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Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317
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Effect of welding processes on mechanical and microstructural
characteristics of high strength low alloy naval grade steel joints
S. RAGU NATHAN a,*, V. BALASUBRAMANIAN b,1, S. MALARVIZHI b,2, A.G. RAO c,3
a
Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, 608 002, India
b
Centre for Materials Joining & Research (CEMAJOR), Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, 608 002, Tamil
Nadu, India
c
Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL), Ambernath, Mumbai, 421 506, Maharastra, India
Received 19 May 2015; revised 8 June 2015; accepted 9 June 2015
Available online 30 June 2015

Abstract

Naval grade high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels can be easily welded by all types of fusion welding processes. However, fusion welding of
these steels leads to the problems such as cold cracking, residual stress, distortion and fatigue damage. These problems can be eliminated by
solid state welding process such as friction stir welding (FSW). In this investigation, a comparative evaluation of mechanical (tensile, impact,
hardness) properties and microstructural features of shielded metal arc (SMA), gas metal arc (GMA) and friction stir welded (FSW) naval grade
HSLA steel joints was carried out. It was found that the use of FSW process eliminated the problems related to fusion welding processes and also
resulted in the superior mechanical properties compared to GMA and SMA welded joints.
Copyright © 2015, China Ordnance Society. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: High strength low alloy steel; Friction stir welding; Shielded metal arc welding; Gas metal arc welding; Tensile properties; Impact toughness

1. Introduction properties, such as high strength, excellent ductility, and good
weldability, and also exhibit outstanding low temperature
High strength low alloy (HSLA) steels were primarily impact toughness superior to that of high yield strength (HY)
developed to replace low-carbon steels for the automotive steels. HSLA steels have much improved weldability
industry in order to improve the strength-to-weight ratio and compared to HY steels [1]. Now-a-days, the micro-alloyed or
meet the need for higher-strength construction grade materials. HSLA steels become an indispensable class for different ap-
When high strength steel is welded, non-uniform heating and plications like construction of large ships, oil and gas trans-
cooling in weld metal and base metal generate harder heat mission lines, offshore oil drilling platforms, pressure vessels,
affected zone (HAZ), cold crack susceptibility and residual building construction, bridges, storage tanks.
stress in weldments. HSLA steels demonstrate unique DMR-249A is a low carbon micro-alloyed high strength
low alloy (HSLA) steel, which is far superior grade compared
to the numerous grades which have been in use for naval
* Corresponding author. Tel.: þ91 04144 239734, þ91 97150 64464 (mo-
applications like construction of warships. Obviously,
bile); fax: þ91 04144 238275.
E-mail addresses: ragucemajor@gmail.com (S. RAGU NATHAN), DMR249A demands weld metal with superior properties
visvabalu@yahoo.com (V. BALASUBRAMANIAN), jeejoo@gmail.com (S. compatible with its own, i.e., a combination of high strength
MALARVIZHI), gouravdrdo@gmail.com (A.G. RAO). and high toughness. This is due to its composition that consists
Peer review under responsibility of China Ordnance Society. of 0.001e0.1wt% of alloying elements such as V or Ti [2]. An
1
Tel.: þ91 9443412249 (mobile).
acicular ferrite in weld metals and wrought steels has pre-
2
Tel.: þ91 9487691742 (mobile).
3
Tel.: þ91 94215 40891 (mobile). dominant one owing to its combination of high strength and

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dt.2015.06.001
2214-9147/Copyright © 2015, China Ordnance Society. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

