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156 Indian Journal of Science and Technology Vol. 3 No.

2 (Feb 2010) ISSN: 0974- 6846

Effect of arc voltage, welding current and welding speed on fatigue life, impact energy and bead penetration of AA6061 joints produced by robotic MIG welding
1

hamid.ghazvinloo@gmail.com; ahonarbakhsh@semnan.ac.ir; nasim.shadfar@oghabafshan.com Abstract Aluminum alloys forming to AA6061 have a wide range of desirable properties which are used in different industries such as aircraft industry and other aerospace structures. The effect of processing variables on fatigue life, impact energy and bead penetration of AA6061 joints produced by MIG robotic welding process was analyzed in the present study. Different samples were obtained by employing arc voltages of 20, 23 and 26 V, welding currents of 110, 130 and 150 A, welding speeds of 50, 60 and 70 cm/min. After finishing of the welding process, the mechanical properties of the samples were evaluated by means of fatigue and impact test at room temperature and the depth of weld penetration was measured in all of geometrical specimens. Results were clearly illustrated that when heat input increases, fatigue life of weld metal decreases whereas impact energy of weld metal increases in first and then drops significantly. A linear increase in depth of penetration with increasing welding current and arc voltage was also observed. The biggest penetration in this investigation was observed for 60 cm/min welding speed.

Dept. of Materials Engineering, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran 2 Oghab Afshan Indus. and Man. Co., Semnan, Iran

H.R. Ghazvinloo1, A. Honarbakhsh-Raouf1 and N.Shadfar2

Keywords: MIG parameters; fatigue life; impact energy; bead penetration, welding.

Introduction Aluminum and its alloys are used extensively in Extensive studies have been made on fatigue and impact aerospace and automotive industries because of its low behavior of welded joints. For example, Cavaliere et al. density and high strength to weight ratio (Bakes & (2006) researched on the effect of process parameters on Benjamin, 1979). Heat treatable wrought aluminum fatigue behavior of AA6056 joints produced by friction stir magnesiumsilicon alloys conforming to AA6061 are of welding. Also, Cavaliere et al. (2008) studied on the effect moderate strength and possess excellent welding of friction stir welding parameters on fatigue properties of characteristics over the high strength aluminum alloys AA6082 joints. Large numbers of fatigue testing results of (Thomas, 1991). Hence, alloys of this class are welded joints after ultrasonic peening treatment (UPT) extensively employed in marine frames, pipelines, were analyzed by Wang Ting et al. (2009). Lee et al. storage tanks and aircraft applications (Dawes, 1995). (2009) studied the effect of weld geometry on the fatigue Fusion welding processes are widely used for fabrications life of non-load-carrying fillet welded cruciform joints. in many engineering applications such as aerospace, Kolhe & Datta (2007) investigated and correlated the automotive, shipbuilding industries (Gourd, 1995; relationship between the various parameters of SA Puchaicela, 1998). These welding processes are welding and impact energy of single V butt joint of mild routinely used for joining structural aluminum alloys steel plate. Effect of controlled atmosphere on the impact (Elangovan et al., 2009). A metal inert gas (MIG) welding energy of MIG-MAG arc weldment was described by process consists of heating, melting and solidification of Kacar & Kkemli (2005). Investigation into the parent metals and a filler material in localized fusion zone relationship between the welding parameters and bead by a transient heat source to form a joint between the geometry began in the mid 1900s and regression analysis parent metals (Gourd, 1995; Puchaicela, 1998). MIG was applied to welding geometry research by Lee et al. welding parameters are the most important factors (2000) and Raveendra & Parmar (1987). The effect of affecting the quality, productivity and cost of welding joint process parameters on weld penetration in gas metal arc (Kim et al., 2003; Ming et al., 2003). welding processes was studied by Karadeniz et al. The present paper aims at the evaluation of fatigue (2007). However, there exists little information regarding life, impact energy and bead penetration of AA6061 to the welding research on fatigue and impact behavior plates obtained by employing different MIG parameters. and bead penetration of aluminum alloy AA6061 Research article Robotic MIG welding Ghazvinloo et al.
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157 Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Table 1. Chemical composition of the filler metal (ER5356)
Al Balance Mn 0.125 Si 0.25 Fe 0.4 Mg 5 Cr 0.125 Ti 0.13 Elements Wt (%) Zn 0.1 Cu 0.1

