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Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2010) 50:543556 DOI 10.



Multisensor-based monitoring of weld deposition and plate distortion for various torch angles in pulsed MIG welding
Kamal Pal & Sandip Bhattacharya & Surjya K. Pal

Received: 19 June 2009 / Accepted: 4 January 2010 / Published online: 3 February 2010 # Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Abstract Manufacturing companies often fail to maintain good weld quality due to poor arc stability and distortion after welding. Weld quality can be improved by reducing the transverse shrinkage and the angular distortion in butt welding. The welding deposition efficiency is also an important economic factor. In this work, various pulse voltage parameters have been varied along with welding torch angle in pulsed metal inert gas (P-MIG) welding. The experimental results revealed that the peak voltage is the dominant pulse voltage parameter. Various sensors were also used to monitor arc current, arc voltage, arc sound, and also weld temperature. A strong relationship between arc sound (as well as arc power) and transverse distortion (as well as metal deposition) was found to exist in P-MIG welding. The frequency domain features of welding arc sound were also extracted and correlated to the process characteristics. Keywords Welding torch angle . Arc acoustics . Transverse shrinkage . Angular distortion . Deposition efficiency List of symbols F Wire feed rate, meters per minute S Welding speed, millimeters per second t Welding torch angle, degree Vm Mean voltage, volt Vp Peak voltage, volt Vb Background voltage, volt
K. Pal : S. Bhattacharya : S. K. Pal (*) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721 302, India e-mail:

fp tp tb Dp Vrms Irms Prms Vi Ii Sk 4 yi y n Tp d t a

Pulse frequency, Hertz Pulse on-time, millisecond Pulse off-time, millisecond Pulse duty factor RMS value of voltage, millivolt RMS value of current, ampere RMS arc power, kilowatt Magnitude of the i-th data point of voltage signal magnitude of the i-th data point of current signal Arc sound kurtosis Fourth moment of sound signal Standard deviation of sound signal Magnitude of the i-th data point of sound signal Mean value of sound signal Total number of data points of current/voltage/sound signal considered Weld peak temperature, degree Celsius Deposition efficiency, percent Transverse shrinkage, percent Angular distortion, degree

1 Introduction The reduction of welding induced residual deformation along with stable and efficient metal transfer is the challenging task in modern automated industries. The weld fabrication accuracy and weld economy are directly related to weld plate distortion and metal deposition, respectively. The weld zone is locally heated by the arc in gas metal arc welding (GMAW). The temperature distribution and its variation with time along the weld plate is nonuniform, which generates thermal stress and residual deformation.


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The steel plate distortion depends mainly on the carbon percentage and its grade and edge preparation modes [1]. The phase transformation during welding has also been found to be a predominant factor causing residual stress and distortion [2, 3]. Transverse shrinkage and angular distortion are the major weld quality problems for low carbon steel in pulsed metal inert gas (P-MIG) welding [4]. The arc stability depends on material transfer behavior and arc length variations in P-GMAW. The weld deposition efficiency, the ratio of actual metal volume deposition to its theoretical value, is influenced by the degree of arc stability [5]. Transverse shrinkage and angular distortion after welding are shown in Fig. 1. The transverse shrinkage mainly depends on the amount of heat input and area of welding zone in GMAW. The angular distortion in the plates during butt welding is primarily due to nonuniform transverse shrinkage along the depth of weld. It increases with increase in number of passes and decreases with increase in wire feed rate and the time gap between successive passes in multipass GMAW [6]. The welding torch angle also influences the weld bead shape in GMAW [7]. Various techniques have also been investigated to reduce residual angular deformation, such as predeformation and preheating [8], preheating with or without stretching [9], doublesided double arc welding [10], adaptive weld plate clamping [11], and using optimized welding sequences [12]. Various finite element (FEA) models, along with temperature distribution analysis, have been developed to monitor the weld-induced residual stress and distortion [1317]. Soft computing tools have been used with these FEA models to increase the monitoring capability [18, 19]. The welding current and arc voltage signals have also been used as inputs to these soft computing models to predict distortion [4].

