International Journal of M echanics and Applications 2012, 2(6): 117-123

DOI: 10.5923/j.mechanics.20120206.03

Finite Element Simulation of Carbide Precipitation in
Austenitic Stainless Steel 304
E. Ranjbarnodeh1,* , H. Pouraliakbar2 , A. H. Kokabi2
1

Young Researchers Club, East Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Department of materials science and engineering, Sharif University of technology, Tehran, Iran

2

Abstract A three dimensional transient finite element model with Gaussian heat source was proposed to predict the heat

transfer in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) of stainless steel 304 and experimental tests were conducted to study
chromiu m carb ide precipitation and to verify the developed model. The position of chromiu m carbide precipitation band and
its relation to welding parameters were studied. The results showed, increasing the heat input of weld, increases the distance
in which precipitation in austenite grain boundaries occurs. After measurement of carbide-band distance from weld centre
and using obtained time-temperature curves of the developed model, the distance of carbide-band fro m the weld centre line
was simu lated. Finally, good agreement was observed between experimental and simulat ion results in terms of pred iction of
thermal history and carbide precip itation.

Keywords Weld decay, Stainless Steel 304, Chro miu m Carbide, GTAW, Thermal Cycle, Finite Element Method

1. Introduction
During weld ing of stainless steels, local sensitized zones
oft en develop . Th is is because o f ch ro miu m carb ide
fo rmat ion at g rain boundaries , resu lt ing in ch ro miu m
depletion at regions adjacent to the grain boundaries [1-6].
Chro miu m depletion creates many local galvanic cells and
if chro miu m content gets less than 12% wt., sensitivity to
intergranular corrosion in the mentioned areas will occurs
[7]. The sensitivity o f austenitic stainless steels contain
more than 0.05%wt. carbon is often due to heat affected
zone and named weld decay[ 8, 9].Chro miu m has a very
co mp os it io nal t en dency to carbo n at 650-85 0℃ ; if
austenitic stainless steel is held for more than the specific
time at the above mentioned temperature range, carbon rich
chromiu m carbides often in the form of M 23C6 at austenite
g rains bo und aries will b e fo rmed [8, 1 0]. Req u ired
sensitization t ime of stainless steels is usually shown as
C-shape curves in wh ich Carbon-Time- Temperatu re is
being shown[11]. Sample of curves for stainless steel 304
has been shown in Figure 1[7]. Chemical co mposit ion,
thermal cycle, internal or external stresses as well as service
loadings; welding operations or previous transformat ion and
the environ ment where the part is used are four main
effect ive fact o rs o f s ens it iv ity [10]. A n aly t ical and
numerical methods are used widely to investigate thermal
* Corresponding author:
islam_ranjbar@yahoo.com (E. Ranjbarnodeh)
Published online at http://journal.sapub.org/mechanics
Copyright © 2012 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved

and mechanical behaviour of welds. Rosenthal proposed the
first process of analytical solution in welding which
contained simplify ing assumptions such as point heat
source, constant thermophysical properties of material and
steady-state heat flow[12]. Many computerized models
have been proposed for studying two and three-dimensional
heat flow during weld ing processes. In those models many
of Rosenthal's numerical solution hypotheses have been
changed; for instance, Kou et al.[13] studied the heat
transfer during the welding of 3.2 mm thick 6061 alu minum
sheet. Masubuchi et al.[14] ut ilized thermal analysis to
study the residual stresses. Lee et al.[15] simu lated the heat
transfer in similar and d issimilar joints between structural
steels. Teng et al.[16] investigated the effect of speed,
sample d imension, external restraint and preheat on heat
transfer and residual stresses. Taljat et al.[17] studied the
heat flow and residual stresses in GTAW process and
noticed the effects of solid-state transformat ions. Lu et
al.[18] proposed a model to study current distribution,
power and heat flo w in GTAW welding process. Teng et
al.[19] also suggested a model to evaluate the effect of
sequence on the distribution of heat and residual stresses in
SAW process. Despite the importance of weld decay
phenomenon in austenitic stainless steels and its close
relationship with thermal cycle, it seems that no numerical
model has been proposed to study the relation of these
phenomena yet. Therefore there is a need of an
investigation these issues. This paper reports a thermal
simu lation of GTAW of austenitic stainless steel 304 to
study chromiu m carbide precip itation and its relationship to
weld ing parameters.

