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Heat flow in welding

Subjects of Interest

• Heat sources
• Heat source and melting efficiency
• Analysis of heat flow in welding
• Effects of welding parameter
• Weld thermal simulator

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Objectives

• This chapter provides information of heat flow during


welding, which can strongly affect phase transformation,
microstructure, and properties of the welds.
• Students are required to indicate heat source and power
density used in different welding methods, which affect the
melting efficiency.

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Welding heat sources
Electrical sources Mechanical sources

• Arc welding • Friction (stir) welding


• Resistance welding Heat intensity ~ 104-106 Wm-2
• Electroslag
Heat intensity ~ 106-108 Wm-2 • Ultrasonic welding (15-75 KHz)
• Explosion welding (EXW)
Chemical sources

• Oxyfuel gas welding Other sources


• Thermit welding
• Diffusion welding
Heat intensity ~ 106-108 Wm-2

High energy sources


• Laser beam welding
• Electron beam welding
Heat intensity ~ 1010-1012 Wm-2

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Welding Arc
Characteristics • A welding arc consists of a sustained electrical discharge
through a high temperature, conducting plasma, producing
(ionic gas or plasma sufficient thermal energy as to be useful for the joining of metal by
with electric current
fusion.
passing through)
• Gaseous conductor changes electrical energy into heat.
• Arc produces sources of heat + radiation (careful  required
proper protection)
http://en.wikipedia.org

bell shaped arc

Welding arc Gas metal arc welding


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Emission of electron at cathode
Emission of electrons at cathode occurs when an amount
of energy required to remove the electron from a material
(liquid or solid). This amount of energy per electron is
called ‘work function’. (analogous to ionization potential)

Material Work function, eV Emission occurs mainly by two processes;


Al 3.8-4.3
Cu 1.1-1.7
1) Cold cathode
Fe 3.5-4 At low pressure, high voltage
Mg 3.1-3.7 conditions, positive ions are accelerated
W 4.3-5.3 toward the cathode and bombard the
cathode with relatively high energy.
BaO, SrO 0.95
Thoria 2.5 2) Thermal emission
CsO 0.75 At high temperature some electrons
Al2O3 <2.5 acquire enough thermal energy to
overcome the work function and
become free electrons.

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www.fronius.com
Plasma formation

States of matter

Solid
Melting
• Plasma consists of ionized state of a
Liquid gas composed of nearly equal
numbers of electrons and ions, which
Vaporization can react to electric or magnetic fields.
Gas (neutral • Electrons, which support most of the
atoms/molecules) current conduction, flow from cathode
Ionization terminal (-) to anode terminal (+).
Plasma (negative charges • Neutral plasma can be established
and positive ions) by thermal means  by collision
process, which requires the attainment
of equilibrium temperature according to
ionization potential of the materials.
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Ionization potential Element/Compound Ionization Potential (Volts or eV)

He 24.6

Ar 15.8

H2 15.4

N2 15.6

O2 12.1

CO2 13.8

CO 14.1

C 11.3

Energy Si 8.2

Fe 7.9

Ni 7.6

Na 5.1

K 4.3

Cs 3.9

Ionization potential, Vi, required to strip an


electron from an outer shell of and atom or M+.

Plasma temperature = Ionization potential x 1000 K

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Power in arc
•The electrical power is dissipated in three
regions of the arc: anode, cathode and plasma
column.
•The area at cathode and anode has strong Cathode -
effects on arc configuration, the flow of the
heat energy to the terminal  affecting shape
and depth of the fusion zone.
Arc area is mainly divided into Power (Parc) Pc Heat
three zones;
1) Anode
Pa
Pa = IE a
Anode +
2) Cathode Energy dissipation in the arc

Pc = IE c
Note: Most heat goes to the
3) Plasma arc column anode/cathode and most is lost
Parc = I (dE arc / dl )l radially from the arc
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Temperature in the arc and heat loss
www.geocities.com
• The arc temperature ~ 5000-30,000 K
depending on the nature of plasma and
current.
• The arc temperature is determined by
measuring the spectral radiation
emitted.