Fig. 1 Schematic representation of transverse shrinkage and angular distortion of butt weld

A stable welding process must have a uniform material transfer with minimal spatter [20]. The optimum arc stability in P-GMAW is obtained for one droplet per pulse (ODPP) condition, with a droplet size close to that of the electrode wire diameter [21]. Miranda et al. developed a control system capable of automatically adjusting pulse parameters to achieve stable ODPP metal transfer [22]. The droplet detachment is also related to its oscillation behavior, which is also affected by pulse parameters [23]. Palani and Murugan [24, 25] proposed various aspects of pulse parameters and their selection to obtain good quality welds. Ghosh et al. [26] developed an analytical model to provide a theoretical background of the effect of pulse parameters on metal transfer modes in P-GMAW. GMAW processes are nonlinear with various uncontrollable factors like contamination, environmental conditions as well as a lot of uncertainties. The actual process parameters also vary dynamically. It indicates the necessity of real-time monitoring and control to overcome the time-consuming and costly postprocessing in modern automated welding environments. Therefore, various adaptive, reliable, and robust online sensors have also been used with the intelligent modeling, analytical, and simulation techniques. These sensors can be utilized to acquire actual values of process features to be used as inputs to the developed model to improve the online monitoring capability. Current and voltage sensors are considered to be the most reliable, simple, and competitive [27]. The metal transfer modes have also been identified with a pattern recognition system using these sensor signals [28]. However, these two arc sensors are not sufficient to completely characterize the process [29]. Therefore, visual inspection, artificial vision sensing, infrared sensing, radiographic sensing, etc. are also used. The infrared sensor has been used to monitor the weld centerline temperature and weld penetration depth during arc welding [30, 31]. It is very difficult to grasp the dynamic welding characteristics, especially near the arc, due to very high temperature, spatter formation, fumes, etc. Arc acoustics and ultrasonic sensing may be better choice. Primarily, the arc behavior, the molten weld pool, and metal droplet transfer mode influence the acoustic waves produced in GMAW. Jolly [32] confirmed the relevance of acoustic waves produced during GMAW. Arata et al. [3335] tried to correlate the welding sound with various process parameters in CO2 arc welding, continuous MIG welding and pulse tungsten inert gas (P-TIG) welding. Drouet and Nadeau [36] developed an arc length monitoring technique with an acoustic voltmeter. Mansoor and Huissoon [37] investigated the same phenomenon with both time and frequency domain analyses to correlate it with metal transfer modes in GMAW. Grad et al. [38, 39]

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evaluated the arc welding process stability using various statistical parameters of acquired sound signals. Fan et al. [40] concluded that CO2 welding arc sound energy and spatter loss were proportional to each other. Various background industrial noise sources may obstruct the analysis of emitted welding sound signal. This can be suitably overcome and acoustic monitoring might be better than other techniques [41]. Ogawa and Koga [42] observed that the burn-through condition in CO2 arc welding can only be identified by arc sound. Luksa [43] correlated sound emissions generated in the GMAW process with signals registered in the arc circuit during various metal transfer modes. Cudina et al. [44, 45] proposed two types of noise generating mechanisms, namely sound impulses for arc extinction and arc reignition and turbulent noise due to metal transfer in shortcircuit GMAW. Poopat and Warinsiriruk [46] used the time and frequency domain features to identify the metal transfer modes and defects in GMAW. Lin and Fischer [47] also used arc welding sound acoustics in ANN models for the prediction of weld bead geometry and degree of spatter. There is a strong relationship between arc sound signal and process parameters as well as weld quality in various GMAW processes, especially in CO2 welding and shortcircuit GMAW. In this work, the effect of pulse parameters at various torch angles on weld-induced distortion has been investigated. Various sensor signals have also been used to monitor the distortion. Transverse shrinkage (t), angular distortion (a), and deposition efficiency (d) have been investigated for three mean arc voltage conditions (Vm =21.5, 24.5, and 27.5 V) at three welding torch angles (t = 25 backhand, 0 perpendicular, and +25 forehand) during P-MIG butt welding of 6 mm low carbon steel plate, as shown in Fig. 2. Four pulse voltage parameters, namely peak voltage (Vp), background voltage (Vb), pulse frequency (fp), and pulse ontime (tp), were each varied individually at three levels, so that it corresponds to the specified mean arc voltage conditions. The main objective was to investigate the effects of each pulse parameter on metal deposition and plate distortions at

