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IIW/EWF Diploma –

Materials and Their Behaviour (Foundation)


MAB1

Training & Examination Services


Granta Park, Great Abington
Cambridge CB21 6AL, UK
Copyright © TWI Ltd
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Contents
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IIW/EWF Diploma –
Materials and Their Behaviour (Foundation)
Contents
Section Subject

Preface
1 Structure of Pure Metals
1.1 General introduction
1.2 Crystal structures
1.3 Solidification of metals and grain structure
1.4 Crystal structure imperfections
1.5 Work hardening
2 Alloys and Phase Diagrams
2.1 Alloying
2.2 Solid solution alloy equilibrium phase diagram
2.3 Alloys with partial or no solid solubility
2.4 Age hardening
2.5 Phase diagram involving a eutectoid
2.6 Introducing the iron-carbon phase diagram
2.7 Advantages and disadvantages of phase diagrams
3 Manufacture of Steels
3.1 Modern steelmaking
3.2 Primary steelmaking
3.3 Secondary steelmaking
3.4 Casting
3.5 Steel processing
4 Materials Testing
4.1 Mechanical testing
4.2 Tensile testing
4.3 Charpy impact testing
4.4 Fracture toughness testing
4.5 Bend testing
4.6 Fatigue testing
4.7 Hardness testing
4.8 Metallographic examination
5 Heat Treatment of Steels
5.1 Why heat treat?
5.2 Equilibrium heat treatments (ferrite and pearlite)
5.3 Non-equilibrium heat treatment
5.4 Stress relief and postweld heat treatment

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6 Fe-C Steels
6.1 Steel
6.2 Steel terminology
6.3 Weldability of steels
7 Micro-alloyed/High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) Steels
7.1 Micro-alloyed steels
7.2 TMCP steels
7.3 Weldability of micro-alloyed steels
7.4 Applications for high strength steels
8 Structure of the Welded Joint
8.1 Weld metal
8.2 The HAZ
8.3 Microstructures of multi-pass welds
8.4 Heat input
9 Cracking Mechanisms
9.1 Hydrogen (cold) cracking
9.2 Solidification (hot) cracking
9.3 Liquation cracking
9.4 Lamellar training
9.5 Reheat cracking of low alloy steel
10 Corrosion
10.1 Definition
10.2 Reactions during corrosion
10.3 Galvanic series
11 Welding of Stainless Steels
11.1 What makes stainless steel stainless?
11.2 Why use stainless steel?
11.3 Crystallographic structure
11.4 The elements contained in stainless steel
11.5 Five basic types of stainless steels
11.6 Mechanical properties
11.7 Potential problems with welding stainless steels
12 Surfacing
12.1 Reasons for using overlays and coatings
12.2 Types of protective layers
12.3 Weld surfacing
12.4 Arc welding surfacing techniques
12.5 Laser weld deposition
12.6 Explosive cladding
12.7 Clad pipes
12.8 Dilution in weld overlays
12.9 Sensitization of the substrate
12.10 Welding and NDT of clad steels
12.11 Standards
12.12 Quality control of weld overlays
12.13 Thermal spray coatings

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13 Creep Resistant Steels


13.1 Creep resistance
13.2 Weldability of creep-resistant steels
13.3 Creep testing
13.4 The use of creep data
13.5 Reheat cracking
13.6 Temper embrittlement
13.7 Assessment of creep damage
14 Cryogenic Steels
14.1 Composition of cryogenic steels
14.2 Applications of cryogenic steels
14.3 Weldability of cryogenic steels
15 Aluminium Alloys
15.1 Introduction
15.2 Work hardenable alloys
15.3 Heat treatable alloys
15.4 Designation of aluminium alloys
15.5 Welding of Al alloys
15.6 Porosity due to dissolved gases (hydrogen)
15.7 Oxide skin
15.8 Hot cracking
15.9 Welding processes for aluminium alloys
15.10 Titanium alloys
15.11 Magnesium alloys
16 Dissimilar Joints
16.1 Metallurgical incompatibility
16.2 Types of dissimilar welds
17 Other Alloys
17.1 Cast irons and cast steels
17.2 Nickel and nickel alloys
17.3 Copper and copper alloys
17.4 Titanium alloys

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Preface
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Preface
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Preface
Introducing materials and their behaviour

Welcome
Welcome to the International Institute of Welding (IIW) and European Welding
Federation (EWF) approved Diploma course offered by TWI Training and
Examination Services. Successful completion of your course leads to qualification
recognised in more than 40 countries. The syllabus and expected learning outcomes
are given in an IIW publication, IAB-252r8-07, of which a short version may be
downloaded from either the IIW website: www.iiw-iis.org, or from the EWF website:
www.ewf.be.

