the moisture in the atmosphere or from hydrogen sources on the base material, the primary source of hydrogen is the welding electrode, especially if the base material has been cleaned and is free of oils or other contaminants. As the weld metal cools, much of the hydrogen escapes by diffusion. However, some hydrogen typically remains in the weld pool, and some diffuses into the heat-affected zone (HAZ) and the parent material. The amount of residual hydrogen depends on many factors, including the amount that was originally absorbed, the size of the weld pool, the weld cooling rate, and the variation in solubility as a function of temperature. For a given steel, the greater the amount of hydrogen remaining in the weld zone, the greater the likelihood of hydrogen-assisted cracking.

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Hydrogen in FCAW electrodes typically comes from the raw materials within the electrode, or from lubricants on the outside or trapped within the seam of the electrode. Manufacturers may use special dies and drawing techniques to reduce the amount of residual drawing lubricant on the electrode. Baking the electrode during processing also helps to reduce the amount of residual lubricant on the electrode. However, some lubricant must remain on the electrode in order to ensure adequate feedability. The use of low-moisture raw materials in the core of the electrode can also help to reduce the amount of weld metal diffusible hydrogen. Some raw materials in the electrode, such as fluorine compounds (fluorides), act as scavengers, which react with hydrogen and take it out of solution. The presence of the fluorine ion in the arc column may also act to exclude moisture from the atmosphere. The fluoride compounds, which might include calcium fluoride (CaF2), cryolite (Na3AlF6), and/or potassium silicofluoride (K2SiF6), break down in the arc, allowing fluorine to react with the hydrogen in the weld pool or in the arc column (the exact mechanism is not known). Gas-shielded FCAW electrodes that contain fluoride compounds in the fill typically exhibit excellent mechanical properties, along with reduced diffusible hydrogen levels. One of the downsides, however, to adding solid fluoride compounds to these electrodes is that the fluoride compounds must decompose in the arc, which affects the arc stability and causes weld spatter. In general, the higher the amount of solid fluoride compounds in the electrode, the higher the amount of weld spatter. Weld spatter is undesirable because it adheres to the weld plate and removal is necessary before painting. Most fabricators and manufacturers want to minimize weld spatter because its removal is non-value added and costly, and because its presence can create a discontinuity, which can act to concentrate stresses. High levels of solid fluoride compounds in the flux also have the effect of increasing the fluidity of the slag, which can result in a humped (i.e., very convex) weld bead, especially when welds are produced using vertical-up progression. The E(X)XXT-5 type FCAW electrodes [6], for example, are known for their excellent toughness and crack resistance. However, because of the high level of fluoride compounds in the fill, these products are generally not used out-of-position, and many users find the operation of the arc to be unacceptable. As a consequence, most rutile-type FCAW electrodes available today (those of the E(X)XXT-1, E(X)XXT-9 and E(X)XXT-12 classifications [6]) contain a limited amount of solid fluoride compounds in the core; i.e., an amount that will provide an acceptable balance of mechanical properties, weld metal hydrogen and operability. In other words, there are no flux-

cored electrodes currently on the market that offer superior mechanical properties, very low diffusible hydrogen (consistently less than 4 ml/100 gm of weld metal) and excellent operability. CARBON TETRAFLUORIDE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SOLID FLUORIDE COMPOUNDS Hobart Brothers has recently developed the concept of adding fluorine gas, in the form of carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) to the shielding gas for FCAW and gas metal arc welding (GMAW), including metal-cored welding. Work is also ongoing to determine whether it may be possible to apply the technology to additional welding processes. Because the fluorine is introduced in the form of a gas, the action of the arc is not required to vaporize the solid particles, and as a result, the disruption of the arc is minimized. Adding the fluorine by way of the shielding gas also means that processes such as GMAW can realize the benefits of fluorine in terms of reductions in diffusible hydrogen and superior mechanical properties. Carbon tetrafluoride can be delivered during the welding process in several different ways. For some applications, it may be desirable to have the shielding gas and the fluorinecontaining gas delivered from separate gas sources to a gas premixing unit. This method helps to provide greater control of the mixing process, by allowing for better adjustability and finetuning. Alternatively, it can also be pre-mixed into a shielding gas mixture. Hobart Brothers is also exploring injecting the CF4 directly into the weld zone using a specially modified welding torch. Carbon tetrafluoride can be introduced into most conventional welding shielding gas mixtures. These welding shielding gas compositions can include, but are not limited to, compositions of 100 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), 100 percent argon (Ar), argon/helium mixtures (Ar/He), argon/carbon dioxide mixtures (Ar/CO2), argon/oxygen mixtures (Ar/O2), argon/carbon dioxide/oxygen mixtures (Ar/CO2/O2), as well as a number of others. In addition to lowering levels of diffusible hydrogen and spatter, the addition of CF4 in shielding gases provides other advantages. Because it is a simple means to significantly reduce diffusible hydrogen content, it also reduces the possibility of underbead cracking and hydrogen assisted cracking, thereby minimizing costly activities associated with weld rework, along with the need to allocate labor unnecessarily to the task. It is suitable for a variety of steel types including, but not limited to: low, medium and high-carbon steels; high-