various torch angles. Various sensor signals (current, voltage, sound, and temperature) have also been acquired throughout the experiment. Time domain statistical values (mean, root mean square (RMS), kurtosis, etc.) of welding current, arc voltage, and welding sound signal along with weld surface peak temperature were computed to correlate these with process outputs. The welding sound kurtosis (Sk), RMS value of arc power (Prms), and weld peak temperature (Tp) have been found to be strongly correlated with transverse shrinkage as well as deposition efficiency, as found earlier with deposition efficiency for bead on plate P-MIG welding [5]. Finally, an attempt was also made to correlate the frequency domain features of arc sound signal with process outputs.

2 Experimentation The welding speed (S) and wire feed rate (F) were kept constant to 7.4 mm/s and 8 m/min, respectively. Then, the range of mean voltage (Vm =21.5 to 27.5 V) has been adjusted after some trail experiments for accepted weld joint quality. The three levels of mean voltage were 21.5, 24.5, and 27.5 V. These mean voltage conditions may be achieved with the variation of any one pulse parameter only, keeping other pulse parameters constant. However, four pulse voltage parameters, namely peak voltage (Vp), background voltage (Vb), pulse frequency (fp), and pulse on-time (tp), have also been varied one at a time keeping other pulse voltage parameters constant at center point (Vp =33.2 V, Vb =16 V, fp =124 Hz, tp =4 ms) to achieve these mean voltage conditions. The theoretical mean welding voltage is a function of pulse duty factor (Dp) and two pulse voltage parameters (Vp and Vb), as mentioned in Eq. 1. Dp again may be expressed as a function of another two pulse parameters (tp and fp), as per Eq. 2. Thus, Vm can be varied with each independent pulse parameter. Vm Vp Dp Vb 1 Dp 1 Dp tp tp fp tp tb 2

The shielding gas flow rate (10 L/min) and its pressure (10 MPa) also remained constant throughout the experiment. The gap between welding torch to the plates to be welded was maintained constant at 20 mm at each torch angle condition. The plates to be welded were cut to the required dimensions. 2.1 Preparation of specimens
Fig. 2 Schematic representation of various welding torch angles in PMIG welding

In this investigation, a pair of low carbon steel specimens, each having dimensions of 1501206 mm, was used as

546 Table 1 Chemical composition (weight percent) of the base plate C 0.208 Si 0.171 Mn 0.489 P 0.088 S 0.047 Ta 0.018 Cr 0.008 Ni 0.007

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the work piece. The chemical composition of the work piece material was obtained by optical emission spectroscopy analysis (Table 1). The plates were cleaned with brush and alcohol solutions for better weldability. These specimens were prepared with V-shaped groove having the groove angle, the root face, and the root gap of 60, 1.5 mm, and 1 mm, respectively. The faces of each pair of specimens were cleaned by a surface grinder. 2.2 Equipment used A voltage-controlled pulsed MIG welding machine has been used. Pure argon (99.9%) was used as the shielding gas. The electrode was copper-coated mild steel filler wire (ESAB, S-6 wire) of 1.2 mm diameter. The electrode wire was fed to the welding gun by a four-roller drive system. Current (Hall-effect current sensor LEM, model LT 500S) sensor, voltage sensor, sound sensor, and infrared pyrometer were used. The experimental setup is shown in Fig. 3. The measured voltage was stepped down in 1:11 ratio before being fed to the A/D card. A microphone (B & K, 4189) with attached pre-amplifier (2669L) and a conditioning amplifier (Nexus 2690, combined sensitivity 316 mV/Pa) was positioned at a distance of 1 m from the welding torch as shown in Fig. 3. An infrared pyrometer (Omegascope, OS523-3) was focused to the plate surface at a distance of 15 mm from the arc. The signals were acquired using two A/D cards (National Instruments, USB-6120) to two Intel Pentium-4 PCs using LabVIEW 7.1 data acquisition interface at a sampling frequency of 40 kHz (for current,