This course is designed to cover the syllabus but we emphasise that self-study
should account for at least as much time as the lectures. Larry Jeffus (Welding
Principles and Application) is an excellent source for basic information, with coloured
easy to follow diagrams. Callister/Rethwisch (Materials Science and Engineering) is
also an excellent reference. Althouse, Turnqist, Bowditch, Bowditch, Bowditch
(Modern Welding) also has good explanations. AC Davies (The Science and
Practice of Welding) is a classic, but now rather dated reference. More advanced
explanations can found in Welding Metallurgy, by Kou.

The internet is, of course, a prime source of reference, though care must be taken as
anyone can set up a website and post information, not all of which is accurate. We
strongly suggest that you use the technical information available from TWI’s website
www.twi.co.uk/technical-knowledge

Others that you may find helpful are:


www.gowelding.com
www.welding-technology-machines.info
www.electronics-tutorials.com
www.doitpoms.ac.uk
www.matter.org.uk

With the changing face of the internet we cannot say that these sites will remain in
place and as useful as they seemed when we looked at them. We recommend that
you use a search engine to explore what is available for any topic that you to learn
more about.

We hope that you enjoy this learning experience. Good luck in the exams.

What will I learn from this module?


Welding affects any material and changes its properties. The changes are not,
however, the same for all materials. We will explain where the effects are similar and
where they differ. We will show how different welding processes and procedures can
alter the effects observed. Most of all, we will help you to understand the
metallurgical principles that will allow you to predict what will happen to material
properties when a weld is made.

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Do I need to be a metallurgist to follow this course?


Certainly not! What is most important is that you have an open mind and are willing
to take on new concepts. It may well help if you have a basic understanding of
material science but if you haven't, don't worry – our lecturers are used to explaining
principles carefully. Anyway, most metallurgy and material science courses spend
very little time on the effects of welding so everyone will be learning what the
different welding processes can do to materials and their behaviour.

What sort of learning methods are used?


The rest of this volume contains notes and slides that show you the depth to which
we take each topic. We lecture and expect active participation. This involvement
increases as you progress through the levels – we expect those at the Engineer
Level to be making significant personal input into the learning process.

We must point out that simply learning the notes is not enough. We make frequent
reference to private study and expect you to use all facilities – library, reference
books and the internet, especially the TWI website with its Job Knowledge series of
articles – to give you a fuller understanding of the subject.

Our lecturers and Course Manager are always keen to hear from you. If you have
input to give, ideas for improvement, or you just have a concern over the learning or
examination, please speak to us.

Why is this module important to me?


As Welding Engineer in your company, you are expected to understand the effect
that welding has on materials and to predict the performance of the welded joint.
Designers may have some rules of thumb on mechanical properties of welded joints
but these will not take into account the very wide variation in effect from different
procedures. Nor will designers know how different materials behave. It is for the
Welding Engineer to provide the detailed knowledge of mechanical property change,
risk of cracking during and after welding, etc and it is this knowledge that you will
learn in this module.

What sort of thing will I learn?


Why do carbon steels become brittle at low temperatures but stainless steel can be
used to contain liquid nitrogen and helium? It's because they have different crystal
structures. You'll learn about these structures and why some have good ductility
whatever the temperature whilst others don't.

Why do some welds crack down the centreline whilst being made?
Usually this is a sign of solidification cracking. You will learn how to identify it
conclusively but, not only that, you will learn the mechanisms involved. Steels can
sometimes show solidification cracking.

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The reason is that impurities are concentrated in the last area to freeze (the
centreline) and these create a thin liquid film that cannot accept the strain as the
solid metal cools and contracts.

Aluminium alloys may also suffer solidification cracking:

At first sight it looks the same as that in steel so you might guess at a similar cause,
but in this case it is intrinsic to mix of the major alloying elements. Careful selection
of filler metal composition is necessary to avoid centreline cracking in aluminium
alloys.

Why is the presence of hydrogen dangerous in some carbon-manganese steels but


not in others and how can you tell if a problem is likely? You can simply learn by
experience but this gives you no idea of risk when faced with a new material. Our
course takes time to explain the mechanism of hydrogen cracking and the
contributing factors, giving you formulae to allow you to predict the risk in other
ferritic steels.

These are just a few examples of why it is important to understand the underlying
principles and mechanisms operating in the material as it are subjected to welding
and the stressing induced by the process. It is material science but there is nothing
to fear, it is all based on discovering why noteworthy practical effects take place.

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What is the final outcome that I can expect?