and polished using different grades of emery rotating tool made of tungsten base alloy was used to fabri. usually associated with the fusion welding processes. RAGU NATHAN et al. FSW has appeared as an easy. thus showing the importance of reduction in carbon content of these steels [8]. A non-consumable metal regions.4. ecological and promising pro- ductive welding method that reduces material waste and avoids radiation and harmful gas emissions. The chemical region with a load of 0.5 N. the devel.16]. form of frictional stirring on the base material has modified the microstructure from the coarse grains to very fine grains due to plastic deformation and fast cooling rate [12e14]. Friction stir welding (FSW) is a novel solid state joining technique that is presently attracting significant attention on welding of hard metals such as steel and titanium [9e11]. irregular martensite and 75% of microstructure with high angle grain boundaries [7]. pendulum-type impact testing machine (Enkay. three specimens were tested and the average this process in the fabrication of high strength steel structures value was presented. Fric. 1(a) and (b). Japan. The resistance to hydrogen-induced cracking and stress corrosion cracking was improved by coarse grain heat affected zone which consists of martensite-austenite constituents. The present investigation is to study the feasibility of to evaluate the impact toughness of the weld metal and hence friction stir welding of naval grade HSLA steel and compare the notch was placed (machined) in the weld metal (weld the mechanical properties and metallurgical characteristics of center). Final polishing was done using the diamond com- cate FSW joints. and base of ferrite with small amount of pearlite. The basic classification of Mn and Ni base E 8018-C1 steels is affected by both the temperature and composition with nominal composition of 0. may be attributed to the high heat (temperature around ASTM E8M-04 guidelines were followed for preparing the 1200  C) and the stresses generated during friction stir tensile test specimens. However. universal testing machine (Make: FIE Bluestar. electrode was used to weld the naval grade steels. Japan and of 5 mm were cut to the required dimensions Model: HMV-2T) was used for measuring the hardness dis- (100 mm  150 mm) by abrasive cutting to prepare the joint tribution across the welded joint along with mid thickness configurations. Impact testing was conducted on a joints. The tool was manufactured through powder pound (particle size of 1 mm) on the disc polishing machine. Charpy impact fracture of HSLA steel was improved by intercritical heat treatment which en- hances the microstructure through the formation of ferrite microstructure with various morphologies. thus this steel has designed to have a ferrite microstructure with small amount of pearlite less than 10% by volume [2. 1. The welding tion stir welding enables us to control these factors and pro. Experimental details (unit:mm). The examination was sectioned to the required size from the joint microstructure of parent metal (Fig. metallurgy route having a shoulder diameter of 25 mm and a The specimens were etched with 2% of Nital solution to reveal tapered pin. the heat affected zone (HAZ) is prone to failure due to the possibility of hydrogen induced cracking and only way to weld such steels is to use low hydrogen ferritic steel filler wire [6]. The rolled plates of naval grade HSLA steel with thickness Vicker's microhardness tester (Make: Shimadzu. The absorbed energy is defined as the impact toughness of the material. Since the plate thickness was small.8% Mn and 2. Much of the tool degradation joints are presented in Tables 2 and 3. papers. India) at room temperature. Model: MIL-7100) incorporated with an image . HAZ (heat-affected zone).3]. Welding of Ltd. MEJI. S. 100 kN electromechanical controlled welding of the high strength materials. conditions and parameters used to fabricate the defect free duce superior joint strength [1]. The specimen for metallographic composition of parent metal is presented in Table 1. Experimental details recorded.06% C. Charpy impact specimens were prepared [15. 2(a) and (b)) is composed comprising weld metal. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 309 high toughness [2. In these grade steels. The amount of energy absorbed in fracture was 2. India. tapering from 12 mm at the shoulder to 8 mm at the microstructural features of joints. Microstructural exami- the pin tip. Mechanical action in the Fig. The electrode for SMAW and filler wire for nation was carried out using an optical microscope (Make: GMAW processes were supplied by Honavar Electrodes Pvt.5% Ni which extensively affects the microstructure evolution. 1. as shown in Fig.5]. the sub-size FSW joints with the fusion welded (SMA and GMA welded) specimens were prepared. Model: opment of the wear resistant tool materials has benefited the UNITEK-94100) was used to evaluate the tensile properties. FSW process and paved way for the rapid implementation of In each condition.

