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Technical Heat Treatment

8. Technical Heat Treatment

95 When welding a workpiece, not only the weld

6 cm 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 -14

300C 400C 500C

600C 700C 800C 900C

6 cm 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6

500C 400C 300C

600C 700C

itself, but also the surrounding base material (HAZ) is influenced by the supplied heat quantity. The temperature-field, which appears around the weld when different welding procedures are used, is shown in Figure 8.1. Figure 8.2 shows the influence of the material












0 cm 2


C 1750

1250 1000 723C 750 500 250 -60 mm -40 -20 0 20 40 mm 60

manual metal arc welding oxy-acethylene welding

properties on the welding process. The determining factors on the process presented in this Figure, like melting temperature and interval, heat capacity, heat extension etc, depend greatly on the chemical composition of the material. Metallurgical properties are here characterized by e.g. homogeneity, structure and texture, physical properties like heat extension, shear strength, ductility. Structural changes, caused by the heat input

distance from weld central line

heat affected zone during oxy-acethylene welding


heat affected zone during manual metal arc welding

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Temperature Distribution of Various Welding Methods

Figure 8.1

(process 1, 2, 7, and 8), influence directly the mechanical properties of the weld. In addition, the chemical composition of the weld metal and adjacent base material are also influenced by the processes 3 to 6. Based on the binary system, the formation of the different structure zones is shown in
4 Heating and melting the welding consumable Melting parts of base material Specific heat, melting temperature and interval, melt heat, boiling temperature (metal, coating) Specific heat, melt temperature and interval, heat conductivity, heat expansion coefficient, homogeneity, time Compositionof atmosphere, affinity, pressure, temperature, dissotiation, ionisation, reaction speed Solubility relations, temperature and pressure under influence of heat source, specific weight, weld pool flux Diffusion and position change processes, time, boundary formation, ordered - unordered structure Affinity, temperature, pressure, time Melt heat, cooling conditions, density and porosity of slag, solidification interval Phase diagrams (time dependent), heat conductivity, heat coefficient, shear strength, ductility Phase diagrams (time dependent), texture by warm deformation, ductility, module of elasticity Phase diagrams, operating temperature, mechanical and chemical strain, time

Reaction of passing welding consumable with arc atmosphere

Figure 8.3. So the coarse


Reaction of passed welding consumable with molten base material Interaction between weld pool and solid base material (possibly weld passes)
Reaction of metal and flux with atmosphere Solidification of weld pool and slag Cooling of welded joint in solid condition Post-weld heat treatment if necessary Sustainable alteration of material properties

grain zone occurs in areas

6 7




austenitising temperature for example. At the same time, hardness peaks appear in these greatly areas because of

7 8

2 5 9 10



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Figure 8.2

Classification of Welding Process Into Individual Mechanisms

cooling rate and the coarse

8. Technical Heat Treatment


austenite grains. This zone of the weld is the area, where the worst toughness values are found. In Figure 8.4 you can see how much the formation of the individual structure zones and the zones of unfavourable mechanical properties can be influenced. Applying an electroslag one pass weld of a 200
Temperature Hardness

hardness peak

hardness sink weld bead

1 1500

incomplete melt coarse grain

C 1300 1200 1000 G 800 P 600 400 300 100


2 1147 3

mm thick plate, a HAZ of approximately 30 mm width is achieved. Using a three pass technique, the HAZ is reduced to only 8 mm. With the use of different procedures, the differ-

standard transformation incomplete crystallisation recrystallisation

ageing blue brittleness

4 5 S


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ences in the formation of heat affected zones become even clearer as shown in Figure 8.5. These effects can actively be used to the advantage of the material, for example to adjust calculated mechanical properties to one's choice or to remove negative effects of a weld-

1 2 % 3 carbon content

heat affected zone (visible in macro section)


Microstructure Zones of a Weld Relation to Binary System

Figure 8.3

ing. Particularly with high-strength fine grained steels and high-alloyed materials, which are specifically optimised to achieve special quality, e.g. corrosion resistance against a certain attacking medium, this post-weld heat treatment is of great importance. Figure 8.6 shows areas in the Fe-C diagram of different heat treatment methods. It is clearly visible that the carbon content (and also the content of other alloying elements) has a distinct influence on the
Figure 8.4

level of annealing tempera-


8. Technical Heat Treatment tures like e.g. coarse-grain heat treatment or normalising.


It can also be seen that the start of martensite formation (MS-line) is shifted to continuously decreasing temperatures with increasing C-content. This is important e.g. for hardening processes (to be explained later).