We emphasise that we work to an international syllabus, at one of three levels, in
order to prepare you for examinations that will qualify you to exactly the same level
as welding co-ordinators trained in any of the countries complying with the
International Accreditation Board’s requirements. Your qualification will be
recognised in more than 40 countries around the world.

This module prepares you for specific exams on materials and their behaviour, one
of four modules that you need to achieve the end qualification. Even if you choose
not to be tested in this way, your involvement in the course will have given you a
much greater understanding of why certain things are important in welding and how
to exert control over them in order to achieve quality welds.

My company uses only a limited number of materials, why do I need to learn


about a wide range?
There are several good reasons why we cover the range that we do including:

The International Accreditation Board qualification is recognised in countries around


the world and by companies in all areas of manufacturing, fabrication and
construction. There is no sub-division into Aluminium Welding Engineer or Structural
Steel Welding Specialist.

It would be impractical and prohibitive in cost to you, for us to attempt to customise


the course for individual needs as perceived.

Specific needs may be limited today, but we believe that individuals should have
good general knowledge; their company may enter a new field of operation or they
may choose to change company and we don't wish to limit their horizon.

So what's in it for me?


The acquisition of knowledge about your speciality is never wasted. Even if you don’t
use all that you learn on this course immediately, you will remember where to look
for information when circumstances demand it.

If your company develops opportunities in applications and materials currently


unfamiliar, you will be in a position to come to terms rapidly with any new
approaches necessary.

Whilst we recognise that you are likely to be sponsored by your company against a
company objective, we should also point out that your personal development and the
gaining of professional qualifications is of great benefit to you, the individual, as you
follow your career path.

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Section 1

Structure of Pure Metals


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Structure of Pure Metals
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1 Structure of Pure Metals


1.1 General introduction
Matter can exist in various states. The three classical states of aggregation
are solids, liquids and gases. Of these, solids are more relevant to an
engineer as they form the bulk of structural components. Solids can be
further classified depending on the nature of bonding between the
constituents (atoms or molecules) or the arrangement of the constituents.
The former, based on bonding that holds the solid together gives (i)
covalent, (ii) ionic, (iii) metallic and (iv) molecular solids. The latter, based on
the regularity of arrangement of the constituents gives two main groups of
solids ie (i) crystalline and (ii) amorphous. Since most engineering materials
are crystalline we will focus on crystalline structures in the next section.

1.2 Crystal structures


Crystalline materials contain atoms or molecules bonded together in a
regular pattern. Depending on the patterns in which atoms or molecules are
arranged crystalline solids can have various crystal structures. One example
is the body-centred cubic (bcc) crystal structure. This consists of nine atoms
arranged in a cube with one atom in the centre of the cube as shown in the
following figure.

So the number of atoms per cube = 8×1/8 (each atom shared by 8 cubes) +
1 (atom at the body centre) = 2

Examples of metals that have the bcc crystal structure are Cr, V, Mo, W, Nb,
α-Fe (ferrite), structural steels and some stainless steels. At room
temperature, bcc crystal structured materials usually have lower ductility
than their face-centred-cubic (fcc) counterparts (described below), but can
have higher strength.

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A second type of cubic crystal structure is the face-centred cubic (fcc). This
consists of 14 atoms arranged in a cube with an atom in the centre of each
face of the cube. The number of atoms per cube in this case is four (4). This
structure is usually associated with high ductility and malleability. Examples
of metals that have the fcc crystal structure are Ni, Cu, Al, Ag, Au, Pb, γ-Fe
(austenite) and some stainless steels.

A third type of crystal structure is the hexagonal close-packed (hcp). This


consists of 17 atoms in a hexagonal arrangement and features low
plasticity. Examples of metals that have this structure are Ti, Zn, Mg, Be, Zr.

1.3 Solidification of metals and grain structure


As a liquid metal is cooled below a critical temperature called liquidus, small
crystals are nucleated at heterogeneities in contact with the liquid such as
the fusion boundary in a weld pool, the wall of the mould in a casting, or
precipitates floating in the liquid phase. As a metal solidifies, the crystals
grow as dendrites (Greek for tree) in a three dimensional branching pattern.
Their growth directions follow the directions of heat dissipation.

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Liquid

Solid

Each dendrite grows with a fixed crystal orientation and in metallurgical


terms, each crystal (each dendrite) is called a grain. The grains grow until
they impinge on the neighbouring grains. The interface between two grains
is a grain boundary. The crystal structures in adjacent grains have different
orientations of the atomic arrangement.

In weld pools, the grain structure is columnar, because the dendrite growth
follows the direction of heat dissipation starting perpendicular to the fusion
boundary and follows the welding direction, as shown in the following figure.