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strength low alloy steels; quenched and tempered constructional steels; abrasion-resistant steels; and other materials such as ultra-high strength steels that may call for a low hydrogen procedure or where hydrogen content may be of concern. There also may be some applicability to non-ferrous alloys. The addition of CF4 may reduce or eliminate the need for preheating in some materials, which may be a particular benefit in the case of materials for which preheating is not recommended, including some quenched and tempered steels and specially heat-treated materials. Carbon tetrafluoride has little effect on weldability, arc characteristics, and chemical properties, which allows the gas-shielded electrodes to produce the desired mechanical properties for FCAW and GMAW applications. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE At the onset of this program, several possible fluorine-based shielding-gas additions were considered, including silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). Because of the high cost of SiF4, the initial investigations focused on sulfur hexafluoride. The SF6 was fed directly into the arc column by way of a specially modified welding torch. While the reduction in diffusible hydrogen was dramatic, the SF6 had the unfortunate side effect of causing unacceptably high levels of sulfur in the weld deposits, well over the maximum specified per AWS and other pertinent welding codes (typically 0.03% S maximum). High levels of sulfur can cause embrittlement and solidification cracking in welds. The next phase of the study focused on adding CF4 to the shielding gas. A pre-mixed bottle of shielding gas containing 71.5% Ar, 23.5% CO2 and 5% CF4 was procured. Preliminary testing showed that this gas mix was effective at significantly reducing weld metal diffusible hydrogen in deposits made using AWS class E71T-1 electrodes, with no adverse effects on weld chemistry. Based on the promising results of the initial testing, two additional gas mixes based off of a nominal 75% Ar-25% CO2 gas mixture were ordered. These gas mixtures were 73.5% Ar 24.5% CO2 - 2% CF4 and 74.6% Ar - 24.9% CO2 - 0.5% CF4. Testing was performed using the three shielding gas mixtures (ranging from 0.5 5% CF4), as well as a standard 75% Ar-25% CO2 gas mixture for comparison. The products tested included Hobart Excel Arc 71 (AWS classifications E71T-1C/-1M/9C/-9M [6]), Tri-Mark TM-770 (AWS classifications E71T1M/-12M JH8 [6]) and FabCO MIL-101TM (AWS classification E101T-GM [7] and Military classification MIL-E101TM [8]). The products selected all have rutile-based slag systems and have varying amounts of solid fluoride compounds in the flux cores (the exact levels of solid fluoride compounds in each product is considered proprietary). Testing included

