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Distortions Generated by Welding Process Using ANSYS-FEA

Cristian Simion, Corneliu Manu, Saleh Baset, Julian Millard Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Abstract The objective of this paper is to present both a methodology of detailed axisymmetric simulation of a small scale welding test using the ANSYS general purpose finite element computer code and a comparison with test data. To simulate this manufacturing process, an APDL (ANSYS Parametric Design Language) macro was developed and implemented. The methodology implemented deals with the major phenomena of the welding process from transient heat analysis to structural thermal-plastic analysis. The methodology is based on an axisymmetric approach and accounts for nonlinearities due to temperature-dependent thermal and mechanical material properties as well as surface contacts. It predicts, with reasonable accuracy, the real test measurements. CANDU* nuclear reactors use horizontal fuel channels housed in a large fabricated horizontal vessel called the calandria vessel. This calandria vessel has two end shields (each consists of double endplates), which provide support for the fuel channels as well as defining the basic reactor geometry. Each pair of double endplates is joined by tubes called lattice tubes. The lattice tubes, which are welded to the endplates, provide passages for the fuel channels and stiffness to the calandria vessel. To ensure that the distortions of the endplates due to welding satisfy the design requirements, small scale and large scale welding tests are performed. The initial small scale welding test consisted of welding a lattice tube to the associated section of an endplate. A larger scale welding test consists of welding a 2x6 array of lattice tubes to assess the accumulated distortion on the end plate. In order to develop a deep understanding of the distortions generated by welding, these welding tests are simulated using detailed finite element analyses. The detailed simulations include heat flow and elastic plastic analysis. Numerical simulations of the complete assembly, using coarse finite element models and elastic-only analyses of the endplate assembly, are also included as part of the design qualification effort.

Welding has been for many years a big part of the manufacturing process in many industries around the world. The advantages of welding do not need further exemplification. Unfortunately the welding process induces also few problems that need to be more accurately identified and after that minimized as much as possible. Among the welding typical problems and most important are the residual stress/strain and the induced distortions in structures. In order to better understand the welding process and its effects on structures, engineers and researchers around the world, covering a large number of industries, have been trying to create algorithms and methodologies to simulate the complete process or just individual phases (e.g. the cooling phase). In recent years, due to the high expansion of computers computations possibilities, many researchers identified the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as a reliable method for this purpose. Following this path and using the commercial code ANSYS [1], this document shows how the FEA, can be used in the welding simulation. By its nature, the welding process is a complicated transient procedure typically occurring in a 3-D (3dimensional) structure. A typical welding simulation consists of two phases: a transient heat flow analysis phase and a quasistatic plastic structural analysis phase. A reasonably good welding simulation has to have a fine enough mesh to accommodate the high thermal gradients developed (in time and in space) during the transient heat flow analysis phase. At the same time, the mesh has to be able to solve the plastic-structural phase of the problem. Now, due to the big temperature range to be covered (from melting temperature to room temperature, 1400-20°C for the present case), the plastic-structural analysis phase requires a considerable number of steps. Recalling that completion of a weld requires several welding passes, it can

it became clear that welding simulation requires some simplifications. detailed 3-D welding simulations are more often presented. One common simplification is the use of a 2-D (2-dimensional) approach. The phenomena of plastic deformation and stress/strain accumulation are most critical in the simulation of a welding process. • heat lost by convection and radiation. • heat conducted in the welded structure. • heat generated by the welding process. It is a good approximation because the welding process in spite of being a transient 3-D from a thermal point of view. The amount of heat defined is based on the heat generated in the test. and • volumetric change of the material during cooling e) plastic deformation and stress/strain easily acknowledged that the simulation problem becomes very demanding from a computational point of view. 7 and 11] provide good examples of such approaches. a 2-D simulation approach is adopted in this paper in order to develop an understanding of the phenomena governing the welding process and to assist us in developing an effective 3-D model when required. the radiation is considered negligible since high temperatures occur for very short time (Figure 4). However. It is based on a specially developed APDL (ANSYS Parametric Design Language) macro and consists of the following two main uncoupled analysis steps: Transient thermal analysis: • Heat generated in the weld material in 2 steps (as a 2 pass weld). • Natural convection to the surrounding environment. The methodology recently developed and presented in this paper is already implemented in a FEA simulation algorithm. • latent heat. The addition of the new weld material is usually modeled by using a capability called “death and birth” of finite elements. Goldak and his co-workers provide eloquent assessments regarding the merits and efforts associated with 2-D and 3-D simulations of welding processes in a long series of papers summarized in References 2 and 3. Lu et al. • temperature change in the weld during phase change. Assessment of welding behaviour of large 3-D structures can then be addressed by applying equivalent loadings based on the knowledge accumulated from detailed welding simulations. . Convection only is defined to the surrounding environment. For this purpose a 2-D model represents a section of the weld perpendicular to the welding direction. • amount of added welding material per unit time. the stress/strain field developed in one section perpendicular on the welding direction is quasi stationary and therefore. for example Sarkani et al. Majority of the authors neglect the solidification and the microstructure changes considering these phenomena to be less important in developing stress and strains. References [6. Procedure The main phenomena identified in a welding process can be summarized as follows: a) heat input. and X. The heat is defined as heat generated rate. d) microstructure changing. After a careful review of a comprehensive set of open literature papers. a body force load. the process can be captured by a 2-D approach. [5]. b) heat flow. and • number of welding passes. c) solidification. [4]. • speed of the welding machine. Recently.