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1.4 Crystal structure imperfections


Imperfections or defects in a crystal structure exert a profound effect on
structure sensitive properties such as strength, hardness, ductility and
toughness. These defects can be classified into (i) point, (ii) line or (iii)
planar depending on the dimensionality. Point defects can be vacancies or
interstitials. Vacancies are where an atom is missing from the atomic
arrangement. Interstitials are where an atom is present between atoms in
the normal crystal structure.

Linear imperfections are known as dislocations and there are two types,
edge and screw dislocations. Edge dislocations consist of an extra half-
plane of atoms.

Screw dislocations consist of a step of atoms in the crystal structure.

Dislocations assist deformation of metals. Under stress, it is easy for the


extra half plane of an edge dislocation to attach itself to the atoms adjacent
to it, creating a new half plane beside itself. This has effectively moved a
plane of atoms and by the successive movement of planes of atoms, plastic
deformation (change of shape of the material) is possible.

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Plastic deformation, also called yielding, is a permanent change in shape.


Below the yield point, all deformation is elastic and is reversible once the
load is removed.

Elastic Plastic

Yield
point

Plastic deformation can be made harder by the presence of barriers to


dislocation movement. Such barriers may be interstitial atoms, solid solution
atoms, precipitates, other dislocations and grain boundaries. If deformation
is more difficult, then a material is stronger. With increasing temperature
atoms vibrate and come closer to each other, making it easier for them to
move under an applied stress and therefore the yield stress decreases with
increasing temperature.

Grain size
If the grain size is small, then more grain boundaries exist which means
more barriers to dislocation movement making plastic deformation more
difficult. A finer grain size leads to increased hardness and tensile strength
(and also increased toughness). Grain size can be reduced by promoting
crystal nucleation from many sites in the liquid phase, but more commonly
for wrought products, the grain size is reduced through mechanical working
and heat treatment, which will be covered later in the course.

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Grain size can be measured by comparing images of the grain structure with
grain size charts in the standard ASTM E112. These charts relate to a range
of grain sizes from 1 (coarse) to 8 (fine).

Coarse grains Fine grains

Increase in
grain size

1.5 Work hardening


Work hardening occurs when a material is plastically deformed, at
temperatures below 0.5 times its melting point, which increases its
dislocation density and therefore increases its strength. During work
hardening (also called cold work) dislocations become entangled and further
movement is prevented which leads to higher strength, but also lower
ductility. The effects can be reversed by annealing, recovery and
recrystallisation, all of which reduce the dislocation density.

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Revision Questions

1 Describe three types of crystal structure.

2 How do grains form when a metal solidifies?

3 How does the grain size affect dislocation movement?

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Section 2

Alloys and Phase Diagrams


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2 Alloys and Phase Diagrams


2.1 Alloying
Alloys are solutions of one or more metals or semi-metals (C and N are
examples of semi-metals) in another metal. Alloys are used to obtain
materials with superior properties, or to match requirements that cannot be
fulfilled by pure metals alone, eg higher strength, corrosion resistance, wear
resistance. The atoms of one element can dissolve in another metal to form
a solid solution either substitutionally (to form substitutional solid solution) or
interstitially (to form interstitial solid solution) depending on the relative sizes
of the atoms. Substitution solubility occurs when the atomic radii of the
solute and solvent atoms are within ±15% of each other (eg Ni in Cu).
Interstitial solubility occurs when the solute atoms are much smaller than the
solvent atom (eg C in Fe), so that the solute atoms can reside in the
interstitial sites in the solvent lattice.

2.2 Solid solution alloy equilibrium phase diagram


The various structures or phases present when two or more metals are
mixed may be represented by equilibrium phase diagrams, where the stable
phases with corresponding chemical compositions are plotted versus
temperature. These are called equilibrium phase diagrams as they only
apply to the thermodynamic equilibrium condition of very slow cooling or
heating. Equilibrium phase diagrams can be thought of as a map giving the
phase or phases of the system at a given temperature and composition.
Alloy phase diagrams are useful to engineers in the development of new
alloys, definition of heat treatment temperatures, fabrication parameters and
evaluation of performance issues such as hot cracking, pitting corrosion and
so on.

Phase diagrams can be determined by taking a series of cooling curves for


a system over a range of compositions. The cooling curves for the same
system recorded for different compositions give the regions where different
phases exist.

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> Ni Mush
T (°C)

100% Cu 100% Ni

Time

By removing the time axis from the curves and replacing it with composition,
the cooling curves indicate the temperatures of the solidus and liquidus for a
given composition.