Physical properties of stainless steel 304 Physical Properties Density (gr/cm 3) Specific Heat(J/kg) Thermal Conductivity (W/(mK)) Melting Range (℃) 304 SS 7. the internal diameter of Figure 1. and the optical microscope was used to calculate the distance of carbide band in all of the specimens.3 M n 1 .6 mm. Table 3.0 5 S i 0 . voltage of 6 V and 15 second was used.03 e Bal. Welding o f all samples were done on a copper block. The diameter of applied W-%2Th electrode was 1. After usual metallographic stages in macrostructural revealing of sections.E. Used welding parameters Specimen Voltage (V) Current (A) Welding Speed (mm/sec) P olarity 1 13 120 5. argon gas flo w was 5 lit re/ minute and the arc length was 0. All Six 160×80×3mm samp les of stainless steel 304 were p repared.74 DCEN 2 13 130 5.9 500 21 1400-1450 Table 2. 00 5 0. Used physical and chemical p roperties of steel sheet were respectively according to the Tables 1 and 2.74 DCEN 6 13 170 5.07 V F 0.6 9 C r 18. Applied weld ing parameters for the samples are in Table 3. Experimental ceramic nozzle was 12 mm.: Finite Element Simulation of Carbide Precipitation in Austenitic Stainless Steel 304 118 2. photos of appeared sections were taken by utilizing stereograph microscope. the surfaces were cleaned with acetone and bead-on-plate automatic GTAW welds without any filler metal were made at the centre of samples. 013 M o 0. electroetch technique with %10 o xalic acid solution. Ranjbarnodeh et al. Chemical analysis of stainless steel 304 E le m e nt C 3 0 4 SS 0 .74 DCEN 3 13 140 5. then transverse section at the centre of samp les were p repared fo r macroscopic study.74 DCEN 5 13 160 5.75 mm.74 DCEN .46 N i 9 .0 6 S P 0 .74 DCEN 4 13 150 5. Sample of time-temperature-sensitization curves for type 304 stainless steel in a mixture of CuSO4 and H2SO4 containing copper [7] Table 1.

Results and Discussion Figure 3 shows the meshed model and temperature distribution of the sample 4 obtained at three different time In the above. Heat flu x at the top surface is given by the equation 4 (as a boundary condition). Comparison of experimental and simulation results analysed in different welding conditions.76 0. For solving the governing equations a finite element 5 5. To account for heat Experimental P ool Width (E) Simulated P ool Width (S) Error transfer due to flu id flow in the weld pool.71 2. Mathematical Model Modelling of heat source is the most important point for thermal simulat ion of weld. K is the thermal conductivity. The amount of η is set experimental results are co mpared in Table 4 and for 0.11 6. Radiat ion of in Table 5. (Q) is the welding input energy. Finite element instance. energy distribution of static arc with surface thermal flu x is defined according to equation (2) in which the heat energy is assumed to be Gaussian: q(r ) = 2 Q r ⋅ exp(− 2 ) 2 2πr ′ 2r ′ ?? 2 ?? ?? 2 ?? ?? 2 ?? 119 ???? ??(???? 2 + ???? 2 + ???? 2 ) + ?? = ???? ???? (3) Where T is the temperature. 3680 elements and 19220 nodes have been and the staying time of different points around the weld pool emp loyed. satisfactory results will be obtained.5 mm. distribution of volumetric heat flu x and comb ination of above two mentioned models. Usual methods of source modeling in weld ing include: d istribution of surface heat flu x. The concerning results are shown for the surface in contact with copper sheet. SOLID90 (volu me thermal element) was used and dimensions will get greater. The results of finite element analysis for width of distance from the center of heat source and (r′) is the weld pools in d ifferent samp les as well as obtained Gaussian distribution parameter [21]. source was transferred to the front 4 5.48 heat source movement at time intervals.66 -9. The amount and the technique of heat distribution are effect ive factors for the size of weld pool and heat affected zone (HAZ). ρ is the density and Q is the rate of heat generation per unit volume (Q=0 fo r this case) and t represents welding time. if the heat energy is assumed as surface thermal flu x.44 5. It is worth noting that in the finite element different points. The imposed boundary conditions are illustrated in Figure 2. SURF152 (surface element) was utilized to simu late the One of the simulat ion results is time-temperature curves of surface heat flu x. Applied boundary conditions 4. Arc can mix up the surface of weld pool and affects the distribution of surface heat energy.In the present study.6 in equation (1) and r' is set 1. According to Lu et al. the thermal Sa mple (mm) (mm) % conductivity was assumed to increase linearly above the 1 4.International Journal of M echanics and Applications 2012.10 8. Convection effects on the top and bottom surfaces in sensitizat ion temperature range. There are other factors such as kind of shielding gas. surfaces was abandoned and transient heat flow was Table 4.69 base program.83 4. Equation 3 shows the 6 6. The amount of heat given to the work piece in unit of time is being calculated according to equation (1): Q = η ⋅V ⋅ I (1) In the above relation (I) is current intensity. To verify the model. it can assumed a flat free surface for weld pool at lower currents[18].89 melting po int by a factor of about three[17].32 2.In welding with low current and h igh voltage. According to Table 4. 2(6): 117-123 3. C is the specific heat. of sheet considered with convection coefficients of h=15 W/ precise formed carb ide band zone near the surface of (m2 K) for the surface in contact with air and h=800 W/ (m2 K) samples was investigated.21 on considered nodes. To simu late the bulk current and resulted welding heat input causes weld pools model. The amount of heat input fro m arc. experimental and simulated weld section of sample method and ANSYS software as well as two types of 4 are shown in Figure 4. For modelling of 2 4.35 nodes.00 governing heat conduction equation: (2) . increasing the elements are used to analyse the model. currents more than 225A mix up the weld pool surface. geo metry of electrode. heat distribution in the sample and the travel speed of heat source are the important parameters to formulate and modeling the heat source. K ∂T = q(r ) − hc (T − T0 ) ∂z (4) Figure 2.50 4.78 5. (r) is the intervals. These curves can estimate the cooling rate analysis.83 6. shape and dimensions of ceramic nozzle and type of work piece that affect on η[20]. after apply ing heat 3 5. arc length.22 6. (V) is voltage and (η) is arc efficiency. ANSYS was employed.

