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Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 1(11), pp. 83-91, 2012 Available online at http://www.cjasr.

com ISSN: 2251-9114, ©2012 CJASR

Spot Weld Growth on 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel for Equal and Unequal Thicknesses
Nachimani Charde
Department of Mechanical, Material and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor Darul Ehsan , Malaysia The austenitic stainless steel (304L) is common material that used in spot welding research. It has been welded and analyzed for many types of conditions and also for many situations, previously. In this research, unequal and equal thicknesses were welded and also analyzed for tensile shear strength, hardness changes and macrograph views. Generally the weld nugget is determined by the process parameters such as welding current, weld time, electrode force and electrode tips. Noticeably the welding current is the main parameter which creates the heating effects between metal sheets and unites them together. The current flow is, however, allowed by sufficient weld time in the welding process. In this experiment, the welding current and weld time were varied for equal and unequal thicknesses. The results are showing different macro structures and also slightly different characteristics in terms of hardness and strength. Key words: Austenitic stainless steel, Stainless steel welding, Spot welding of stainless steel

1. INTRODUCTION Joining the similar materials with different thicknesses become common in spot welding. By joining the unequal thicknesses of base metals, the characteristic of welded region varies and also differs in certain characteristic (Dursun, 2011). In this experiment, the austenitic stainless steel of 1 and 2 mm thicknesses was used to analyze the changes that affect the weld growth after the welding process takes place. So the weld region is

separately analyzed for 1mm, 2mm and, of course for both; the mixed thicknesses. Basically the growth of weld nuggets is determined by the welding current, welding time, electrode force and electrode tips’ areas. The welding current and weld time were increased while the force and electrode tip remained constant throughout the experiments (Shamsul and Hisyam, 2007). 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS

Fig.1: Test sample The test samples were prepared in rectangular shape (200mm x 25mm x 1&2mm) as shown in figure 1 and its chemical and mechanical properties are tabulated in table 1. A pair of water cooled copper electrodes with truncated tips (diameters of 5 mm) was used to join these base metals and it was simulated using Ansys 4.0 The melting temperature was found to be more than 1500°C and the heat distributive pattern across the weld areas is shown in figure 2. It was calculated from the Joule’s law of heat that the heat was given by; Heat, Q=I2Rt; where R is the total resistance of base metals, I is the welding current and t is the welding time (Marashi et al., 2008). Thus, the well prepared base metals were initially placed on the top of lower electrode (static electrode) of the spot welder (75kVA) as overlaying 60mm on each other and then the initiating pedal was pressed. The weld process was started right after with squeezing cycles and; once the electrodes are well pressed the base metals according to preset force values; the welding current is released then. Thereafter the electrode pressing mechanism (pneumatic based) consumes


three sets of weld lobe curves were obtained for equal and unequal base metals (Pouranvari. 3(a): Weld lobe of 1&1mm base metals 84 .051 0.004 0.030 86.2 (HRB) Fig. The basic process controlling parameters (the current and weld time) were set before the welding process starts with constant electrode pressing force (3kN) and round electrode tips (19.14 8.506 0.11 Mn 1.030 Hardness 81.63μm2).205 0.13 1.006 N 0.046 18.053 P 0.7 (HRB) 2mm Weight % 0. 2: Simulation of welding process Fig.166 Si 0.501 S 0.12 Ni 8.048 Cr 18.Charde Spot Weld Growth on 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel for Equal and Unequal Thicknesses some time for cold work and returns to the home position of upper electrode. By varying the welding current and weld time from lower to higher values or from poor welds to good welds and also beyond good welds. 2008). Table 1: Chemical and mechanical properties 304L (2B) Austenitic Stainless Steel 1mm Element Weight % C 0.