There are three main types of binary alloy system phase diagrams:

Binary Alloy Systems

Solid Solution Eutectic Combination

Total solubility in liquid Total solubility in liquid Total solubility in liquid


and solid phase and total insolubility in and partial solubility in
solid phase solid phase

The simplest kind is where the two elements form a solid solution and there
is complete solubility in the solid and the liquid phase (for example the Cu-Ni
or antimony (Sb)-bismuth (Bi) systems). In such an alloy system, there is a
range of temperatures through which the alloy freezes, where both solid and
liquid are present as a mush before complete solidification occurs.

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Solidus is the phase boundary which limits the top of the solid phase in the
phase diagram. Liquidus is the phase boundary which limits the bottom of
the liquid phase field. In other words, the alloy is completely liquid above the
liquidus line and solid below the solidus line.

Phase diagrams can be used to:

1 Determine the phases present at different temperatures.

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2 Find the temperatures at which solidification starts/ends when an alloy


undergoes equilibrium cooling from its melt.

3 Determine the composition of phases at a specific temperature (T).

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4 Determine the quantity of phases present at a specific temperature (T)


using the lever rule.

At 1232oC, the amount of solid phase is given by dividing the length A by


the length C:
6 6
6 6
6 5
0 7
S
o
l
i
d
%

1
0
0

︵ ︶ 

Therefore there is 66.7% solid at 1232oC. As the only other phase present
at 1232oC is liquid the amount of liquid present at this temperature is
100-66.7=33.3%. The exact same result is also obtained by using the lever
rule:
6 6
0 6
5 5
7 7
L
i
q
u
i
d
%

1
0
0

︵ ︶ 

2.3 Alloys with partial or no solid solubility


The second type of phase diagram is the eutectic phase diagram where
there is total mixing in the liquid, but no mixing in the solid phase (eg the
lead (Pb)-antimony (Sb), or bismuth (Bi)-cadmium (Cd) system).

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More commonly, there is total solubility in liquid phase and partial solubility
in solid phase (particularly where there is a high percentage of one of the
elements, with a small amount of solute atoms). An example is the copper
(Cu)-silver (Ag) system. Other examples include that of lead (Pb)-tin (Sn),
Pb-magnesium (Mg) alloy systems.

In the diagram (Cu-Ag system) the phases the regions with solid solubility of
Ag in Cu and Cu in Ag are represented by the Greek letters  and ,
respectively. The black lines (or the phase boundary) that represents the
limit of solid solubility is also called the solvus.

2.3.1 Phase diagram involving an eutectic reaction

A eutectic is a mixture of two (or more) substances which melts at the


lowest temperature of all such mixtures. It has a specific composition and it
freezes at one fixed temperature. It can sometimes behave like a phase in
itself and usually consists of a lamellar structure. It is possible an alloy
system can possess more than one eutectic alloy. Some examples of
eutectic alloy systems include that of Bi-Cd, Al-Si, Pb-Sn etc.

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2.3.2 Solidification and microstructure


In this section two examples are given of the solidification of alloy phases
and the microstructures that result. In the Bi-Cd system, an alloy containing
80% cadmium will start to solidify at around 300°C with the formation of
crystals of pure cadmium in the liquid (as there is no solid solubility of Bi in
Cd). As the alloy is cooled, pure Cd separates and the remaining liquid
continuously becomes richer in Bi (following the liquidus line), until,
eventually, the composition of the liquid reaches that of the eutectic alloy. At
a temperature of 146°C (the eutectic temperature) all of the remaining liquid
will freeze as eutectic containing lamellae (layers) of Bi and Cd.

In the copper-silver system, an alloy of 30% silver will start to solidify at


around 900°C with the formation of crystals of alpha phase (), which is a
copper-rich solid solution. The  crystals grow as the temperature cools, but
the composition of the solid changes (following the solidus) as it continues
to freeze. This means that the  crystals will have a composition slightly
higher in copper in the centre than the outside, thus forming a cored
product. When the temperature reaches 780°C the composition of the

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solidifying  phase is nearly 10% silver and the composition of the


surrounding liquid reaches the eutectic composition (around 60% silver). At
this temperature the remaining liquid solidifies as a eutectic of lamellae or
layers of  (Cu-rich) and  (Ag-rich) phases.

As already described, during solidification, the first solid to form has a


different composition to the last solid. Therefore chemical composition and
properties vary through the dendrite. If there is a large distance between
liquidus and solidus lines, or if there is a high cooling rate, then the
inhomogeneity will be larger. Such inhomogeneity is often termed coring. It
occurs when the cooling rate is sufficiently rapid so that significant diffusion
is prevented; this results in a concentration variation in the solidified alloy.
The problem can only be corrected by heat treatment for a long time at high
temperature (eg 24hr at 1000°C for steels), followed by slow cooling. This
allows the atoms to diffuse and homogenise the material.