diffusible hydrogen testing, and some weld metal chemical analysis and mechanical property testing. Diffusible hydrogen testing was performed using gas chromatography in accordance with AWS A4.3 [9]. The third phase of the program focused on proving the concept using GMAW with both solid filler wires and metal-cored electrodes, which contain no solid fluoride compounds in the core. GMAW of steel may be done using CO2 or Ar/CO2 mixtures, but is most commonly performed using argon with 5 25% CO2 or with a small percentage of oxygen (most often 2%). For this study, a nominal mix composition of 92% argon/8% CO2 was chosen. The actual shielding gas compositions were 90.2% Ar - 7.8% CO2 - 2% CF4 and 87.4% Ar - 7.6% CO2 - 5% CF4. A mixture of 90% Ar 10% CO2 was used as a baseline for comparison. The metal-cored products tested were Tri-Mark Metalloy 76 (AWS classification E70C-6M [10]), Tri-Mark Metalloy 80N1 (AWS classification E80C-Ni1 [11]), Tri-Mark Metalloy 110 (AWS classification E110C-K4 [11]). A standard ER70S-6 [10] solid wire was also tested. In addition to testing the various gas mixtures for their effects on weld metal diffusible hydrogen, and chemical and mechanical properties, air sampling is being performed to determine whether using a shielding gas containing up to 5% CF4 has any effect on the environment or potential effects on the welders health. Sampling is being done using both premixed gases as well as a specially modified torch that allows CF4 to be injected directly into the weld zone at various flow rates. RESULTS As indicated previously, testing was performed using FCAW and GMAW electrodes. The results are presented below. FCAW Results for the diffusible hydrogen testing of the FCAW electrodes are summarized in Table 1, below, and are shown graphically in Figure 1. The welding parameters are summarized in Table 2. All electrodes were 0.045-inch diameter. As can be seen from the data, the diffusible hydrogen reductions were dramatic. Reductions of 65% or more were readily achievable for shielding gas containing 5% CF4. Even at lower CF4 levels, diffusible hydrogen levels that meet the H4 designation can be achieved. For the MIL-101TM and the TM770, as little as 0.5% CF4 in the shielding gas was sufficient to bring the diffusible hydrogen level to below 4 ml/100 gm.

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Table 1. Results of diffusible hydrogen testing of FCAW electrodes


Shielding Gas (%) Ar 75.0 75.0 101TM 74.6 73.5 71.25 71.25 75.0 EA-71 74.6 73.5 71.25 75.0 TM-770 74.6 73.5 71.25 CO2 25.0 25.0 24.9 24.5 23.75 23.75 25.0 24.9 24.5 23.75 25.0 24.9 24.5 23.75 CF4 0.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 5.0 5.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 5.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 5.0 Hydrogen Evolution (ml/100 gm) Avg. of 4 4.2 5.3* 3.5 1.6 1.0 1.6* 5.7 5.8 4.3 2.0 5.3 3.4 2.7 2.0 Range 4.0 4.5 4.7 5.8 3.1 3.8 1.5 1.7 0.9 1.1 1.5 1.7 5.3 6.0 5.5 6.1 4.1 4.6 1.8 2.2 5.0 6.0 3.1 3.7 2.5 2.9 1.8 2.3

Table 2. Welding parameters used to produce diffusible hydrogen test welds, FCAW
Amperage (A) 220 395 300 Voltage (V) 24.5 27.0 26.0 Travel Speed (in/min) 6.0 10.0 9.0 Heat Input (kJ/in) 53.9 64.0 52.0

101TM EA-71 TM-770

Results for the Excel Arc 71 (EA-71) were somewhat inconsistent in that there was essentially no change in diffusible hydrogen when the amount of CF4 in the shielding gas was increased from 0 to 0.5% (5.7 vs. 5.8 ml/100 gm). The magnitude of the change at 2% CF4 in the shielding gas was also smaller than for the other products that were tested. It appears that this product may require more CF4 in the shielding gas in order to exhibit significant reductions in diffusible hydrogen. Because diffusible hydrogen test results can vary significantly with changes in ambient conditions (specifically temperature and relative humidity), care was taken to perform tests for comparison at the same time. However, a second set of tests were run using the MIL-101TM with 0 and 5% CF4 in the shielding gas in order to confirm the results. The variation in the test results is due, primarily, to a difference in the ambient conditions on the days that the tests were run. Additional testing is planned for a range of ambient conditions to determine their overall effect on the magnitude of the change in diffusible hydrogen with the various shielding gas mixtures. Samples for chemical analysis were also produced with several of the FCAW electrodes using standard 75% Ar/25% CO2 shielding gas and the same gas with the addition of 5% CF4. The electrodes tested were the EA-71 and the MIL-101TM. Results of the chemical analysis testing are summarized in Table 3 and Table 4. The values listed for chemical analysis are in weight percent. Table 3. Chemical analysis results (in weight %) for EA71 with standard C-25 shielding gas and C-25 shielding gas with 5% CF4 (balance of the deposit is Fe)