Parameter SMAW GMAW Filler metal (electrode) E 8018-C1 as per SFA 5. stir zone (SZ).016 0.2 Current/A 152 255 Voltage/V 25 30 Welding speed/(mm$min1) 153 300 Electrode Baking temperature/ C 300 e CO2 gas flow rate/(L$min1) e 12 Heat input/(kJ$mm1) 1. When the weld metal is welded by FSW process.2% lower than those of parent metal. Percentage of elongation of parent metal is 29%.310 S. which are 35% lower that those of the parent metal. 4. exhibited higher ductility values compared to FSW and SMAW joints. The fusion welded joints (SMAW and GMAW) exhibits higher yield strength.1% lower than those of parent metal. Results metal.5 Filler diameter/mm 4 1.02 0. lower elongation and toughness.%) of parent metal.69 0. respectively.530 of parent metal was 438 MPa and 610 MPa. It comprises of advancing side heat Pin length/mm 4 affected zone (ASHAZ). analyzing software (Metal Vision). Similarly. Tensile and impact toughness properties GMAW (69 J) joints.056 thermo-mechanically affected zone (RSTMAZ). retreating side Heat input/(kJ$mm1) 1. it exhibits 48 J.04 Table 3 SMA and GMA welding conditions and parameters. The tensile properties of the parent metal and welded joints and decreased elongation and reduced toughness t. retreating . Similarly. All the three joints are free from macro- Axial force/kN 15 D/T ratio of tool 5 level defects. lower tensile strength.032 0. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 Table 1 Chemical composition (wt. which are 5. FSW joint are presented in Table 4. temperature. The cross-section of FSW joint appears like Tool shoulder diameter/mm 25 ‘basin-shape’ (Fig. respectively. 2. advancing side thermo-mechanically Tool inclined angle/( ) 0 affected zone (ASTMAZ). the joints fabricated by FSW process exhibited higher strength values. Of the three types of welded joints. This suggests that there is a 24% decrement in ductility due to GMAW process. respectively. make: ZEISS) was also used to 4. C Mn N Si Mo Ti V Nb Ni Cu Al W 0. RAGU NATHAN et al. 3.035 0. 3. which is 38% lower than that of the parent 3. The stress (load) -displacement curves of parent metal and welded joints are shown in Fig. The lowest impact strength is showed by the joint fabricated by FSW process compared to SMAW (62 J) and 3. which are 5. Table 2 FSW conditions and welding parameters.032 0. Micrographs of parent metal.19 0. the joints fabricated by GMAW Fig. But the yield strength and tensile strength of FSW joint are 502 MPa and 664 MPa. The yield strength and tensile strength shows higher yield and tensile strength. The impact toughness of parent metal is 78 J at room characterize the weld metal microstructure. 4(a)).489 1. the percentages of elongation of FSW and SMAW joints are 19%.1. Field-emission scanning Charpy impact toughness test results are presented in Table electron microscopy (FESEM. Macrostructure Process parameters Values Rotational speed/rpm 600 The cross-sectional macrographs of the weld joints are Welding speed/(mm$min1) 30 displayed in Fig.015 0. However.126 0.42 0. respectively.08 1. Of the three welded joints. whereas the percentage of elongation of GMAW joint is 22%. the yield strength and tensile strength of SMAW joint are 473 MPa and 578 MPa. the yield strength and tensile strength of GMAW joint are 485 MPa and 580 MPa.2.

3. The hardness of the as-received parent metal is approximately 270 HV. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 311 Table 4 Mechanical properties of the parent metal and welded joints. In GMAW pro- cess.5 N load/HV length/% PM 438 610 29 78 270 Center FSW 502 664 19 48 410 ASHAZ SMAW 473 578 19 62 315 PM GMAW 485 580 22 69 304 PM side heat affected zone (RSHAZ). Macrographs of weld cross-section 3. The high self-quenching rates that are asso- ciated with this process certainly promote the fast cooling rates. depending on the grain size and phases sampled from Fig.2% Offset yield Tensile strength/MPa Elongation in Impact toughness Hardness of weld Fracture location strength/MPa 25 mm gauge @ RT/J metal @ 0. Microhardness survey across the cross-section of the welded joints. coarse grain heat affected zone (CGHAZ) and fine is also a reason for this wide FZ (Fig. the affected zone (HAZ) in the FSW macrostructures. This could be attributed to this narrow FZ (Fig. resultant bead structure was a coarser one due to high heat rograph of SMAW and GMAW joints reveal weld center line input leading to the slower cooling rate. The wider arc column (WCL). Fig. 5 shows the hardness variations across the weld. S. The hardness of stir zone varies from 300 HV to 410 HV. weld metal (SZ). . Joint 0. the energy density is comparatively higher than that in SMAW process. 5. Load vs displacement curves of PM and welded joints. 4. (LHDR: Lowest hardness distribution region). The mac.3 Microhardness. heat grain heat affected zone (FGHAZ). Fig. 4(c)). In SMAW process. RAGU NATHAN et al. 4(b)). Fig.