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2.4 Age hardening


The shape of the lines (solvus) in the diagram below the eutectic
temperature show that the solubility of one element in the other reduces as
the temperature decreases. When the solid solubility limit of one element in
the other is exceeded, particles of one solid phase will precipitate in the
other solid phase. This requires slow cooling (equilibrium conditions) and
under this condition the precipitates tend to nucleate at the grain
boundaries.

At fast cooling rates, precipitation can be avoided and the precipitates can
be formed at a later heat treatment, where their size and distribution can be
controlled through careful selection of temperature and time at temperature.
This is called an ageing or precipitation heat treatment. The precipitates
formed at the grain boundaries during slow cooling have little effect on the
properties of an alloy, but the precipitates formed during ageing are
distributed inside the grains and can be very effective in increasing the
strength of an alloy.

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So an age hardening heat treatment involves dissolving any second phase


particles using a solution heat treatment at a temperature sufficient to take
the alloy into the single phase region of the phase diagram (the dot on the
figure above) and then quenching. The second stage nucleates and grows
small precipitates by using a precipitation heat treatment, heating the alloy
in the two-phase region of the phase diagram to an intermediate
temperature so that there is sufficient energy for diffusion and for small
precipitates to form.

Age hardening increases the hardness and tensile strength of the alloy. The
size of the precipitates become coarser as the ageing temperature
increases and the ageing temperature can control the distribution of the
second phase as well as the precipitate size. Having many fine and
uniformly dispersed precipitates is more effective at increasing strength than
having a few coarse precipitates. If heating is too prolonged or excessive,
the alloy re-softens due to over-ageing of the precipitates, which become
too large to be effective.

2.5 Phase diagram involving a eutectoid

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After initial solidification, it is possible for further phase transformations to


occur within the solid state, ie new solid phases nucleate on the grain
boundaries of the existing solid. A similar reaction to the eutectic reaction in
liquids can occur in solid state transformations, but it is known as an
eutectoid reaction when it occurs in the solid state. Eutectoid reaction is a
three-phase reaction in which, upon cooling, a solid transforms to give two
other solid phases that are intimately mixed.

2.6 Introducing the iron-carbon phase diagram


The iron-carbon phase diagram as a whole is complex, but it can be broken
down into three smaller phase diagrams involving (i) peritectic, (ii) eutectic
and (iii) eutectoid reactions. We are only interested in the iron end of the
diagram so the compound cementite, that has 6.67wt% C, is used as the
right hand edge of the diagram.

The main phases that occur in the iron-carbon phase diagram are:

 Liquid L - steels have melting points between 1147 and 1550°C.


 Delta iron δ - a bcc high temperature phase of low carbon iron.
 Austenite γ - a fcc phase, stable from 723-1447°C.
 Ferrite α - a bcc iron phase, stable down to room temperature.
 Iron carbide Fe3C, also called cementite - a compound with
6.67wt% C.
 Pearlite A fine lamellar structure of alternating platelets of ferrite
and cementite.

Peritectic reaction
Is a three-phase reaction in which, upon cooling, a liquid and a solid phase
transform at a certain temperature to give one different solid phase. In the
Fe-C system this occurs at high temperature and is characterized by the
transformation of liquid plus delta ferrite to austenite.

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Eutectic reaction
Occurs in cast irons with more than 2.1 wt% carbon. As described before
and as with the peritectic, the eutectic occurs at a single temperature. In the
Fe-C system, the eutectic reaction occurs at 1148oC and is characterized by
the transformation of liquid to austenite plus cementite.

Eutectoid reaction
Occurs at 727oC and involves the transformation of the residual austenite to
a lamellar structure of ferrite and cementite, called pearlite.

The room temperature microstructure of slowly cooled steel depends on the


carbon content of the alloy. Hypoeutectoid steels, containing less than
0.77wt-% C (the eutectoid composition) will have a ferrite plus pearlite
microstructure, with increasing pearlite content as the carbon content is
increased, up to 0.77wt-% carbon where the microstructure will be fully
pearlitic, such as in railway steels. Alloys with carbon content greater than
0.77wt-% carbon, hypereutectoid steels, will have a microstructure of
cementite and pearlite under equilibrium conditions with increasing
cementite as the amount of carbon is increased.