metastable system iron-carbon (partially) 1600 1536 C

A melt + d - solid solution melt

1600 C 1400 heat colors

melt + austenite


electron beam welding

d - solid solution A4 1392 cbc atomic lattice

H B d - solid solution + austenite N


diffusion heat treatment 2,06

1300 yellow white 1200 1147 1100 1000

yellow red light yellow yellow

1200 1100

submerged arc welding pass / capped pass

cfc no atomic lattice rm A3 911 G ha alis rde ing austenite nin + austenite austenite + secondary g (g - Mischkristalle) + ferrite cementite (Fe3C) A2 800M 769C O S K A1 P 723C soft annealing ferrite700 (a-solid solution) recrystallisation heat treatment


coarse grain heat treatment

light red



700 600 500 400

dark red brown red dark brown

cbc 500 atomic lattice recrystallisation heat treatment Q

stress relieving






MS hypereutectoidic steel

gas metal arc welding

200 100 20 0 Fe 0

200 100 2 30
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hypoeutectoidic steel
eutektoidic steel

0,5 5

0,8 1,5 1 Carbon content in weight %


10 15 20 25 Cementite content in weight %


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Development of Heat Affected Zone of EB, Sub-Arc, and MIG-MAG Welding

Metallurgical Survey of Heat Treatment Methods

Figure 8.5

Figure 8.6

As this diagram does not cover the time influence, only constant stop-temperatures can be read, predictions about heating-up and

C 900


intense heating

long time several hours

austenite + ferrite 700 ferrite + perlite 500



cooling-down rates are not possible. Thus the individual heat treatment methods will be explained by their temperature-time-behaviour the following. in

300 0,4 0,8 C-Content


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Coarse Grain Heat Treatment

Figure 8.7

8. Technical Heat Treatment


Figure 8.7 shows in the detail to the right a T-t course of coarse grain heat treatment of an alloy containing 0,4 % C. A coarse grain heat treatment is applied to create a grain size as large as possible to improve machining properties. In the case of welding, a coarse grain is unwelcome, although unavoidable as a consequence of the welding cycle. You can learn from Figure 8.7 that there are two methods of coarse grain heat treatment. The first way is to austenite at a temperature close above A3 for a couple of hours followed by a slow cooling process. The second method is very important to the welding process. Here a coarse grain is formed at a temperature far above A3 with relatively short periods. Figure 8.8 shows schematically time-temperature behaviour in a TTT-diagram.

900 C 700 600 500 400 300 MS

martensite bainite




(Note: the curves explain running structure mechanisms, they must not be used as reading off examples. To determine distribution, t8/5, are hardness values, or microstructure TTT-diagrams always read continuously or isothermally. Mixed types like curves 3 to


e lin

200 100 2 0 0,1


3 1 10

4 10

6 s

1 10

1: Normalizing 2: Simple hardening 3: Broken hardening 4: Hot dip hardening 5: Bainitic annealing 6: Patenting (isothermal annealing)


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TTT-Diagram With Heat Treatment Processes

Figure 8.8

6 are not allowed for this purpose!). The most important heat treatment methods can be divided into sections of annealing, hardening and tempering, and these single processes can be used individually or combined. The normalising process is shown in Figure 8.9. It is used to achieve a homogeneous ferriteperlite structure. For this purpose, the steel is heat treated approximately 30 C above Ac3 until homogeneous austenite evolves. This condition is the starting point for the following hardening and/or quenching and tempering treatment. In the case of hypereutectoid steels, austenisation takes place above the A1 temperature. Heating-up should be fast to keep the austenite grain as fine as possible (see TTA-diagram, chapter 2). Then air cooling follows, leading normally to a transformation in the ferrite condition (see Figure 8.8, line 1; formation of ferrite and perlite, normalised micro-structure).