*Duplicate tests run on different days under different ambient conditions

Figure 1. Diffusible hydrogen as a function of %CF4 in the shielding gas, FCAW electrodes

C C-25 C-25 + 5% CF4 0.019 0.015

Mn 1.22 1.26

Si

S 0.004 0.004

Ti 0.066 0.076

O 0.037 0.037

0.63 0.013 0.64 0.013

0.0055 0.0039 0.0063 0.0041

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Table 4. Chemical analysis results (in weight %) for MIL101TM with standard C-25 shielding gas and C-25 shielding gas with 5% CF4 (balance of the deposit is Fe)
C C-25 C-25 + 5% CF4 0.034 0.024 Mo C-25 C-25 + 5% CF4 0.18 0.17 Mn 1.67 1.65 Ti 0.033 0.038 Si 0.28 0.30 B 0.0043 0.0047 P 0.007 0.006 N 0.0039 0.0039 S 0.010 0.010 Cr 0.19 0.17 O 0.030 0.030 Ni 3.44 3.31

As can be seen from the data, both EA-71 and MIL-101TM showed slight decreases in carbon content and slight increases in titanium and boron with increased levels of CF4 in the shielding gas. The MIL-101TM also showed a slight decrease in nickel content with the increased CF4 in the shielding gas. All of the results are within the normal variation for these products. Additional testing will be necessary to determine whether the differences seen are due to scatter or whether they are true differences. Regardless, the variations are considered insignificant and would not be expected to affect the weld metal properties. Figure 2 and Figure 3 show a comparison of welds made using gas-shielded FCAW electrodes with standard 75% Ar/25% CO2 shielding gas, and with the same shielding gas containing 2% and 5% CF4, respectively. All welds were made in the vertical position with upward progression. It should be noted that the addition of CF4 has very little effect on the appearance and convexity of the weld beads.

Figure 3. Comparison of FCA welds made using standard 75% Ar/25% CO2 (left) and with the same shielding gas with the addition of 5% CF4 (right)

GMAW Three metal-cored electrodes and one solid wire were tested using shielding gases that were nominally 92% Ar/8% CO2 and 75% Ar/25% CO2 with additions of up to 2% CF4. It was found that for the GMAW process, operability suffered if the shielding gas contained higher levels of CF4. With 5% CF4 in the shielding gas, the arc became more harsh, the weld beads became ropy and the spatter level increased. The results of diffusible hydrogen testing are summarized in Table 5 and are shown graphically in Figure 4. All welding was performed using 0.045-inch electrodes at approximately 290 amps, 27 V and a travel speed of 10 in/min (a weld heat input of about 47 kJ/in). Again, the drop in weld metal diffusible hydrogen with increasing additions of CF4 to the shielding gas was dramatic, with reductions of up to 75% or more. As was noted previously, at higher at levels of CF4 in the shielding gas, the arc and bead appearance began to degrade. For this reason, it is recommended that the amount of CF4 added to shielding gas mixtures for GMAW be limited to 2%.

Figure 2. Comparison of FCA welds made using standard 75% Ar/25% CO2 shielding gas (left) and with the same shielding gas with the addition of 2% CF4 (right)

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Table 5. Results of diffusible hydrogen testing of GMAW electrodes


Shielding Gas (%) Ar 90.0 90.2 Metalloy 76 75.0 74.6 73.5 90.0 90.2 Metalloy 80N1 75.0 74.6 73.5 90.0 90.2 Metalloy 110 75.0 74.6 73.5 90.0 90.2 ER70S-6 75.0 74.6 73.5 CO2 10.0 7.8 25.0 24.9 24.5 10.0 7.8 25.0 24.9 24.5 10.0 7.8 25.0 24.9 24.5 10.0 7.8 25.0 24.9 24.5 CF4 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 Hydrogen Evolution (ml/100 gm) Avg. of 4 1.5 0.4 1.2 1.0 0.4 1.9 0.4 1.6 0.7 0.4 3.2 1.0 2.4 1.0 0.9 1.9 0.7 2.4 1.3 0.8 Range 1.2 1.9 0.3 0.4 1.2 1.3 0.9 1.1 0.3 0.5 1.4 2.2 0.4 0.4 1.5 1.7 0.6 0.8 0.4 0.5 2.9 3.6 0.8 1.0 2.1 2.6 0.9 1.1 0.8 1.0 1.8 2.0 0.6 0.8 2.2 2.6 1.3 1.3 0.7 0.9