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2 and have been shown in Fig. 2. All other parameters except these parameters under consideration were fixed. joint especially for AA6061 welded joint produced by MIG Totally 27 conditions with different arc method. voltage, welding current Table 2. Welding parameters were Materials and methods used during to the welding and welding speed Due to high importance, welding assemblies Cylinder pressure 145 combinations have been (bar) were prepared from AA6061 aluminum alloy. shown in Table 3. After Cylinder outlet 14 ER5356 (AWS A5.10-92 classification) wire welding process, fatigue pressure (l/min) electrode having 1 mm diameter was used as and impact test were Nozzle opening 10 filler metal. For present investigation, the performed at room (mm) consumable electrode wire was selected based temperature in order to Electrode stick out 19.2 on properties and characteristics of the base evaluate the fatigue life and (mm) material, weld dimensions and existing wire impact energy of the Arc length (mm) 3 electrode inventory. The chemical composition weldments obtained in the Nozzle-to-work 20.2 for welding wire has been given in Table 1. different welding distance (mm) Contact tip-to-work 22.2 conditions. Fatigue test on 100% argon was used as shielding gas distance (mm) weld metals was carried during welding. The base materials were Arc voltage (V) 20, 23, 26 out by employing a ZWIK supplied in the form of plate with 10 mm Welding current (A) 110,130, 150 test machine under Welding speed 50, 60, 70 thickness for experimental tests. These plates constant loading control up (cm/min) were cut into coupons with a 30 bevel of each to 250 Hz sinuses wave Wire feeding rate 8 plate to provide 60 groove angle for a single-Vloading. The low cycle and (m/min) groove butt joint configuration. In order to high cycle fatigue tests Torch angle (degree) 5 minimize weld distortion, experimental test were conducted in the axial Droplet transfer Spray transfer plates were located in the fixture jig before total stress-amplitude mode welding operation. The 7 passes of weld were control mode with a stress Polarity DCEP used to join the base metals and welding ratio (R =Min/Max) equal to parameters for each pass were similar. MIG welding 0.1, for all the arc voltages, welding currents and welding operations were performed by means of a SOS Model DR speeds used in the present study. Fatigue specimens of 5 Series ARK ROBO 1500 welding robot having a working mm middle diameter and 21.27 mm gauge length capacity of 0-600A and 0-50V ranges. The welding robot accordance with DIN 50113 guidelines were prepared and its apparatus have been shown in Fig. 1. from the weldments. The specimens were tested at Fig. 1 The welding robot and its apparatus used in experiments the 180 MPa stress range only with stress ratio of 0.1 in order to investigate the effect of the MIG parameters on the fatigue life of weld metals. Impact test was performed to estimate the fracture energy of weld metal. Standard charpy V-notch impact specimens were prepared in accordance to ASTM E23 specification. It has been shown in Fig. 3. Charpy-V notch (CVN) specimens were 101055 mm3. The standard charpy specimen had a 45 V notch with 2 mm depth and 0.25 mm root radius. The notch in impact specimen was located in centre of the weld metal. A Dynatup KGH Impact Tester was used to perform the impact tests. Dynatup is a drop weight impact test tower. Impact testing of the charpy specimens was carried out with impact velocity of 5 m/s The welding characteristics of MIG process were set and by using a tup capacity equal to 44 kN. In order to up according to parameters that have been given in Table Research article
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158 Indian Journal of Science and Technology Vol. 3 No. 2 (Feb 2010) ISSN: 0974- 6846