8. Technical Heat Treatment

99 To harden a material, austenisation and homogenisation is carried out also at

C 900


transformation and homogenizing of g-solid solution (30-60 min) at 30C above A3 A3


30 C above AC3. Also in this case one must watch that the austenite grains remain as small as possible. To ensure a complete

austenite + ferrite


700 ferrite + perlite 500

quick heating

air cooling

300 0,4

transformation to marten0,8 C-Content % Time

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site, a subsequent quenching follows until the temperature is far below


Figure 8.9

the Ms-temperature, Figure 8.10. The cooling rate dur-

ing quenching must be high enough to cool down from the austenite zone directly into the martensite zone without any further phase transitions (curve 2 in Figure 8.8). Such quenching processes build-up very high thermal stresses which may destroy the workpiece during hardening. Thus there are variations of this process, where perlite formation is suppressed, but due to a smaller temperature gradient thermal stresses remain on an uncritical level (curves 3 and 4 in Figure 8.8). This can be achieved in practice for example- through stopping a water quenching
C 900 austenite + ferrite

austenite about 30C above A3 A3


process at a certain temperature and continuing the cooling with a milder cooling medium (oil). With longer holding on at elevated temperature level, transformations can also be carried through in the bainite area (curves 5 and 6).


700 ferrite + perlite 500 start of martensite formation 300 0,4


quenching in water

start of martensite formation Time

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0,8 C-Content


Figure 8.10

8. Technical Heat Treatment


Figure 8.11 shows the quenching and tempering procedure. A hardening is followed by another heat treatment below Ac1. During this tempering process, a break down of martensite takes place. Ferrite and cementite are formed. As this change causes a very fine microstructure, this heat treatment leads to very good mechanical properties like
C 900 austenite + ferrite


hardening and tempering about 30C above A3 A3


e.g. strength and toughness.


700 ferrite + perlite 500

quenching slow cooling

Figure 8.12 shows the pro300 0,4


cedure of soft-annealing.
0,8 C-Content % Time
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Here we aim to adjust a soft and suitable microstructure for machining. Such a structure is characterised by mostly globular

Hardening and Tempering

Figure 8.11

formed cementite particles, while the lamellar structure of the perlite is resolved (in Figure 8.12 marked by the circles, to the left: before, to the right: after soft-annealing). For hypoeutectic steels, this spheroidizing of cementite is achieved by a heat treatment close below A1. With these steels, a part of the cementite bonded carbon dissolves during heat treating close below A1, the remaining cementite lamellas transform with time into balls, and the bigger ones grow at the expense of the smaller ones (a transformation is carried out because

C 900

austenite time dependent on workpiece 10 to 20C below A1


the surface area is strongly reduced tion). thermodynamisteels cally more favourable condiHypereutectic have in addition to the lamellar structure of the perlite a cementite network on the

austenite + ferrite 700 ferrite + perlite 500

A3 A1

oscillation annealing + / - 20 degrees around A1


300 0,4 0,8 C-Content % Time cementite


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grain boundaries.

Soft Annealing

Figure 8.12

8. Technical Heat Treatment


Spheroidizing of cementite is achieved by making use of the transformation processes during oscillating around A1. When exceeding A1 a transformation of ferrite to austenite takes place with a simultaneous solution of a certain amount of carbon according to the binary system Fe C. When the temperature drops below A1 again and is kept about 20 C below until the transformation is completed, a re-precipitation of cementite on existing nuclei takes
C 900 austenite + ferrite


place. The repetition of this


process leads to a steptime dependent on workpiece


700 ferrite + perlite 500

wise spheroidizing of cebetween 450 and 650 C

mentite and the frequent transformation annealed avoids a grain coarsening. A soft-

300 0,4

0,8 C-Content

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represents frequently the delivery condition of a material.

Stress Relieving

Figure 8.13

Figure 8.13 shows the principle of a stress-relieve heat treatment. This heat treatment is used to eliminate dislocations which were caused by welding, deforming, transformation etc. to improve the toughness of a workpiece. Stress-relieving works only if present dislocations are able to move, i.e. plastic structure deformations must be executable in the micro-range. A temperature increase is the commonly used method to make such deformations
Stress releaving Heat treatment at a temperature below the lower transition point A1 , mostly between 600 and 650C, with subsequent slow cooling for relief of internal stresses; there is no substantial change of present properties. Heating to a temperature slightly above the upper transition point A3 (hypereutectoidic steels above the lower transition point A1 ), followed by cooling in tranquil atmosphere. Acooling from a temperature above the transition point A3 or A1 with such a speed that an clear increase of hardness occurs at the surface or across the complete cross-section, normally due to martensite development. Heat treatment to achieve a high ductility with defined tensile stress by hardening and subsequent tempering (mostly at a higher temperature. Fast cooling of a workpiece. Also fast cooling of austenitic steels from high temperature (mostly above 1000C) to develop an almost homogenuous micro-structure with high ductility is called 'quenching heat treatment'. Heating after previous hardening, cold working or welding to a temperature between room temperature and the lower transformation point A1; stopping at this temperature and subsequent purposeful cooling.