Heat losses in the arc

• Energy losses by heat conduction


and convection, radiation and
diffusion.
Plasma temperature contour in the arc
• In Ar gas, radiation loss ~ 20%
while in other welding gas, radiation Temp Radiation loss
loss <10%.
Heat loss
Note: The use of fluxing reduces radiation lost
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Polarity
There are three different types of current used in arc welding

1) Direct-Current Electrode Negative (DCEN)

2) Direct-Current Electrode Positive (DCEP)

3) Alternating current (AC)

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Direct-Current Electrode Negative (DCEN)

• Also called straight polarity.


• Electrons are emitted from the negative
tungsten electrode and accelerated while
travelling through the arc.
• Most commonly used in GTAW.
• Relatively narrow and deep weld pool is
produced due to high energy.
• DCEN in GMAW makes the arc unstable
and causes excessive spatter, large droplet
size of metal and the arcs forces the droplets
away from the workpiece.  This is due to a
low rate of electron emission from the negative
electrode.

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Direct-Current Electrode Positive (DCEP)

• Also called reverse polarity.


• The electrode is connected to the positive
terminal of the power source, therefore the
heating affect is now at the tungsten electrode
rather than the workpiece.  shallow weld  for
welding thin sheets.
• At low current in Ar, the size of the droplet ~ the
size of the electrode  Globular transfer.
• The droplet size is inversely proportional to the
current and the droplets are released at the rate
of a few per second.
• At above the critical current  the droplets are
released at the rate of hundreds per second
(spray mode).
• Positive irons clean off the oxide surface.

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Surface cleaning action

DCEP can be employed to clean the surface of the workpiece by knocking


off oxide films by the positive ions of the shielding gas.

Ex: cleaning of Al2O3 oxide film


(Tm ~2054oC) on aluminium to
make melting of the metal
underneath the oxide film easier.

Surface cleaning action in GTAW with


DC electrode positive.

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Alternating Current (AC)

• Reasonably good penetration and


oxide cleaning action can be both
obtained.
• Often used for welding aluminium
alloys.

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Heat source efficiency
In the case of arc welding, having a constant voltage E and a
constant current I, the arc efficiency can be expressed as;
Qt weld Qt weld Q
η= = =
Eq.2
Qno min al t weld EIt weld EI
Where Q is the rate of heat transfer
Qnominal is the heat input
tweld is the welding time

In cases of electron beam and laser beam welding, Qnominal is the power
heat source of the electron beam and laser beam respectively.
The term, heat input per unit length of weld often refers to

Qno min al EI
, or Eq.3
V V
Where Qnominal or EI is the heat input
V is the welding speed
Qnominal / V is heat input per unit length of weld
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Heat source efficiency measurement

• Heat source efficiency can be measured using


a calorimeter (by measuring the heat transfer
from the heat source to the workpiece and then to
the calorimeter).
• The temperature rise in the cooling water
(Tout-Tin) can be measured using thermocouples
or thermistors. Heat transfer from the workpiece
to the calorimeter is given by
Eq.4
α α
Qt weld = ∫ WC (Tout − Tin )dt ≈ WC ∫ (Tout − Tin )dt
0 0

Where W is the mass flow rate of water


C is the specific heat of water
Tout is the outlet water temperature
Tin is the inlet water temperature Note: This integral corresponds
t is time to the shaded area, and can be
used to calculated the arc
efficiency η.
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Heat source efficiency measurement
• The arc efficiency can also be measured
using Seebeck envelope calorimeter. This
technique utilises thermocouple junctions for
sensing temperature difference.
• The heat transfer from the workpiece to
the calorimeter can be determined by
measuring the temperature different ∆T and
hence gradient across a gradient layer of
material of known thermal conductivity k
and thickness L.
α ∆T
Qt weld = A∫ k dt Eq.5
0 L

Where A is the area for heat flow


∆T/L is temperature gradient Layer of temperature gradient for heat
source efficiency measurement.

Note: this type of calorimeter is used to determine the arc


efficiencies in PAW, GMAW, and SAW.
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Heat source efficiency measurement
• In GMAW the arc, metal droplets, and the
cathode heating contribute to the efficiency
of the heat source.
• Lu and Kou used a combination of three
calorimeters to estimate the amounts of
heat transfer from the arc, filler metal
droplets and the cathode heating to the
workpiece in GMAW of aluminium.