investigate the relationship between the MIG welding these welding speeds. The 3 maximum values for fatigue lifes were for I=110 A and V=20 V conditions. parameters and bead penetration, after the welding The changes in process, the specimens were cut perpendicular to Table 3. Different conditions for fatigue life of weldments welding direction by using a power hacksaw then welding to welding parameters the end faces were machined, removed from each Arc Welding Sample Welding voltage speed number current can be related to the impurity, polished and etched using a 2% nital in (v) (cm/min) changes (A) in the order to measure the depth of penetration. A 1 110 20 50 microstructures of weld schematic illustration of bead penetration in 2 60 zone. According to 3 70 Fig. 2. MIG welding parameters (Palani & Murugan, 2006) 4 following function, the 23 50 5 60 change in fusion/arc 6 70 welding parameters 7 26 50 results in the variations in 8 60 welding heat input 10 130 20 50 (Funderburk, 1999): 11 60 12 70 H= (60EI)/(1000S) (1) 13 23 50 Where, 14 60 H = heat input (kJ/mm) 15 70 E = arc voltage (V) 16 26 50 17 60 I = welding current (A) 19 150 20 50 S = welding speed 20 60 (mm/min) 21 70 Varying the heat input 22 23 50 typically affect the 23 60 24 70 mechanical properties 25 26 50 and microstructure of 26 60 weld. The amount of heat welding applications has been shown in Fig. 4. All 27 70 input influences on experiments were performed at Semnan Fig. 3 Preparation of fatigue and impact cooling rate of the weld. The University in Iran. specimens of weld metal following proportionality Results and discussion function shows this relationship Totally 27 experiments with different between preheat temperature, welding current, arc voltage and welding heat input and cooling rate. speed combinations were performed. The These two variables (heat input results as a function of the welding and preheat temperature) parameters and the fatigue life, impact interact with others such as energy and penetration of weld metal have material thickness, specific been summarized in Table 4. heat, density and thermal Effect of the welding parameters on the conductivity to influence the fatigue life cooling rate (Funderburk, The correlation between the welding 1999). parameters and fatigue life has been shown in Figs. 5-7. From the results, increasing in Fig. 4. A schematic illustration of weld penetration (Kim et al., 2003) arc voltage from 20 to 26 V and welding current from 110 to 150 A decreases the fatigue life of weld metal but the fatigue life gradually increases with increasing the welding speed from 50 to 70 cm/min. In Figs. 5-7, the welding speed was fixed as 50, 60 and 70 cm/min that the maximum values for fatigue life were obtained as 221, 360 and 476 cycles, respectively for Research article
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Table 4. Fatigue life, impact energy and penetration of weld with respect to the weld parameters

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Sample number 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

Heat Input (J/mm) 264 219.96 188.58 303.6 252.96 216.84 343.2 285.96 245.1 312 259.98 222.84 358.8 298.98 256.26 405.6 337.98 289.68 360 300 257.1 414 345 295.68 468 390 334.26

No. of Impact cycles energy(J) to failure 221 83.91 360 476 198 331 463 161 317 429 190 325 439 157 296 408 101 264 372 136 272 390 98 258 366 85 246 67.37 47.71 91.27 73.75 55 91.25 83.93 71.6 94.18 83.01 67.63 81.41 90.55 77.21 63.25 94.32 84.62 77.84 91.01 78.68 61.17 85.65 88.61 58.64 71.91

Fig. 5 Fatigue life vs. welding current diagram for 50 cm/min constant welding speed

Penetration (mm)
2.411 2.464 2.310 2.571 2.612 2.511 2.599 2.634 2.541 2.781 2.872 2.741 2.860 2.932 2.802 2.941 2.970 2.872 2.983 3.020 2.911 3.078 3.101 3.001 3.150 3.202

47.71 to 94.32 J but with further increasing in heat input from 337.98 to 468 J/mm, impact energy drops
Fig. 6. Fatigue life vs. welding current diagram for 60 cm/min constant welding speed

353 93.65 3.120 (2) Where, R = cooling rate (C/sec) T0 = preheat temperature (C) H = heat input (kJ/mm) The cooling rate is a primary factor that determines the final metallurgical structure and mechanical properties of the weld metal. When the heat input increases, the cooling rate decreases for a given weld metal (Funderburk, 1999) and increases the coarsening of the microstructure of weld zone. It has been shown in Fig. 8.