Mechanical Property Testing One metal-cored and two flux-cored electrodes of varying strength levels were tested for mechanical properties using shielding gas containing 2% CF4 (metal-cored) and 5% CF4 (flux-cored). The products tested were the TM-770, the Metalloy 80N1 and the MIL-101TM. The results are summarized in Table 6 through Table 8. The AWS [6,7] specification requirements are provided for reference (single values are minimum requirements). For the MIL-101TM, the military [8] specification requirements are also shown. The welding parameters for each test plate are provided in Table 9. The TM-770 and the Metalloy 80N1 test plates were welded in the flat position, and the MIL-101TM test plate was welded vertically up. Table 6. Mechanical properties of weld produced using TM770 with C-25 shielding gas containing 5% CF4
UTS (ksi) TM-770 AWS E71T-1M AWS E71T-12MJ 81.0 70-95 70-90 YS (ksi) 75.7 58 58 % Elong. 29.4 22 22 CVN @ 0F (ft-lbs) 131 20 CVN @ -40F (ft-lbs) 101 20

Table 7. Mechanical properties of weld produced using Metalloy 80N1 with C-25 shielding gas containing 2% CF4
UTS (ksi) Met 80N1 AWS E80C-Ni1 93.7 80 YS (ksi) 86.8 68 % Elong. 26.8 24 CVN @ -4F (ft-lbs) 125 CVN @ -50F (ft-lbs) 74 20

Table 8. Mechanical properties of weld produced using MIL-101TM with C-25 shielding gas containing 5% CF4
UTS (ksi) MIL-101TM Mil Spec. AWS Spec. 103.8 100-120 YS (ksi) 95.7 82-110 88 % Elong. 20.4 18 16 CVN @ 0F (ft-lbs) 81 60 CVN @ -60F (ft-lbs) 51 35

Table 9. Welding parameters used to produce mechanical property test plates


Amps (A) TM-770 Met 80N1 250 290 190 Volts (V) 27 28 23 Travel Speed (in/min) 10 12 4.5 PH/IP Temp. (F) 60/300 300/300 225/275 Heat Input (kJ/in) 40.5 40.6 58.3

Figure 4. Diffusible hydrogen as a function of CF4 in shielding gas for various GMAW products

MIL-101TM

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As can be seen, all of the products tested exhibited excellent mechanical properties and easily met all specification requirements. DISCUSSION The results of the diffusible hydrogen testing indicate that it is possible to significantly reduce the weld metal diffusible hydrogen for a variety of products using small additions of CF4 to the shielding gas. Additions of up to 5% for gas-shielded FCAW electrodes and up to 2% for solid and metal-cored electrodes did not interfere with the arc action. While higher percentages were not investigated, it appears that 5% is a reasonable limit, and that the benefit of additional CF4 would be minimal at best. Furthermore, it should be noted that CF4 is a greenhouse gas, so it is prudent to use the minimum amount that effectively reduces the diffusible hydrogen to the required level. While there are currently no regulations limiting the emissions of CF4, it will be important in the future to understand how much of the gas is destructed during the welding process. The amount of CF4 that is released into the atmosphere during welding is directly related to the amount of hydrogen that is available to react with it. Likewise, the amount of CF4 in excess of the amount required for the reaction will also affect the operation of the process and the arc stability. In other words, processes such as FCAW will tolerate more CF4 in the shielding gas than a process such as GMAW, because there is more hydrogen available to consume the CF4 during welding. As a result, it is recommended that for GMAW, the amount of CF4 in the shielding gas be limited to 2%. Because of environmental and health concerns with regard to CF4 and fluoride compounds in general, a study was commissioned to investigate the potential adverse effects of adding CF4 to weld shielding gases. The study is on-going, and additional testing is planned once the gas delivery method is optimized. Hydrogen fluoride (HF) gas is a normal by-product of welding whenever the electrode contains solid fluoride compounds. As part of the future study, a comparison will be made between the fumes and gases released when the fluoride is supplied by way of the core ingredients versus when it is supplied by way of the shielding gas. The results of chemical analysis testing showed that the addition of up to 5% CF4 in the shielding gas may have a minor effect on the chemistry of the weld deposit. Slight variations in carbon, titanium, boron and nickel may result from the addition of CF4 to the shielding gas. Additional data will need to be gathered in order to determine whether the variations were a result of the CF4 additions, or if they were normal variations due to variability in the test results. In any case, the variations were small and would not be expected to affect the weld metal properties.