Also the numerous micro-pores were observed. 6 shows the microstructures of the various regions of high magnification in the Fig. Fine and mechanical actions are more in TMAZ and SZ. acicular ferrite in both SMA and GMA weld metals. welded joints are ductile with acceptable plastic deformation and are evident from the fracture location and fractured sur- 3. The high magnification SEM image clearly (Fig. Fracture surface analysis SMAW and GMAW joints varies from 300 HV to 320 HV. Variation in size of the dimples ferrite throughout the stir zone whereas the SMA and GMA and presence of voids (Fig.4. (i) and (l). both and secondary dimples are the key features of superior tensile advancing side (AS) and retreating side (RS) of the FSW joint. No brittle cleavage fracture was found in any of the tensile tested fractographs presented at Fig. depending on the grain size and phases sampled from each The fractured surfaces of the tensile and impact tested indentation. The fractographs of joints is consistent with hardness distribution profile. 8(f)) is observed with respect to parent metal and other shows that FSW joint consists of upper bainite and acicular joints (Fig. SMAW and GMAW joints. A substantial dissimilarity in size and discussed initially. (i) and (l)). FSW. 8(a)e(l). The failure location of the welded using a scanning electron microscope. (f). RAGU NATHAN et al. . The SEM micrograph of weld metal region alignment of the dimples in the fracture surface of FSW joint is shown in Fig. 7. Microstructure face shown in the Fig. failure occurred in all the joints along the lowest hardness The modes of failure of the tensile tested parent metal and distribution region (LHDR). 8(c). 6. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 each indentation. 8 and 9. Since the intensities of heat an appreciable difference in fracture pattern was found. Hardness is found to be very high in HAZ of specimens of parent metal and welded joints were analyzed SMAW and GMAW joints. The microhardness of weld metal regions of 3. which may be the reason for attaining reduced tensile strength Fig. Optical micrographs of various regions of welded steel joints.312 S. 8(i)) show that the ductile fracture weld metal consists of acicular ferrite and martensite. The tensile and impact specimens are displayed in Figs. However. strength of FSW joint compared to other fusion weld joints the microstructural fruition in these zones is considered to be and parent metal.3. There is occurred with considerable reduction in tensile strength of an appreciable morphology difference in the formation of SMAW joint. 8 (c).

SZ. Due to low heat generation in SZ.1. i. 6(b) and Fig. Parent metal micro- structure (ferrite and small amount of pearlite) was trans- with respect to parent metal and other (FSW & GMAW) formed into acicular ferrite. (c) and (i)). Microstructural stability can be observed at the lip of the dimples. 7.e. which results in formation of acicular ferrite. SEM micrographs of weld metal region. The relatively slow cooling rate of GMAW which are characterized by the depth size of the dimple in the process led to the formation of martensite and acicular ferrite fracture surface can be clearly seen in Fig. the formation of upper bainite with small amount of acicular ferrite is possible. higher heat input leads to slower cooling rate which results in he coarse grains in weld metal [18]. 7(a)). Though the lower heat input can produce finer grains compared to higher heat input. process. Discussion 4. TMAZ and HAZ (Fig. few secondary dimples high strength and high toughness [2]. 9(f). This could be one of the reasons that FSW joint consists of upper bainite grains in the stir zone (Fig.. S. However. Owing to higher heat input. At higher magnification the presence of finer dimples and the secondary dimples are evi. Var- elongated dimple fracture which may be ruptured in ductile iations in filler metal and parent metal chemical composition shear. peratures [20]. the FSW process supplies lower heat input (1. the entire surface shows a coarse and and martensite by heat input and chemical composition. the strength and ductility of the respective joint are higher and vice versa [6. Effects of welding processes on tensile properties denced (Fig.05 kJ/mm) to the weld region compared to SMAW and GMAW processes which supply 1. 9(i)) might be the reason for the drop of structure.e.493 kJ/mm and 1. The elongated cavities and coarse dimples suggesting lead to the thermal variations in weld metal and parent metal localized slip which in turn results in more ductility without as well as the solidification of weld metal. Slow cooling rate reducing the tensile strength of GMAW joint. It is not possible to produce homogeneous weld impact energy absorption of SMAW joint compared with the metal by fusion welding processes. fracture morphology consists of cleavage facets were formed. phase transformation occurred in the SMAW and GMAW weld metals. 6(a) and (g)) the characteristics are also better than those of other fusion welded joints (Fig. This may be due to unique weld metal characteristics and similar thermal properties of Fig. An charpy v-notch impact tested specimens are shown in acicular ferrite microstructure has the potential of combining Fig. This could be the is more in acicular ferrite compared to bainite in higher tem- reason for high impact strength of the parent metal (Fig.. While the fast cooling rate (i. Effects of welding processes on microstructure The weld metal microstructure of fusion welded joints is greatly influenced by the chemical composition of filler metal and the heat input of the process.17]. if the dimple size is finer. (h).530 kJ/mm. In general. Due to high heat input and intensity of GMAW Scanned image of FSW joint depicts the type of brittle frac. Of the three processes used in this investigation. TMAZ.2. This might be the reason for the higher impact energy absorption for the GMAW joint. 6(b). small amount of retained austenite joints. Moreover. parent metal and GMAW joint. 4. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 313 strength and ductility. variation of dimples and the presence of micro-pores and filler metal addition also play vital role in weld metal micro- secondary cracks (Fig. In Fig. and the joint size exhibits a directly proportional relationship with the properties are controlled by weld metal chemical composition . 9(l)). may reduce the interfacial energy between the austenite and The scanned images and fractographs of fracture surface of ferrite. The size with some retained austenite in weld metal region. However. HAZ and PM [19]. lower heat input leads to fast cooling rate which results in fine microstructure. lower heat input) and mechanical action for refining micro- structure process are coupled. At higher magnification. RAGU NATHAN et al. the intrinsic nature of the process also plays major role in refining the weld metal microstructure. respectively. 4. 9(c)). 7(c)) ture. The dimple The weld metal is comparatively stronger. the coarse grains in weld metal and HAZ (Fig. 9(a)e(l). 8(l).