possible because the yield strength limit decreases with increasing temperature. A stress-relieve heat treatment should not cause any other change to properties, so that tempering steels are heat treated below tempering


Hardening (quench hardening) Quenching and tempering Solution or quenching heat treatment



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Figure 8.14

Type and Purpose of Heat Treatment

8. Technical Heat Treatment


Figure 8.14 shows a survey of heat treatments which are important to welding as well as their purposes.
Types of heat treatments related to welding

Figure 8.15 shows principally the heat treatments in

combination heat treatment after welding (post-weld heat treatment)

heat treatment before welding


accompanying heat treatment

connection with welding. Heat treatment processes are divided into: before,
solution tempering heat treatment

simple step-hardening welding

pure step hardening welding

modified step hardening welding


stress releaving

stress releaving

annealing hardening quenching and tempering postheating (post weld heat treatment)

during, and after welding. Normally a stress-relieving or normalizing heat treatment is applied before welding to adjust a proper



simple preheating

increase of working temperature

constant working temperature isothermal welding

local preheating

preheating of the complete workpiece

heat treatment of the complete workpiece

local heat treatment


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material condition which for

Heat Treatment in Connection With Welding

welding. After welding, alFigure 8.15

most any possible heat treatment can be carried

out. This is only limited by workpiece dimensions/shapes or arising costs. The most important section of the diagram is the kind of heat

treatment which accom-panies the welding. The most important processes are explained in the following.
Temperature T

C 700



Figure 8.16 represents the influence of different accompanying heat treatments during welding, given within a TTT-diagram. The fastest cooling is achieved with welding without preheating, with addition of a small share of bainite, mainly martensite is formed (curve 1, analogous to Figure 8.8, hardening). A simple heating before welding without additional stopping time lowers the cooling rate according to curve 2. The proportion of martensite is reduced in the forming structure, as well as the

400 MS 300 (1)






0 0 1 10 tH (1): Welding without preheating, (2): Welding with preheating up to 380C, without stoppage time (3): Welding with preheating up to 380C and about 10 min. stoppage time TA: Stoppage temperature, tH: Dwell time 102 Time t 103 104 s 105


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TTT-Diagram for Different Welding Conditions

Figure 8.16

8. Technical Heat Treatment


level of hardening. If the material is hold at a temperature above MS during welding (curve 3), then the martensite formation will be completely suppressed (see Figure 8.8, curve 4 and 5).

To explain the temperature-time-behaviours




used in the following, Figure 8.17 shows a superposition of all individual influences on the materials as well as the resulting T-T-course in
Temperature T


A3 A1 transformation range

the HAZ. As an example, welding with simple preheating is selected. The plate is preheated in a period tV. After removal of the heat source, the cooling of the workpiece starts. When tS is reached, welding starts, and its temperature peak overlays the cooling curve of the base material. When the welding is completed, cooling period tA starts. The full line represents the resulting temperature-time-behaviour of the HAZ.


Time t tV
TV: Preheat temperature, TS: Melting temperature of material, tV: Preheat time, tS: Welding time, tA: Cooling time (room temperature), MS: Martensite start temperature A3: Upper transformation temperature, A1: Lower transformation temperature


Course of resulting temperature in the area of the heat affected zone of the base material. Temperature distribution by preheating, Course of temperature during welding.
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The temperature time course during welding with simple preheating is shown in Figure 8.18.
Figure 8.17

Temperature-Time-Distribution During Welding With Preheating

During a welding time tS a drop of the working temA3

Temperature T

perature TA occurs. A further air cooling is usually carried out, however, the cooling rate can also be



Time t tV tS tA

reduced by covering with

Temperature of workpiece, Temperature of weld point

heat insulating materials. Another variant of welding

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TV: Preheat temperature, TA: Working temperature, tV: Preheat time, tS: Welding time, tA: Cooling time (room temperature)

Welding With Simple Preheating

with preheating is welding at constant working This is temperature.