In the real problem. deformations only. Most of the thermal and mechanical material properties are entered as function of temperature. providing strength for the entire calandria vessel and access for the fuel channel that are passing through (Refer to Figure 1). Both the weld and the lattice tube to are axisymmetric. Structural . Having simulated a 2 pass weld type. The stress-strain curves are represented as bilinear kinematic hardening curves. the “piece of the structure” that can be modeled has to be reasonably small. This vessel has double endplates at each side. The lattice tubes are welded to each endplate.thermal stress analysis: • Elastic-plastic structural thermal stress analysis is performed using the thermal loads provided by the thermal profiles resulted from the transient thermal analysis • “Death and birth” feature is used to bring the welding material into the analysis based on a temperature criterion. Materials Both welded parts and weld material are made of stainless steel 304L. the “death and birth” feature of the elements is used for adding the second weld pass. called calandria vessel. As a first approximation. which houses the horizontal fuel channels. However the end plate is not because it has hundreds of holes. it can be observed that hundreds of welds are similar. A test at a full scale is also prohibitively costly and also not very useful in term of gaining experience to be implemented in the design process. similar to the real welding phenomenon. stresses only or both. it can be considered that the welds for one channel are identically reproduced from all points of view in every other channel. The end plates of each end shield are linked by the lattice tubes. when it comes to simulating the welding process for any purpose. called end shield. Analysis In our real problem we are dealing with a big horizontal vessel. Now. Section through the Calandria Vessel (Sketch) and the End Shield Half (Isometric View) As mentioned before. In order to reproduce the temperature profiles of the real welding process. it can be easily appreciated that dealing with the full structure from the welding simulation point of view is not a trivial task. noticing that the diameter of the calandria vessel (and implicit of the end shield) is in the order of a few meters and that the fuel channels number in a few hundreds.• • Transient heat flow analysis to room temperature. • Especially dedicated APDL macro is developed and implemented for handling all these analysis sequences. the transient heat flow analysis is extended long enough for the model to reach room temperature. Careful examination of the end plate shows axial symmetry region with a radius half of . Figure 1.

Weld Region Mesh and the 6 Points for Temperature Graphs . One channel test piece and the axisymmetric area considered in FEA Figure 3. This represents the basis for the axisymmetric FEA model shown in Figure 3.the ligament around the hole as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2. Geometry Modeled.

The stressed region is the same as for the hoop stress. The plastic strain developed in the welding process is shown in Figure 5. This allows the joint to expand without developing stress. Temperature Variation at the 6 Points Shown in Figure 3. It should be noted that the plastic zone extends in a sufficiently large surrounding area to generate the fusion of the base material with the weld. It can be easily noticed that a big thermal gradients between those points is developed. due to the strength of the surrounding structure. This is a typical characteristic of a welding process. [°C] Analysis Results & Discussion The following results are discussed: • The temperature variations for the 6 points indicated in Figure 3 are shown in the Figure 4.The axisymmetric model developed for this analysis and mesh around the weld are shown in Figure 3. Figure 4. The hoop stress SZ (see Figure 6) shows significant tension in the weld and in the HAZ (Heat Affected Zone). During welding. As it can be seen. The parts of the joint and the nodes considered for the post-processing of the temperature results (Refer to Figure 4) are also indicated in Figure 3. the weld material is liquid and the structure material in the adjacent area is very soft because of high temperature. as affected by the welding. The radial deformation developed due to the welding is shown in the Figure 8. plastic strain is developed in the entire weld area and into the base material. The equivalent von Mises stress (see Figure 7) provides information about the area under high stress. In the cooling process. The average displacement of the tube sheet especially in the rolled (lower) part in Figure 8 is of particular • • • • . These areas develop a tensile state of hoop stress. these areas (the weld and the area adjacent to the weld) shrink.