voltage, and sound signals) and 10 Hz (for pyrometer), respectively. The weight of base plates and welded plates were measured by electronic balance (A and D Company Limited, GF-3000). Vernier calipers and digital dial indicator (Mitutoyo Corp., IDS1012) were used to calculate transverse shrinkage and angular distortion, respectively. 2.3 Experimental procedure A total of 30 experiments were conducted at three different torch angles. The pulse voltage parameters were varied at three levels for three mean voltage conditions at three welding torch angles (Table 2). The center point experiments (central values of all pulse parameters) have been repeated twice for each torch angle position to check the repeatability of the results. To make a butt weld joint, two plates were tack welded at the two ends (points T1 and T2), as shown in Fig. 4. The acquired voltage and current signals were postprocessed in the time domain to obtain their RMS values Vrms and Irms, as per Eqs. 3 and 4, respectively. The RMS value of arc power has been obtained by multiplying the RMS value of acquired welding current and corresponding welding voltage signals as per Eq. 5. Vrms
n 1X Vi 2 n i 1 n 1X Ii 2 n i1


Prms Vrms Irms

The sound signal was also postprocessed to obtain its kurtosis value (Sk). Kurtosis is a statistical parameter which

Fig. 3 Schematic diagram of the experimental set up

Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2010) 50:543556 Table 2 Pulse parameters and their values in P-MIG welding Pulse parameter Peak voltage (Vp), volt Background voltage (Vb), volt Pulse frequency ( fp), Hz Pulse on-time (tp), ms Parameter values 27, 33.2, 39.2 10, 16, 21.8 80, 124, 167 2.6, 4, 5.4

547 Mean welding voltage (Vm), volt 21.5, 24.5, 27.5, respectively

indicated the peakedness of a signal or the sharpness of its peaks. It is defined as the ratio of the fourth moment of a signal (4) about the mean to the fourth power of its standard deviation (). A normal distribution has a kurtosis value of 3. Often the kurtosis is defined as the excess kurtosis over a normal distribution by subtracting 3 from the actual kurtosis value as mentioned in Eq. 6. This representation makes the kurtosis value of a normal distribution equal to zero. yi y4 m4 i 1 Sk 4 3  2 3 n s P 2 1 y y i n
1 n i1 n P

The theoretical metal deposition (Wd) has been calculated using Eq. 8, where Tw is the welding time, F is the wire feed rate, and w is the weight per unit length of the wire. Wd Tw F w 8

The transverse shrinkage can be expressed as the ratio of change in length due to welding to the initial length across the weld plate, as shown in Fig. 4. It was measured at three linear positions (L11, L22, and L33), and their average has been calculated as per Eq. 9, where, L11, L12, and L13 represent the linear change along the respective lines after welding. ! 1 $L11 $L22 $L33 rt 9 3 L11 L22 L33 Similarly, the angular distortion can also be expressed as the change in angle between two weld plates due to welding. It can be expressed with the coordinates in vertical direction. The vertical coordinates of six points shown by solid circles were measured before and after welding (Fig. 4). The coordinate values at each point Ai2 (i =1, 2, and 3) were measured with respect to point Ai1 (i =1, 2, and 3) by clamping the left edge of the left plate before (at t =0) and after (at t = ) welding. The average vertical displacements (H) of these three pairs of points were calculated as per Eq. 10. H
3 1X Ai2 Ai1 jt0 Ai2 Ai1 jt1 3 i1

2.4 Welding outputs calculations The process outputs, namely weld deposition efficiency (d), transverse shrinkage (t), and angular distortion (a) are then calculated. The enhancement of the plate weight has been calculated as the difference between the final (Wf) and the initial (Wi) plate weights. The deposition efficiency (d) can then be calculated as per Eq. 7, where Wd represents the theoretical value of deposited metal weight. ! W f W i hd 7 Wd