At last the ferric chloride (500ml) was used to saturate these well prepared (shining surface) samples in a pot about 30-45 minutes. The mounted samples (figure 4) were roughly polished using silicon papers 1200/800p and 600/200p and also continuously further polished using Metadi polishing cloth with suspension liquid of 0. 3(b): Weld lobe of 1&2mm base metals Fig. 1&2mm.05 micron. a weld schedule (table2) was developed to avoid poor and expulsion welds. The first five samples were used for tensile test-averaging. 83-91. 85 . the sixth sample was used for hardness measurement. dried using air blower. This polishing process has been conducted about thirty minutes to one hour on each sample until the shining surface was seen. pp. 1(11).Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research. So the combinations of the nine (9) weld schedules were developed for the current and weld time variations within reasonable good welds region. b and c) show the 1&1mm. Based on the weld lobe curves’ values. the full green color boxes represent very good welds. The last welded sample was cut at the line of its diameter and mounted using resin powder on hot press mount. The green color boxes that encapsulated with black color represent moderate good welds. Every weld schedule is accomplished of seven welded pairs. After that the samples were rinsed off using plain water. the red color boxes represent heavy expulsion welds and the black color boxes represent poor welds joints. 2012 Fig. the red color boxes that encapsulated with green color represent light expulsion welds. An acceptable region of weld nuggets are joined using lines in the weld lobe curve and the combination of colors represent the quality of welded areas. 3(c): Weld lobe of 2&2mm base metals Figure 3 (a. and kept in vacuum chamber. applied anti-corrosion liquid. and 2&2mm sample thicknesses’ weld lobe curves.

1. 2&2 1&1. 1&2. The 1&2mm mixedThe failed tensile-shear test pieces showed three main fracture modes. Tensile shear results 3. 2&2 1&1. 2009). the required breaking strength varies. Similar increment is noticed when the weld time was increased from 10 to 15 and 15 to 20 cycles. Failure modes The tensile test was conducted using 100kN tensile machine. 1&2. Five samples were used to average weld strength of a weld schedule. 2&2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 10 10 10 15 15 15 20 20 20 6 7 8 6 7 8 6 7 8 a) 1&1 mm b) 1&2 mm c) 2&2 mm Fig. 1&2. 1&1mm. 1&2. thickness sheets require 7 to 9. The 2&2mm thickness sheets require the pull-to-break force from 12. 2&2 1&1. Very good welds were strongly bonded to both sheets and therefore it tears on both sides (TF) or a perfect button pull out will results (Martín. 1&2mm and 2&2mm. 1&2. Moreover the equal thicknesses (1&1 mm or 2&2 mm) weld fractures seemed to be well balanced on the joint areas. Moderate to good welds showed tearing on either side of the nugget in the base metal (partial-tearing-failure . 4: Hot pressed-cross sectional area of welded samples 3.5kN. 1&2. Although the strength incremental pattern seemed to be almost same for all the samples.5kN while 1&1mm thickness sheets require 6. more heat was developed across the weld areas and resulting diameter increments regardless of thicknesses (Jamasri et al. 2&2 1&1. 1&2.2. 1&2.Charde Spot Weld Growth on 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel for Equal and Unequal Thicknesses Table 2: Weld schedule Sample No Weld Schedule Thickness (mm) Electrode Tip Diameter (mm) 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Force (kN) Time (cycle) Current (kA) 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28 29-35 36-42 43-49 50-56 57-63 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1&1. 1&2. 2&2 1&1. These types of curves were seen for base metals fracture during tensile test regardless of thicknesses. Figure 6 indicates the common failure modes and the corresponding tensile strength curve. So the nugget diameters’ increment has caused strong bounding between base metals and also requires high tensile force to break the joints. 2&2 1&1. 86 . 2008). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 3. Figure 5 shows the tensile strength of all.5 to 19.PF). When the welding current was increased from 6 to 7 and 7 to 8 kA. However the unequal thickness weld samples were always broken at 1mm sheet sides rather than 2mm sheet sides.7 to 9kN. 2&2 1&1.. 2&2 1&1. Poor welds (low fracture force and small nugget diameter) were characterised by interfacial fracture (IF) – fracture through the nugget in the junction plane between the faying sheets. The ultimate tensile strength was taken at the final value of pulling force at which the fracture begins.

2011). 2012 Fig. 87 . pp.Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research.3.. Figure 8 shows the simulation images during the complete molten stages of welding process. 83-91.0 for stainless steels of various thicknesses. 6: The common failure modes Fig. 7: Macrograph of stainless steel fractures 3. Diameter of Weld Nuggets A simulation of welding process was carried out using Ansys 4. 1(11). The molten and heat affected areas are clearly visualized for all the thicknesses without electrodes appearance (Yang et al. 5: Tensile-shear test results Fig.