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An overview of the complete Fe-C diagram for steels is shown below:

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2.7 Advantages and disadvantages of phase diagrams


The advantages of using phase diagrams are that one diagram is valid for
an entire alloy system. It is possible to determine, at a specific temperature,
the phases present, their composition and the percentage of each phase for
various alloy compositions (using the lever rule). It is possible to determine
the melting/freezing points and solubility of all the alloys in the system. It is
useful for determining heat treatment temperatures, since it shows the
phase changes that occur with a change in composition and/or temperature
under the equilibrium condition of atmospheric pressure and slow heating or
cooling rates.

However, the phase diagram does not indicate the structural arrangement of
the phases ie lamellae, globules, films, nor does it indicate the structural
distribution of the secondary phases, ie either distributed within grains or
deposited at grain boundaries. The phase diagram shows only the
equilibrium (slow cooling) state, which is not representative of some
production or welding thermal conditions.

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Revision Questions

1 Draw the shape of a phase diagram for a binary alloy system that shows
complete solubility in both the liquid and solid phases.

2 What are the features of a eutectic and what can its microstructure look like?

3 What is the difference between a eutectic reaction and a eutectoid reaction?

4 Describe how you would carry out an age hardening heat treatment on an alloy
system with partial solubility in the solid phase.

5 Name four different solid phases in the iron-carbon alloy system. Which are
stable at room temperature?

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Section 3

Manufacture of Steels
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Manufacture of Steels
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3 Manufacture of Steels
3.1 Modern steelmaking
Steel is essentially an alloy of iron (Fe) and carbon (C) and is generally
produced in a two stage process known as primary steelmaking. The first
stage involves the extraction of raw iron (also referred to as pig iron) from
iron ore inside a vessel known as a blast furnace. In its raw form, pig iron
contains high levels of carbon, sulphur and phosphorus, making it very
brittle and severely limiting its usefulness as an engineering material. In the
second stage of primary steelmaking, the amount of carbon and other
unwanted elements in the molten pig iron is reduced using the Basic
Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) process. The resulting steel exhibits superior
toughness and ductility to the raw pig iron and can be used in a wide variety
of engineering applications. Engineering steel can also be produced from
scrap steel in an electric arc furnace. Further reductions in carbon content or
adjustments to the steel composition that may be required by the end user
necessitate additional processing steps such as ladle refining and vacuum
degassing and this is known as secondary steelmaking.

In an integrated steelworks the entire manufacturing process, from the


extraction of iron from its ores to the production of steel, is carried out at a
single production site.

For more information about blast furnaces and steel manufacture see
Davies: Science and Practice of Welding vol. 1 pages 65-79.

3.2 Primary steelmaking


3.2.1 Iron ores
Most metals exist in nature as ores, which are generally metal oxides. Iron
can be found in the following forms:

 Haematite (Fe2O3) is reddish grey or blackish red and contains


approximately 70% Fe.
 Magnetite (Fe3O4) is greyish black or iron black and is a natural magnet,
containing approximately 72% Fe.
 Limonite (Fe3O(OH).nH2O) is a hydrated iron oxide, yellowish brown and
contains approximately 48% Fe.
 Siderite (FeCO3) is greenish grey or brown grey and contains
approximately 63% Fe.

To extract the iron from the ore the oxygen needs to be removed in a
process called reduction. Molten iron is initially produced in a vessel known
as a blast furnace.

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3.2.2 The blast furnace

The blast furnace is a large vertical stack, roughly 30m tall, lined with
refractory bricks. The temperatures within the blast furnace increase from
approximately 250°C at the top to over 1900°C at the bottom. Blast furnaces
tend to be operated continuously due to the cost and difficulty of stopping
the process once the furnace is up to temperature and often run for several
years at a time. The raw materials of iron ore, coke (which is almost pure
carbon) and a flux (typically limestone) are introduced continuously at the
top of the furnace adding to the furnace contents or burden. Hot air is
blasted in near the base of the furnace through water-cooled nozzles known
as tuyères. The oxygen supplied in the hot air blast supports combustion of
the coke forming carbon monoxide (CO). The CO reduces the iron ore to
molten iron which seeps down through the furnace burden under the action
of gravity and collects at the bottom of the furnace in a structure known as
the hearth. The limestone decomposes in the heat of the furnace to calcium
oxide (CaO) which reacts with impurities in the ore such as silica to form a
molten slag. This slag also collects at the base of the furnace above the
molten iron. The molten pig iron and slag are extracted from the furnace

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through tap holes, with the iron being transported to the next processing
step in ladles or refractory lined torpedo-shaped rail cars. As the molten iron
travels down through the furnace it picks up high levels of carbon (up to
4.5%) and other impurities (approximately 0.06% sulphur and 1%
phosphorus) from the coke. As a result, solidified pig iron exhibits low tensile
strength, very low ductility and contains large amounts of dissolved gases,
severely limiting its usefulness as an engineering material. Typically pig iron
is converted into steel using the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) process,
which reduces the amount of carbon, sulphur and phosphorus dissolved in
the molten metal. Prior to being transferred to the BOS vessel, the molten
pig iron is frequently pre-treated with powdered magnesium, iron oxide and
lime in order to reduce the levels of sulphur, silicon and phosphorus
respectively.