Ti. Also the ductility is severely affected by solute atoms and moving dislocations [22]. nitrides and/or carbonitrides and prior-austenite grain size in reheated and isothermally held contribute to strength due to precipitation hardening [21]. except for grain size. the quite shape and volume fraction. V. increase compared to the yield strength of the parent metal. The strong carbide/nitride forming ele. This specimens [17]. and microstructure. 8.. the presence of MnS inclusion in steels and varies with size. In general. Variation of ductility with microstructure and could be the reason that the yield strengths of all the joints chemical composition is more complex. ferrite with martensite and retained austenite. increase in molybdenum and nickel may result in formation of and the cracks easily initiate at the inclusion. either due to . like Nb. and normally the precipitates act as fine weld joints compared to parent metal due to an increase in dispersion of carbides. all factors. which increase the strength would The yield point elongation is attributed to the interaction of decrease the ductility. The inclusions act as stress raisers. RAGU NATHAN et al. etc. have very limited solubility in that there is a 5% reduction in the strength values of fusion ferrite and austenite. This indicates ments. Due to filler metal addition and high heat input.314 S. SEM fractographs of tensile specimens. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 Fig.

9. Thus in all the cases. SEM fractographs of impact specimens. S. The loadedisplacement graph clearly of the ductility of joint compared to parent metal. resulting in the fine grain microstructure consisting of acicular. the material is severely plastically that of base metal [24]. upper . that a Mn depletion zone is formed around inclusions due to Fig. cracking of inclusions or decohession of inclusion and matrix a fine grain structure. the nucleation of acicular ferrite is nomena occurring during the material movement in FSW. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 315 Fig. The increased strength is attributed to deformed due to the stirring action of the pin tool. indicates that the strength of FSW specimen is 8% more than In the case of FSW. 3 illustrates the effects of different welding processes on MnS precipitations on Ti2O3 which may lead to the reduction strength and ductility. RAGU NATHAN et al. Dynamic recrystallization is a phe- [23].