The angular distortion (a) then can be expressed as per Eq. 11, where L (= 210 mm) is the linear distance between a pair of points.   1 2H aa tan 11 L

3 Experimental results and discussions Various process inputs with their corresponding outputs along with the processed time domain sensor data are shown in Table 3. The average value of each process output along with sensor s output is shown in Table 4. The arc power, pulse voltage parameters, and welding torch

Fig. 4 Schematic representation for measurement of transverse shrinkage and angular distortion with tack welds

548 Table 3 Detailed experimental design matrix with responses Experiment no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 t 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Vm 21.5 24.5 27.5 21.5 27.5 21.5 27.5 21.5 24.5 27.5 21.5 24.5 27.5 21.5 27.5 21.5 27.5 21.5 24.5 27.5 21.5 24.5 27.5 21.5 27.5 21.5 27.5 21.5 24.5 27.5 Vp 27 33.2 39.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 27 33.2 39.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 27 33.2 39.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 33.2 Vb 16 16 16 10 21.8 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 10 21.8 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 10 21.8 16 16 16 16 16 fp 124 124 124 124 124 80 167 124 124 124 124 124 124 124 124 80 167 124 124 124 124 124 124 124 124 80 167 124 124 124 tp 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2.6 4 5.4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2.6 4 5.4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2.6 4 5.4 Prms 5.15 6.65 8.73 6.81 7.1 5.84 7.59 5.56 6.88 7.36 5.73 6.65 8.71 6.26 6.89 5.68 7.76 5.76 6.55 7.26 5.16 6.56 8.43 6.21 6.76 5.54 7.28 5.46 6.55 7.47 Sk 78.9 11.22 0.47 41.87 1.37 86.75 3.14 59.46 20.75 0.52 99.39 27.76 0.65 34.84 16.5 30.21 36.53 21.79 23.03 3.37 88.71 23.87 0.71 27.37 1.38 60.82 1.93 53.47 19.63 0.75

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Tp 462.77 718.87 765.53 674.78 675.58 615.44 663.11 593.95 622.01 657.91 371.62 384.01 480.93 393.72 378.47 392.96 377.64 371.86 400.63 388.45 471.82 490.36 502.25 465.22 484.33 459.17 486.99 460.39 477.15 484

d 91.51 93.01 93.29 91.61 93.65 90.13 93.94 90.35 92.55 93.74 85.94 88.86 93.88 84.77 89.43 85.1 87.27 87.5 87.98 92.31 87.12 91.12 93.46 91.12 93.13 89.7 91.82 89.75 92.04 90.72

t 0.108 0.137 0.134 0.129 0.145 0.082 0.114 0.111 0.141 0.132 0.097 0.131 0.18 0.118 0.133 0.119 0.159 0.131 0.124 0.15 0.057 0.127 0.138 0.158 0.142 0.089 0.16 0.106 0.131 0.138

a 0.153 0.831 0.865 0.951 0.748 0.662 0.783 0.616 0.992 0.714 0.312 1.17 1.015 1.242 0.733 0.746 1.223 0.734 1.131 1.172 0.243 1.01 0.841 1.187 0.624 0.783 0.728 0.655 1.09 0.812

position influence the heat input to the weld, heat concentration as well as arc stability. The weld surface peak temperature was also related to the thermal behavior of the weld puddle. Thus, the arc power and weld peak temperature are correlated with metal deposition (or arc stability) and transverse shrinkage. The angular distortion was also affected by the heat input to the weld as well as heat concentration.