(a) Measured results, (b) breakdown of power inputs. (a) Heat transfer from metal droplets
(b) Total heat inputs
(c) Heat inputs from arc and metal droplets.
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Heat source efficiency in various
welding processes
Heat source efficiency is low
LBW because of the high
reflectivity.

Heat source efficiency is


PAW much higher than LBW (no
reflectivity).

Heat source efficiency is


SAW higher than GTAW or SMAW
since the arc is covered with
thermally insulating blanket of
molten slag and granular flux.

Heat source efficiency is high


EBW due to the keyhole acting like
Heat source efficiencies in several a black body trapping the
welding processes. energy from electron beam.
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Melting efficiency Aweld = Afiller +Abase

Melting efficiency is the ability of the heat source to


melt the base metal (as well as the filler metal).

Cross section of weld


The melting efficiency of the arc ηm can be defined as follows
( AbaseVt weld ) H base + ( A filler Vt weld ) H filler
ηm =
Where ηEIt weld
Eq.7
V is the welding speed V ηm
Hbase is the energy required to raise a unit volume of tweld
base metal to the melting point and melt it.
Hfiller is the energy required to raise a unit volume of
filler metal to the melting point and melt it.
tweld is the welding time.
Note: the quantity inside the parentheses represents the volume of material
melted while the denominator represents the heat transfer from the heat
source to the workpiece.

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Melting efficiency

(a) shallow welds of


lower melting
efficiency,
(b) (b) deeper weld of
higher melting
efficiency.

Low heat input High heat input


Low welding speed High welding speed

Aweld = Afiller +Abase

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Power density distribution of heat source
Power density distribution is influenced by
1) Electrode tip angle
2) Electrode tip geometry

Sharp electrode

• Arc diameter
• Power density distribution

Blunter electrode

• Arc diameter
• Power density distribution
Effect of electrode tip angle on shape and power
density distribution of gas-tungsten arc.

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Effect of electrode tip angle on shape of
gas tungsten arc and power density

Conical angle of The arc becomes


electrode tip more constricted

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Analysis of heat flow in welding
Heat or temperature distribution occurring during welding greatly affect
microstructure of the weld, hence, the weld properties

•The temperature-distance profile


shows that the heat source travels
along the weld in the direction A-A’ at
a constant speed.
• As the heat source moves on, the
cooling rates around the weld are very
high.
• A more intense heat source will give
a steeper profile and the HAZ, which
will be confined to a narrower region.

Temperature distribution round a typical weld


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Effect of temperature gradient on
weld microstructure
The temperature gradients in the liquid weld material are substantially higher
than in most casting processes. This leads to high solidification rates which
produce a finer dendritic structure than that observed in most castings.

Microstructures occurring in a weld and its HAZ.


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Effect of welding parameters

• Effect of heat input Q and welding


speed V on the weld pool.

• Effect of heat input on cooling rate.

• Effect of the power density


distribution of the heat source on the
weld shape.

• Heat sink effect of workpiece.

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Effect of heat input and welding
speed on the weld pool

• The shape and size of the weld pool is


significantly affected by heat input Q and
the welding speed V.

Heat input The weld pool


becomes more
Welding speed elongated.

Note: the cross indicates the


position of the electrode.
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Effect of heat input on cooling rate

The cooling rate in ESW (high Q/V)


is much smaller than that in arc
welding.

Heat input per Cooling rate


unit length EI/V

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Effect of power density distribution
on weld shape

Power density

Weld penetration

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Heat sink effect of the workpiece

• The cooling rate increases with the


thickness of the workpiece due to
the heat sink effect.
• Thicker workpiece acts as a better
heat sink to cool the weld down.

Brass with a higher melting point than


that of aluminium is used as a heat sink
to increase the cooling rate in
aluminium welding.

Blass heat sink is clamped behind


aluminium to be welded.

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References
• Kou, S., Welding metallurgy, 2nd edition, 2003, John Willey and
Sons, Inc., USA, ISBN 0-471-43491-4.
• Gourd, L.M., Principles of welding technology, 3rd edition, 1995,
Edward Arnold, ISBN 0 340 61399 8.

Suranaree University of Technology Sep-Dec 2007