Mechanical property testing indicated that the addition of CF4 to the shielding gas had no adverse effects on weld metal strength or toughness. In fact, the toughness was outstanding, and may have reflected the benefit of the additional fluoride in the welding zone. CONCLUSIONS 1. Adding CF4 to the weld zone through the shielding gas provides a method of lowering weld metal diffusible hydrogen without many of the disadvantages associated with including solid fluoride compounds in the fill ingredients of FCAW electrodes. 2. Because the CF4 is brought into the weld zone through the shielding gas, the technology can be readily applied to GMA welding. 3. Carbon tetrafluoride can be introduced into most conventional welding shielding gas mixtures. 4. Reductions of 65% or more in weld metal diffusible hydrogen in FCAW are possible with the addition of CF4 to the shielding gas. 5. Additions of up to 5% CF4 in the FCAW shielding gas had no significant adverse effects on operability, bead appearance or material properties. 6. Reductions of 75% or more in weld metal diffusible hydrogen in GMAW are possible with the addition of CF4 to the shielding gas. 7. Additions of up to 2% CF4 in the GMAW shielding gas had no significant effect on operability or bead appearance. 8. Welds produced using the GMAW process and shielding gas that contained 5% CF4 were unacceptable in terms of arc stability and bead appearance. It is recommended that for GMAW the amount of CF4 in the shielding gas not exceed 2%. 9. The significant reduction in weld metal diffusible hydrogen that is achievable with the addition of CF4 to the shielding gas means that the likelihood of underbead cracking and other forms of hydrogen assisted cracking is greatly reduced, which will result in a higher safety factor for critical welds. 10. The addition of CF4 may reduce or eliminate the need for preheating in some materials, which may be a particular benefit for those materials for which preheating is not recommended.

REFERENCES 1 Bailey, N., Coe, F.R., Gooch, T.G., Hart, P.H.M., Jenkins, N., Pargeter, R.J., Welding Steels without Hydrogen Cracking, Second Edition, 1973.

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2 Graville, B. A., The Principles of Cold Cracking Control in Welds, 1975. 3 Graville, B. A., Effect of hydrogen concentration on hydrogen embrittlement, British Welding Journal, 1968. 4 Gedeon, S. A., and Eagar, T. W., Assessing hydrogen-assisted cracking modes in high-strength steel weldments, Welding Journal Research Supplement, June, 1990, pp. 213-s 220-s. 5 Nakagawa, H., Matsuda, F., and Shirozaki, K., Evaluation of the cold cracking susceptibility of weld metal in high strength steels using the longitudinal bead-arc test, Quarterly Journal of the Japan Welding Society, No. 3, 1988, pp. 299 233. 6 American Welding Society A5.20, Specification for Carbon Steel Electrodes for Flux Cored Arc Welding, 2005. 7 American Welding Society A5.29, Specification for LowAlloy Steel for Flux Cored Arc Welding, 2010. 8 NAVSEA Technical Publication T9074-BC-GIB-010/0200, Filler Materials for Critical Applications: Requirements for Flux-Cored Welding Electrodes, Bare Welding Electrodes, and Fluxes, and Covered Welding Electrodes for Low-Alloy Steel Applications, December 11, 2002. 9 American Welding Society A4.3, Standard Methods for Determination of the Diffusible Hydrogen Content of Martensitic, Bainitic and Ferritic Steel Weld Metal Produced by Arc Welding, reissued 2006. 10 American Welding Society A5.18, Specification for Carbon Steel Electrodes and Rods for Gas Shielded Arc Welding, 2005. 11 American Welding Society A5.28, Specification for LowAlloy Steel Electrodes and Rods for Gas Shielded Arc Welding, 2005.

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