impact toughness than SMAW joint due to slower cooling rate. FGHAZ is due to the presence of coarse distorted micro- clusions whilst maintaining an orientation relationship with structure invariably in weld metal compared to fine and coarse the austenite [2e4]. However. room temperature. it decreases the structure formed at peak temperature with highly strain- ductility and toughness. The pres. Although the factors over the hardness values [28]. and and the raising of hardness value towards the CGHAZ and then radiate in many different orientations from those in. Conclusions The higher impact strength was achieved by joint fabricated by GMAW process compared to FSW and SMAW processes. Effects of welding processes on impact toughness where the prior-austenite grain size was relatively smaller than properties that closer to the fusion line [8] and also the higher hardness conforming the micro-segregation of the major alloying ele- Charpy V-notch impact toughness of parent metal is 78 J at ments in these regions [21]. which could be the reason for higher hardness The authors are grateful to The Director. compared to the joints fabricated by FSW and The formation of acicular ferrite with high angle grain SMAW processes. . the joint fabricated by FSW cementite as thin film at the lath boundaries of bainite in. enhancement of toughness properties. The lower hard- toughness of the fusion zone in SMAW joint compared to nesses of the SMAW joints (315 HV) and GMAW joints GMAW joint with respect to parent metal is attributed to the (304 HV) were recorded.10]. formation to a completely upper bainite and lath bainitic Also. the elongated spherical inclusions of MnS may also be microstructure are the major contributors of the hardest stir an important factor in reducing the ductility. the following important conclusions are derived: perature and lowers the charpy shelf energy. High angle grain zone in the FSW joint weld zone. unique weld metal composition reason for reduction in toughness of FSW joint with respect to and strain-induced deformation during FSW. strength low alloy (HSLA) steel joints. tion. This could be the to grain refinement in SZ. The microhardness values are less significant in Research Laboratory (NMRL). process exhibited higher strength values. From this investiga- ence of precipitate carbides raises the impact transition tem. RAGU NATHAN et al. 9(e) shows the induced area and localized fast cooling rate to room tem- brittle cleavage fracture features. This is due to severe plastic presence of retained austenite in the martensite microstructure deformation and continuous dynamic recrystallization which leads to void the formation in the austenite during occurred in the stir zone and localized heating and fast deformation [27]. The presence of martensite-austenite boundaries and the parallel stacking of ferrite and carbides (M-A) constituents and the ferrite laths in bainitic matrix (Fig. / Defence Technology 11 (2015) 308e317 bainite and small cluster of martensite regions. grain heat affected zone. thereby leading to an improvement in toughness 3) Hardness of FSW joint (410 HV) is higher in the stir zone without compromising strength [2. The impact strength of upper bainite adversely affected by the presence of 1) Of the three welded joints. Also the SZ micro- formation of martensite increases the strength. 5. Naval Material values. The hardness profiles (Fig. GMAW joint exhibited higher exhibited 28% and 10% higher impact toughness.2012 and providing base material for this investigation. the joint fabricated using GMAW In the case of fusion welds. respectively. boundaries (>10 ) result in enhancement of strength [2]. the misorientation angle be. The In this investigation. 2) Of the three joints. whereas the impact toughness of FSW joint exhibits 48 J which is 38% lower than that of parent metal.3. 5(b) and tween the grains could be the key feature in increasing the (c)) of the welded joints are in agreement with the resultant yield strength and tensile strength compared to parent metal. parent metal as well as fusion weld joints. the reduced compared to the HAZ and BM regions. However. The higher hardness was found in the area 4. strength properties at the highest and intermediate strength levels. and the creases the presence of martensite which does not contribute to enhancement in strength value is approximately 13% due the strength but lowers the toughness [26]. cooling rate of the FSW process contributed to higher hardness in the stir zone. structure. an attempt was made to study the increased percentage of bainite leads to an enhancement of effects of welding processes by evaluating the weld metal tensile properties. 4.316 S. respectively. Ambernath for financial sup- affecting the mechanical properties because the inherent port through CARS project No: G8/15250/2011 dated nature of the tool rotational speed has more influencing 29. it could be understood that the is because the plates of acicular ferrite nucleate intragranularly lower hardness of GMAW and SMAW joints were recorded. 5(b) and (c). Effects of welding processes on hardness The post weld microstructure of SZ consists of shear Acknowledgements transformed bainitic ferrite with carbides and acicular ferrite. This From Fig. thereby confirming the perature occurred during FSW and subsequent trans- presence of martensite in the FSW stir zone microstructure. on non-metallic inclusions within large austenite grains. 7(c)) arranged in the packets could make the propagation in the weld zone microstructure are the key reasons for path of critical crack pass through an acicular ferrite micro.02. The fractograph in Fig. and the presence of small cluster of microstructure and mechanical properties of naval grade high martensite is detrimental to impact toughness [25].3.4.

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