The axial deformation is one order of magnitude higher than the radial deformation and it is more important for the design requirements. As it can be seen. where the simulation results are compared with the test results. from this figure. Figure 5. Equivalent (von Mises) Plastic Strain after the Welding .interest from a manufacturing point of view. A comparison of FEA results versus the test results shows a reasonable agreement. there is good agreement between the FEA and the test results. • The axial deformation induced by the welding process is shown in the Figure 9.

Figure 6. Hoop Stress Developed during Welding Figure 7. Equivalent (von Misses) Stress Developed during Welding .

Figure 8. Axial Deformation (Out of Plane) Developed during Welding (scaled 50x) . Radial Deformation Developed during Welding (scaled 50x) Figure 9.

The ratio of weld position to thickness end plate (t/T) is shown in Figure 3. Goldak. “Numerical Simulation and Experimental Validation of Low Stress No Distortion (LSND) Welding in 304 Stainless Steel”. Olden and D. The closer the weld to the middle plane of the thickness is. Michaleris.35. Physical Properties Table. 156s-165s F. 2006. 5. 9. ∗ CANDU .247-268 X. Welding Journal. USA. V. AGARD Pannel Meeting. G. ANSYS Inc. Balvantrai. The bigger this ratio is. 10. 2. Hassan. S. A. DeBiccari.CANada Deuterium Uranium is a registered trademark of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). August 2001 P. Lu and T.3.1. B. pp. ANSYS 8. Bersato. Bagshaw. United Kingdom. ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. June 1985 J. P. Tritchkov. C. References 1. 2001 11. The following over all observations can be drawn from these analyses: • The ratio of the pitch length to channel diameter (P/D) is shown in Figure 1. Second International Conference on Trends in Welding Research. T. This 3-D methodology makes the subject of a different paper. Simion. Published by John Wiley & Sons (New York) N. 3. n. 1990. J. . "Residual Stresses in Butt and Socket Welded Joints". S.76. the lower the induced deformations are. P. Subpart 2. Michaelov.78. C. 172s-181s C. 6. W. v. April 1997. Manu. This ratio is an inplan characteristic of the end plates. "Computational Weld Mechanics". • Conclusions The analysis results help us understand the phenomena governing the welding of a joint. Proceedings of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Forum. Report 780/2003. the effects of the welding can be better quantified and therefore can be better addressed in the early stages of the design. “Prediction of Welding Distortion”. C. Finite Elements in Analysis and Design. May 1999. 71-82 S. Part D. 7. Park.Additional analyses have been carried out to investigate the effect of some design characteristics on the induced welding distortions. “Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer”. Millard. Calgary. 16th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology. Sarkani. Having understood the welding mechanism. May 21-23. Incropera. Reference 11. the lower the induced distortions are. n. Alberta. p. Dewitt. P. Malcolm and J. Gatlinburg. Washington DC. p. E. June 2000. “An Efficient Approach for Computing Residual Stresses in Welded Joints”. Baset and J. Tsai. “Welding distortion of a thin-plate panel structure” Welding Journal.5. Section II. Cheng. 4. v. v. "Modeling Thermal Stresses and Distortions in Welds". p. The Welding Institute. third edition. May 1989. This ratio is a characteristic of the weld position on the thickness of the end plate.4. Goldak. Tennesse. Materials. n. offering insight on the mechanisms and mechanical aspect particular to the welding process. Specific knowledge gained from this detailed welding simulation is implemented in a 3-D methodology to evaluate the welding induced distortions of the calandria vessel endplates. 8. D. Moore. L. “Methodology for Evaluation of Welding Induced Distortions of Large a Structure”.