9: Macrograph of 1&1 mm austenitic stainless steel a) 6kA b) 7kA c) 8kA Fig. The base metal (BM) is not affected during the welding process as the microstructures remain unchanged (Fukumoto. It starts from the outer border of exact fusion zone and spreads outwards in all direction to certain extends. a) 6kA b) 7kA c) 8kA Fig. 10 and 11). 10: Macrograph of 1&2 mm austenitic stainless steel a) 6kA b) 7kA c) 8kA Fig. It is seen with finer coarse grain as compare to fusion zone. 8: Simulation results of austenitic stainless steel (Electrodes deleted) Having considered the real macro graph of welds for current increment (figure 9. The upper electrode that pressing the welding region has created the micro indentation during the molten metal’s expansion. This leads to the slight alteration of grain sizes when solidification happens. Figure 12 shows the width (diameter) and height (indentation) that obtained for current increments. It was appeared with coarse grains and the distance expanded horizontally in all direction is the exact width (diameter) of the weld joint. 2008). 11: Macrograph of 2&2 mm austenitic stainless steel 88 . Firstly the fusion zone (FZ) undergoes complete melting during welding process and solidify once the welding process is over. The heat affected zone (HAZ) is existed due to the heat expansion in all direction from the fusion zones while heating process is going on.Charde Spot Weld Growth on 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel for Equal and Unequal Thicknesses a) 1&1 mm b) 1&2 mm c) 2&2 mm Fig. three noticeable regions are existed after the completion solidification process[7].

13: Hardness of 1&1mm thickness sheets Similar pattern of hardness distribution was seen for the other two thicknesses of weld joints. 3. 2012 Fig. Furthermore the hardness of heat affected zones (HAZ) was lower than the fusion zones but higher than the base metals about 87 (HRB). 12: Nugget size of all the thickness When the current was increased from 6 to 7 and 7 to 8 kA. However the 2&2mm sheets have higher thicknesses and therefore the indentations were seen to be slightly higher than the 1&1mm and 1&2mm sheets. The hardness was measured from left hand sides through the heat affected zones.5 (HRB) but the welded areas seemed to be about 92 (HRB). again the other side heat affected zones and ended with the right hand side of base metals. Hardness test results The hardness test was carried out for all the thicknesses’ weld joints (Aravinthan et al. Thus: when the 1mm base metals are concerned then the unwelded areas (BM) seemed to be an average hardness of 81. 1(11). 83-91. Figure 13 shows the hardness distribution of 1mm weld joints.Caspian Journal of Applied Sciences Research. The hardness of welded areas seemed to be noticeably increased but slightly varied from one thickness to another. 2011). respectively. This phenomenon was noticed for all the thicknesses of base metals. Figure 14 and 15 show the hardness distribution of 1&2mm and 2&2mm sheets. pp. Moreover higher the welding current then easier the porous existed within the fusion zones. Fig. 89 . the width (diameter) was increased and the height was decreased accordingly. then fusion zones..4.

4. The increments of tensile strength were observed due to the enlargement of welded areas within the welding lobe regions. it concludes that 1. 5. 2011). CONCLUSION This paper looks into the spot weld growth on 304L (2B) austenitic stainless steel with various thicknesses and. Moreover the average hardness of dissimilar thickness welded zone was about 96 (HRB) approximately. 90 . 15: Hardness of 2&2mm thickness sheets The unwelded areas (BM) of 2mm thickness was measured to be an average hardness of 86 (HRB) but the welded areas seemed to be about 96 (HRB). 14: Hardness of 1&2mm thickness sheets Fig. Increase in welding current and welding time within the welding lobe have resulted increment of weld nuggets width but simultaneously reduced the height of weld nuggets regardless of thicknesses. 2. The simulation and experimental weld bead shapes were almost same to one another except the intersecting lines in the weld nuggets.Charde Spot Weld Growth on 304L Austenitic Stainless Steel for Equal and Unequal Thicknesses Fig. The dissimilar thicknesses were fractured at the lower thicknesses sheets sides. In overall the hardness of welded zones are slightly increased regardless of thicknesses due to the solidification process (Aravinthan et al. 3. The heat affected zones was resulted an average of 89 (HRB) in the dissimilar weld joints.. 4. The failure modes of tensile tested samples were seen to be as normal as other materials’ failures except dissimilar thicknesses weld joints. and a good weld produces button pullout or tear from both sides (TF). medium weld produces tear form one side (PF). Meanwhile the hardness of heat affected zones (HAZ) was lower than the fusion zones but higher than the base metals about 88 (HRB) as how the 1mm thickness welds joint resulted. always. The common three failure modes were seen as poor weld produces interfacial fracture (IF).

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