Table 4 Average value of sensor outputs and process outputs at various torch angles t 25 +25 0 Prms 6.77 6.72 6.54 Sk 30.25 23.01 27.86 Tp 645 394.03 478.17 d 92.38 88.3 91 t 1.23 1.34 1.25 a 0.732 0.941 0.798

The average arc power (heat input to the weld) was found to be higher in the both cases of backhand and forehand welding techniques as compared to torch perpendicular condition. But the average weld peak temperature is least in forehand technique due to less heat concentration in the absence of any weld zone preheating by arc. In forehand welding, the average value of deposition efficiency has been found to be reduced due to high spatter, whereas the transverse shrinkage as well as angular distortion increased, possibly due to flatter weld bead with less heat concentration. The average value of arc sound kurtosis is less in case of forehand welding possibly due to less metal transfer than other techniques, though there is a huge amount of spatter in this welding method. The pulse voltage parameters significantly influenced the process outputs at various torch angles. The interaction effect between each pulse voltage parameter with torch angle has also been investigated.

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3.1 Effect of pulse parameters on deposition efficiency, transverse shrinkage, and angular distortion The pulse voltage parameters influence the metal transfer behavior as well as arc characteristics. The arc stability follows the power law relation (i.e., Inp tp =constant, n =2) in P-GMAW [24]. Various specific pulse parameters combinations were taken at a given wire feed rate, where the burn-off rate equals to wire feed rate [25]. The degree of arc stability depends on this criterion. The arc stability again strongly influences the weld quality (as well as metal deposition) in GMAW. The influence of each pulse voltage parameter on process outputs has been found to be quite different at various torch angles. The variation of RMS arc power due to change in peak voltage is highly significant (44.52%) as compared to other pulse parameters; the effect of background voltage being the least (6.66%), as shown in Table 5. Thus, actual average arc power, as well as heat input to the weld, is also influenced by the pulse parameters in the same way, which is related to metal deposition and distortion. The deposition efficiency depends primarily on the degree of arc stability and amount of metal deposition per unit welding time. It is highly correlated with the arc power, the arc sound kurtosis, and the weld peak temperature, as noticed earlier in case of bead on plate P-MIG welding [5]. Transverse shrinkage and angular distortion are related to the actual heat input to the weld and its concentration, which also depends on the torch position. Generally, the degree of any welding induced distortion increases with the heat input to the weld, provided that other welding conditions are same [13]. 3.1.1 Effect of peak voltage (Vp) The peak voltage is the predominant factor on the nature of metal transfer modes in P-GMAW [24]. The deposition efficiency and transverse shrinkage increased significantly with the peak voltage in case of forehand welding technique and torch in perpendicular condition; for backhand welding, it almost remained constant, as shown in Fig. 5a, b. However, the angular distortion initially
Table 5 Variation of RMS arc power with pulse parameters Pulse parameter RMS arc power, kW t = 25 Vp Vb fp tp 3.58 0.29 1.75 1.8 t =+25 2.98 0.63 2.08 1.5 t =0 3.27 0.55 1.74 1.91 Average 3.28 0.49 1.86 1.74 % effect 44.52 6.66 25.23 23.6 Fig. 5 Effect of peak voltage on a deposition efficiency, b transverse shrinkage, and c angular distortion


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increased significantly and thereafter remained almost constant for various torch angles, as shown in Fig. 5c. The reason may due to be higher heat penetration after reaching a particular arc voltage, which reduced the angular distortion slightly. 3.1.2 Effect of background voltage (Vb) The background voltage mainly controls the arc stability, when there is no metal transfer [24]. In forehand welding, the background voltage significantly influences the metal deposition as compared to other torch angles as shown in Fig. 6a. The transverse shrinkage is found to be higher at low background voltage in torch in perpendicular condition due to low heat penetration, which significantly reduced and then increased slightly. However, it increased in both forehand welding and backhand welding, as shown in Fig. 6b. The influence of background voltage on angular distortion is quite different as shown in Fig. 6c. The angular distortion is found to be significantly reduced with an increase of the background voltage, especially in case of forehand and torch in perpendicular conditions, due to higher heat concentration with almost same arc voltage. 3.1.3 Effect of pulse frequency (fp) The pulse frequency, the number of pulses per unit time, is to be adjusted to achieve the correct burn-off rate in relation to wire feed rate to obtain constant arc length (or arc stability) [24]. The greater concentration of energy density was achieved with an increase of pulse frequency in pulsed TIG welding [48]. There is an optimum value of pulse frequency, for a specified pulse on-time, where the degree of arc stability is the best. The deposition efficiency initially increased significantly with pulse frequency and thereafter remained constant in case of backhand and perpendicular torch conditions. However, it reduced beyond the optimum value of pulse frequency in case of forehand welding (Fig. 7a). The transverse shrinkage increased significantly with an increase of pulse frequency due to higher heat input. However, it was found to reduce beyond a certain pulse frequency in case of backhand welding due to higher heat concentration [49] and uniform contraction across the weld thickness as shown in Fig. 7b. The angular distortion was also found to be reduced beyond a certain limit of pulse frequency due to higher heat penetration in backhand as well as torch in perpendicular condition. However, it was found to increase in case of forehand technique due to wider weld bead with less heat penetration (Fig. 7c).