005 5 160 4. The precipitated distance of carbide band from weld pool center vs. Ranjbarnodeh et al.430 Figure 5.94 sec. B: x=1 mm and C: x=8 mm) .974 4 150 4. Comparison of experimental and simulated weld pool dimensions for specimen 4 Table 5.130 6 170 4. T ime-temperature curves of three points at the middle of sample 4 (A: x=4 mm.120 E.87 sec and (d) t=300 Figure 6.: Finite Element Simulation of Carbide Precipitation in Austenitic Stainless Steel 304 Figure 4. current Specimen Current (A) Distance (mm) 1 120 3. (c) t=27.469 3 140 3. Carbide band formation position for sample 3 Figure 3. (b) t=13.313 2 130 3. Temperature contours of specimen 4. (a) The meshed model.

In these curves. base metal and carbide band is shown in Figure 5. (b) in specimen 6 with I=170 A Also the position of the weld metal. According to the C-shape curves at 650-850℃ which is sensitizat ion range in austenitic stainless steel. Finite element model was used to obtain thermal history various points of any specimen. Temperature Distribution. a min imu m maintenance time is needed for steel to be sensitized and chro miu m carbide to be precipitated at austenite grain boundaries. Time-temperature curves for three points on a line in the middle of specimen 4 with different distances from weld are shown in Figure 6. 2(6): 117-123 121 (a) (b) Figure 7. . (a) in specimen 1 with I=120 A.International Journal of M echanics and Applications 2012.

1-3. [8] S. D. 1970. [7] A. 1988. 2nd ed. [16] T. Vol 14(11). because of high cooling rate. Gooch. Vol 15(7). Willingham. British Welding Journal. 547-565. Lu. Regarding the obtained results. Johnson. International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping. T. K. At a specific current.G. The possible future works are modeling of this phenomenon when filler metal is used and the effect of heat treatment on carbide precipitation. 1959. REFERENCES [1] M . Const. For points with distances less than 4 mm in specimen 4 (Curve B). 1941. 5. For co mparison. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank Islamic Azad Un iversity. [5] J. p.G. p. 259s-267s. M aterials Science and Engineering A. 1960. ASM International.C.. sensitization temperature range will be moved to the further distances fro m weld line.: Finite Element Simulation of Carbide Precipitation in Austenitic Stainless Steel 304 according to the cooling rate of a point which is 4 mm far fro m weld (Curve A). 1959. 199s-204s. the developed finite element model can anticipate the occurrence area of th is phenomenon. When heat input is increased. the minimu m time of boundary formation doesn't exist and even in points with greater distances than 4 mm (Cu rve C). 553s-562s. "Investigation of Residual Stresses by Use of Hydrogen Cracking". Cross. M artin. Moore. Welding Journal. 1998. 1993. needed time for carbide boundary formation is prepared and carbide precip itation is happened. 220s-234s. carbide boundary doesn't form because points' temperature does not reach to maximu m needed level. Pinnow and A.J. p. 1992. p. Kou. Welding Journal. 1983. 1977. 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D. carbide band is formed at more distant regions and the current developed model anticipates this change easily. "Power and Current Distribution in Gas Tungsten Arcs".When the current is increased and temperature d istribution method is changed. 29s-34s. 2245-2253. the carbide band's distance is increased. p. Vol 3(10). Vol 75(12).C. Radhakrishnan. M oskowits. Vol 67(2). "Three-Dimensional Heat Flow and Solidification during the Autogenous GTA Welding of Aluminum Plates". Vol 13. Gh iamdasht Branch for financial supporting.H. Chang. p. 345. p. Olson. Ranjbarnodeh et al. Gooch. Vol 38(6). Wahid.E. Vol 39(5). "Corrosion of Weldments". Welding Journal. Vol 49(6). M etallurgical and M aterials Transactions A. p. 4th.C. Taljat .G. A SM International. since the cooling rate of points adjacent to weld is increased and there is not enough time for the formation of chro miu m carb ide. Vol 56(11). 1961. 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