Fig. 7. Fatigue life vs. welding current diagram for 70 cm/min constant welding speed

R 1/ (T0 .H)

Effect of the welding parameters on the impact energy


In attention to Table 4, as heat input increases from 188.58 to 337.98 J/mm impact energy increases from Research article
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160 Indian Journal of Science and Technology The change in fracture energy of weldment is not just tied to the heat input; it is also significantly influenced by the weld bead size (Fig. 9). For example, the following function shows approximately relationship between heat input and fillet weld size (Miller & Funderburk, 1998): W= (H/500)1/2 (3) Where, W = fillet weld leg size (mm) H = heat input (kJ/mm) As the bead size increases, which corresponds to a higher heat input, the impact energy tends to decrease. In multiple-pass welds, a portion of the previous weld pass is refined, and the fracture toughness improved, as the heat from each pass tempers the weld metal below it. If the beads are smaller, more grain refinement occurs, resulting in better fracture toughness, all other factors being even (Funderburk, 1999).
Fig. 8 Microstructure of the weld for a) Low Heat Input

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commonly in all three different welding speeds. In Fig. 11, the welding speed was fixed as 50 cm/min. The deepest penetration value was obtained as 3.15 mm in 150 A and 26 V condition, while the smallest one as 2.411 mm in 110 A and 20 V. In Fig. 12, the welding speed was fixed as 60 cm/min. The biggest penetration value was measured as 3.202 mm in 150 A and 26 V condition, while the smallest one as 2.464 mm in 110 A and 20 V. In Fig. 13, the welding speed was fixed as 70 cm/min. The deepest penetration value were obtained as 3.120 mm in 150 A and 26 V condition and the smallest one as 2.310 mm in 110 A and 20 V. The depth of penetration increased with increasing welding speed up to 60 cm/min which was the optimum value to obtain maximum penetration, because it begins to decreasing after this point again linearly. These results were similar to the results of literatures (Tlbentci, 1990; Ates & Trker, 1999; Karadeniz et al., 2007).
110 100

Fig. 9. Impact energy of weld vs. heat input

Im p a ct E n erg y (J )
b) High Heat Input

90 80 70 60 50 40 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500

Heat Input (J/mm)

Effect of the welding parameters on the penetration


One set (including 9 metallographic test samples) have been shown in Fig. 10. The relationships between welding parameters and weld penetration have been illustrated in Figs. 11-13. In Figs. 11-13, the welding speed was fixed as 50, 60 and 70 cm/min respectively and the change in depth of penetration was drawn with welding current for 20, 23 and 26 V arc voltages values. A linear increase in depth of penetration with increasing welding current and arc voltage was observed Research article
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Conclusion According to the results obtained from robotic MIG welding applied to AA6061 aluminum alloy plates having 10 mm thickness: The fatigue life of weld metal decreased clearly with increasing arc voltage between 20 and 26 V and
Fig.10.One set of metallographic test samples for determining the weld penetration

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161 Indian Journal of Science and Technology welding current between 110 and 150 A whereas the effect of welding speed on fatigue life was reversed to other parameters. When welding speed increased, fatigue life of weld also increased.
Fig. 11. Penetration vs. welding current diagram for 50 cm/min welding speed

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point. The maximum value for weld penetration in this research was 3.202 mm which was obtained in 150 A, 26 V and 60 cm/min. The effect of welding current was greater than arc voltage and welding speed on bead penetration.
Fig. 13. Penetration vs. welding current diagram for 70 cm/min welding speed

Welding Heat input increases by increasing in arc voltage, welding current and decreasing welding speed. Impact energy of weld metal increased slightly and then drops significantly as welding heat input increased. The maximum value for impact energy of weld metal in present study was 94.32 J that was measured for I=130 A, V=26 V and S=60 cm/min
Fig. 12. Penetration vs. welding current diagram for 60 cm/min welding speed

Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Managing Director of Industrial & Manufacturing Company of Oghab Afshan for the financial support and Semnan University for all the facilities. References 1. Ates H and Trker M (1999) Determination of penetration with various welding parameters of electrical arc and GMA welding. J. Gazi. Univ. 12, [in Turkish]. 2. Bakes H and Benjamin D (1979) Metals Handbook, Volume. 2. (Ed.) Kirkpatrick CW, ASM, Metals Park, OH. pp: 323. 3. Cavaliere P, Campanile G, Panella F and Squillace A (2006) Effect of welding parameters on mechanical and microstructural properties of AA6056 joints produced by friction stir welding. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 180, 263270. 4. Cavaliere P, Squillace A and Panella F (2008) Effect of welding parameters on mechanical and microstructural properties of AA6082 joints produced by friction stir welding. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 200, 364372. 5. Dawes CJ (1995) An introduction to friction stir welding and its development. J. Weld Met. Fabric., 612. Ghazvinloo et al.
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condition. The depth of penetration increased linearly with increasing welding current between 110 and 150 A. In addition to welding current, increasing arc voltage between 20 and 26 V increased the penetration value. However, its effect is not as much as welding current. When the welding speed was taken as a parameter, the deepest penetration was obtained in 60 cm/min one. The penetration values increased between 50 and 60 cm/min and then its value decreases after this top Research article
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162 Indian Journal of Science and Technology 6. Elangovan K, Balasubramanian V and Babu S (2009) Predicting tensile strength of friction stir welded AA6061 aluminum alloy joints by a mathematical model. J. Mater. & Des. 30, 188193. 7. Funderburk SR (1999) Key Concepts in Welding Engineering. Welding Innovation, Vol. XVI, No. 1. 8. Gourd LM (1995) Principles of Welding Technology, 3rd ed. Edward Arnold. 9. Kacar R and Kkemli K (2005) Effect of controlled atmosphere on the mig-mag arc weldment properties. J. Mater. & Des. 26, 508516. 10. Karadeniz E, Ozsarac U and Yildiz C (2007) The effect of process parameters on penetration in gas metal arc welding processes. J. Mater. & Des. 28, 649656. 11. Kim IS, Sona JS, Kim IG, Kim JY and Kim OS (2003) A study on relationship between process variables and bead penetration for robotic CO2 arc welding. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 136, 139145. 12. Kolhea KP and Dattab CK (2007) Prediction of microstructure and mechanical properties of multipass SAW. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 11029, 1-9. 13. Lee CH, Chang KH, Jang GC and Lee CY (2009) Effect of weld geometry on the fatigue life of non-loadcarrying fillet welded cruciform joints. J. Engin. Fail. Anal. 16, 849855. 14. Lee JI and KW Um (2000) A prediction of welding process parameters by prediction of back-bead geometry. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 108, 10613. 15. Miller DK and Funderburk RS (1998) Reviewing and Approving Welding Procedure Specifications. The National Steel Construction Conference Proceedings. New Orleans, AISC. 16. Ming HG and et al. (2003) Acquisition and pattern recognition of spectrum information of welding metal transfer. J. Mater. & Des. 24, 699703. 17. Palani PK and Muruganb N (2006) Selection of parameters of pulsed current gas metal arc welding. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 172, 110. 18. Puchaicela J (1998) Control of distortion of welded steel structures. J. Welding. 77, 4952. 19. Raveendra J and Parmar RS (1987) Mathematical models to predict weld bead geometry for flux cored arc welding. J. Met. Construct. 19, 315. 20. Thomas WM (1991) Friction stir welding. Int. Patent Appl. No. PCT/GB92/02203 and GB Patent Application No. 9125978.8. U.S. Patent No. 5,460,317. Research article
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21. Ting W, Dongpo W, Lixing H and Yufeng Z (2009) Discussion on fatigue design of welded joints enhanced by ultrasonic peening treatment (UPT). J. Fatigue. 31, 644650. 22. Tlbentci K (1990) MIG-MAG arc welding, Gedik Welding Co. Press, Istanbul, [in Turkish].

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