Fig. 6 Effect of background voltage on a deposition efficiency, b transverse shrinkage, and c angular distortion

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3.1.4 Effect of pulse on-time (tp) The pulse on-time or peak time also indicates the metal transfer modes and metal droplet size as peak voltage [24]. The metal deposition increased considerably with an increase of pulse on-time in forehand as well as backhand welding techniques, whereas it was found to reduce beyond a particular pulse on-time in case of torch in perpendicular condition, as shown in Fig. 8a. The transverse shrinkage also increased considerably with an increase of pulse ontime but may reduce in case of higher heat penetration, as shown in Fig. 8b. The angular distortion first increased significantly with pulse on-time up to a certain limit and reduced thereafter in case of backhand and torch in perpendicular conditions, due to same reason, as shown in Fig. 8c. However, it was found to increase in case of forehand technique as noticed with pulse frequency. 3.2 Relationship between sensors outputs with metal deposition and distortion The average arc power was found to be an indicator of arc strength as well as its stability [29]. The weld surface peak temperature was also related to weld heat content and heat transfer from the weld [50]. The arc sound kurtosis value indicates the behavior of metal transfer in GMAW [39]. One major peak sound pressure was observed at reenergized arc condition, i.e., when voltage changes from low to high, as found earlier [5, 35]. In this work, various time domain statistical sensor outputs have been correlated with the process outputs. The degree of correlation was compared with the R2 value of the polynomial regression equation. 3.2.1 Arc sound kurtosis (Sk) The arc sound kurtosis strongly correlates the deposition efficiency. However, this relationship is more prominent (R2 0.8) for a defined torch angle as shown in case of backhand welding (Fig. 9a). The transverse distortion was found to be reduced with an increase of arc sound kurtosis, but it was also torch angle dependent (R2 0.6) as deposition efficiency. The variation of transverse shrinkage with arc sound kurtosis was shown in case of torch in perpendicular condition (Fig. 9b). 3.2.2 Arc power (Prms)
Fig. 7 Effect of pulse frequency on a deposition efficiency, b transverse shrinkage, and c angular distortion

The average acquired arc power was an indicator of the actual heat input to the weld as welding speed was constant. The deposition efficiency was found to be increased with arc power (R2 0.6) for a defined torch angle as shown in


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Fig. 9 a Relationship of arc sound kurtosis with deposition efficiency (backhand welding). b Relationship of arc sound kurtosis with transverse shrinkage (perpendicular welding)

torch in perpendicular condition (Fig. 10a). The transverse shrinkage was almost proportional (R2 0.8) to arc power as shown in case of forehand welding (Fig. 10b). However, this proportionality was found to be poor in backhand welding technique. 3.2.3 Weld peak temperature (Tp) The weld surface peak temperature was also related to deposition efficiency as found earlier in bead on plate welding. However, its proportionality was not as good as arc sound kurtosis and arc power. However, it has been observed that the angular distortion highly correlates (R2 0.8) with weld peak temperature in case of backhand welding, as shown Fig. 11. This is due to better arc stability in this condition.