Figure 8.18

8. Technical Heat Treatment

104 achieved through further


warming during welding to avoid a drop of the working temperature. In Figure 8.19 is this case (dashed line, TA needs not to be above MS) as well as the special case of isothermal welding illustrated. During isothermal welding, the workpiece
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Temperature T



Time t tS tV tH tA

tH = 0

TV: Preheat temperature, TA: Working temperature, tV: Preheat time,

tS: Welding time, tA: Cooling time (room temperature), tH: Dwell time


Welding With Preheating and Stoppage at Working Temperature

is heated up to a working temperature above MS (start of martensite formation) and is also held there

Figure 8.19

after welding until a transformation of the austenitised areas has been completed. The aim of isothermal welding is to cool down in accordance with curve 3 in Figure 8.16 and in this way, to suppress martensite formation.
1. Post-heating

Figure 8.20 shows the T-T course during

Temperature T

welding with post-warming (subsequent heat treatment, see Figure 8.15). Such a treatment can be carried out very easy, a gas welding torch is normally used for a local preheating. In this way, the toughness properties of some steels can be greatly improved. The lower sketch shows a combination of pre- and postheat treatment. Such a treatment is applied to steels which have such a strong tendency to hardening that a cracking in spite of a simple preheating before welding cannot be avoided, if they cool down directly from working temperature. Such materials are heat treated immediately after welding at a temperature between 600 and 700 C, so that a formation



Time t tS tN tA

2. Pre- and post-heating

Temperature T




Time t tV tS tR tN tA

TV: Preheat temperature, TA: Working temperature, TN: Postheat temperature, tV: Preheating time,

tS: tA: tN: tR:

Welding time, Cooling time (room temperature), Postheat time Stoppage time
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Welding With Pre- and Post-Heating

Figure 8.20

8. Technical Heat Treatment of martensite is avoided and welding residual stresses are eliminated simultaneously.


Aims of the modified stepTHa A3

Temperature T




not be discussed here, Figure 8.21. Such treatments are used for transformationinert materials. The aim of the figure is to show how complicated a heat treatment

TSt TAnl


MS TAnl Time t tS tH
TA: Working temperature, TAnl: Tempering temperature, TH: Hardening temperature,


TSt: Step temperature, tA: Cooling time, tAb: Quenching time,

tHa tAb
tAnl: Tempering time, tH: Dwell time, tS: Welding time


Temperature of workpiece, Temperature of weld point

can become for a material in combination with welding. Figure 8.22 shows tempera-

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Modified Step Weld Hardening

Figure 8.21

ture distribution during multipass welding. The solid line

represents the T-T course of a point in the HAZ in the first pass. The root pass was welded without preheating. Subsequent passes were welded without cooling down to a certain temperature. As a result, working temperature increases with the number of passes. The
Temperature T

weld pass heat affected zone 4 3 weld pass 2 1 observed point


second pass is welded under a preheat temperature which is already above martensite start temperature. The heat which remains in the workpiece preheats the upper layers of the weld, the root pass is post-heat treated through the same effect. During welding of the last pass, the preheat temperature has reached such a high level that the critical cooling rate will not be surpassed. A favourable effect of multi-pass welding is the warming of the HAZ of each previous pass above recrystallisation temperature with the corresponding crystallisa-



Time t tS tV tA

TV: Preheat temperature, TS: Melting temperature of material, tV: Preheat time, tS: Welding time tA: Cooling time (room temperature), A3: Upper transformation temperature, MS: Martensite start temperature
br-er04-22.cdr ISF 2004

Temperature-Time Distribution During Multi-Pass Welding

Figure 8.22

8. Technical Heat Treatment


tion effects in the HAZ. The coarse grain zone with its unfavourable mechanical properties is only present in the HAZ of the last layer. To achieve optimum mechanical values, welding is not carried out to Figure 8.22. As a rule, the same welding conditions should be applied for all passes and prescribed t8/5 times must be kept, welding of the next pass will not be carried out before the previous pass has cooled down to a certain temperature (keeping the interpass temperature). In addition, the workpiece will not heat up to excessively high temperatures. Figure 8.23 shows a nomogram where working temperature and minimum and maximum heat input for some steels can be interpreted, depending on carbon equivalent and wall thickness. If e.g. the water quenched and tempered fine grain structural steel S690QL of 40 mm wall thickness is welded, the following data can be found: - minimum heat input between 5.5 and 6 kJ/cm - maximum heat input about 22 kJ/cm - preheating to about 160 C - after welding, residual stress relieving between 530 and 600 C. Steels which are placed in the hatched area called soaking area, must be treated with a hydrogen relieve annealing. Above this area, a stress relieve annealing must be carried out. Below this area, a post-weld heat treatment is not required.

Figure 8.23