Fig. 8 Effect of pulse on-time on a deposition efficiency, b transverse shrinkage, and c angular distortion

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Fig. 11 Relationship of weld peak temperature with angular distortion (backhand welding)

rt 5:314 0:006Tp 0:054Sk 1:457PRMS

2 0:123PRMS 0:001Tp PRMS 0:008Sk



aa 3:752 0:003Tp 0:014Sk 1:352PRMS

2 0:091PRMS


Fig. 10 a Relationship of RMS arc power with deposition efficiency (perpendicular welding). b Relationship of RMS arc power with transverse shrinkage (forehand welding)

3.3 Correlation of frequency domain features of arc voltage, welding current, and arc sound with process outputs The frequency domain analysis of the arc sound signal indicates the arc characteristics, metal transfer behavior [33, 34, 37], and weld defect identification [51]. The frequency domain analyses of welding current, arc voltage, as well as arc sound signals have also been carried out to correlate with the process outputs. The fast Fourier transform of voltage and current signals at various torch angles are highly monotonous with minor variations, which may not properly identify the process variations. There is a primary frequency peak at pulse voltage frequency due to arc reenergized sound, and various secondary frequency peaks occur at odd multiples of pulse frequency, as presented in case of square (i.e., 50% pulse duty factor) [5] and Sawtooth pulse shapes [35]. However, the secondary peaks may be even as well as odd multiples of pulse frequency with other pulse duty factors. Various low-frequency peaks also have been

Second-order regression models have also been developed (Eqs. 12, 13, and 14) to correlate acquired arc power, arc sound kurtosis, and weld surface peak temperature with each process output. Commercially available software for statistical analysis, MINITAB (release 13.31, Minitab Inc. 2002), has been used for the model development. The R2 values of the models were 79.3%, 78.5%, and 78.5%, respectively. These models showing the relationship between actual process features and their outputs can further be used for the monitoring of the process. hd 38:1053 0:0922Tp 0:222Sk 6:6825PRMS
2 2 0:0001Tp 0:2617PRMS 0:0037Tp

PRMS 0:0397Sk PRMS



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noticed in case of unstable arc or irregular metal transfer conditions. The variation of metal transfer behavior also has also been noticed with the help of current, voltage with sound signal pulses. The secondary frequency peaks and their amplitudes indicate the degree of metal transfer and its regularity. The variation of arc sound FFT is shown in Fig. 12 for various torch angles at same voltage condition. The number of low-frequency peaks is found to be more in case of forehand welding conditions with low-amplitude secondary high-frequency peaks, whereas it is somewhat monotonous with higher amplitude secondary highfrequency peaks in backhand welding and torch in perpendicular condition. It indicates the poor arc stability (or huge spatter) with low metal transfer in forehand welding technique. However, this irregularity is drastically improved at high-voltage conditions as indicated by frequency domain features. The average transverse shrinkage, as well as angular distortion, reduced in backhand welding due to stable arc (or higher arc heat concentration). Thus, the frequency domain features dictate the metal transfer behavior (or deposition efficiency), transverse shrinkage as well as angular distortion in butt welds.

4 Conclusions The arc welding sound features are strongly related with metal transfer behavior in pulsed MIG welding. The acquired arc power with weld peak temperature indicates the actual heat input and its penetration to the weld, which influence the transverse shrinkage and angular distortion of the butt weld. The following conclusions may have been made: (a) The peak voltage has the major contribution over average arc power or heat input to the weld than other pulse voltage parameters. (b) The backhand welding technique reduces welding distortions and improves deposition efficiency due to weld preheat and higher heat penetration. (c) The arc sound kurtosis and average arc power are strongly related with both deposition efficiency and transverse shrinkage. However, these sensor signals were significantly influenced by the variation of torch angle. (d) The arc sound frequency domain features were found to be more useful than arc sensors for the monitoring of weld quality and metal deposition.

Fig. 12 Comparison of arc sound FFT at various torch angles a backhand welding, b forehand welding, and c perpendicular welding

Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2010) 50:543556 Acknowledgements The authors would like to express their earnest gratitude to Steel Technology Centre, IIT Kharagpur for the work material. They also wish to acknowledge the assistance and support provided by the Welding Laboratory of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur.

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