3.2.3 The basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) process

Molten pig iron from the blast furnace is charged into the BOS vessel, which
is lined with a high temperature resistant refractory material. Scrap steel is
added to the BOS vessel prior to charging with molten pig iron in order to
cool the charge and protect the refractory lining. A water-cooled lance is
lowered into the converter and high purity oxygen is blown through the
molten metal, causing the combustion of carbon dissolved in the metal and
forming carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gases which escape from the
top of the vessel, thereby reducing the carbon content of the steel. Other
unwanted elements such as silicon and phosphorus react to form acidic
oxides which combine with basic fluxes added to the BOS converter forming
a slag which mixes with the molten metal during blowing to form an
emulsion, thereby facilitating the refinement of the steel. After the process is
complete the slag separates from the steel and floats on its surface,
allowing the steel to be tapped into a ladle whilst leaving the slag in the BOS
converter to be tapped off separately. A typical steel chemistry produced by
the BOS process is as follows: 0.2%C, 0.2%Si, 0.8-1.0%Mn, 0.025%S and
0.020%P. While a carbon content in the region of 0.2% may be acceptable

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to some end users, it is often necessary to reduce the carbon content further
and/or make compositional adjustments, thus requiring additional
processing.

3.2.4 Electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking

The electric arc furnace offers an alternative route for the production of
engineering steels to the traditional (and resource-intensive) method of
reducing iron ore in the blast furnace followed by refinement in the BOS
converter. The structure of an electric arc furnace used for steelmaking
consists of a refractory-lined shell with a retractable roof, through which up
to three graphite electrodes protrude. The primary feedstock in the electric
arc steelmaking process is typically scrap steel, although some pig iron or
directly reduced iron may be used. The furnace charge is melted by a high
energy electric arc struck between the electrodes and the charge. Oxygen is
introduced to the molten steel through a lance in order to remove carbon
and other unwanted elements and flux is added to react with impurities in
the steel forming a slag which floats on the molten steel. The slag layer acts
as a thermal barrier, helping to prevent excessive heat loss from the molten
bath, thus allowing greater thermal and electrical efficiency. The flux is
typically composed of burnt lime (calcium oxide) and dolomite (magnesium
oxide) and can either be charged with the scrap or blown into the furnace
during melting. Once the temperature and composition of the melt is correct,
the steel is tapped into a ladle by tilting the furnace. The slag remains in the
furnace to be tapped off separately. The principal advantage of the electric
arc steelmaking process is the fact that new steel can be produced entirely
from scrap. The process is also extremely flexible and unlike the blast
furnace, can be started and stopped to suit demand. While electric arc
furnaces represent a comparatively low capital investment the operating
costs can be high (power rating can be up to 150,000kW).

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3.3 Secondary steelmaking


After the steel is tapped from the BOS vessel or the electric arc furnace into
a ladle, further adjustments can be made to the steel composition prior to
casting in order to meet the specification set out by the end user. This is
known as ladle refining or secondary steelmaking. Additions of desirable
elements such as vanadium, titanium and manganese can be made to alter
the final properties of the steel. Oxygen dissolved in the molten steel after
the BOS process can be removed by adding small amounts of aluminium,
which readily reacts with the dissolved oxygen to form an aluminium oxide
slag which can be skimmed from the surface of the melt prior to casting.
Alternatively oxygen and other dissolved gasses can be removed through a
process called vacuum degassing, in which the molten steel is gently
agitated under very low pressures in a specially designed vessel. Finally the
molten metal can be stirred by blowing with argon gas, ensuring uniformity
of temperature and composition before the steel is cast.

3.4 Casting
Before the molten steel produced by the BOS or EAF processes can be
transformed into useful products it must be cast into ingots or slabs. Casting
involves the solidification of molten metal into a desired shape or profile
inside a mould.

3.4.1 Ingot casting


Whilst ingot casting has largely been superseded by continuous casting for
volume steel production, it is still the preferred method for certain speciality,
tool and forging steels. The molten steel from the steelmaking process is
transferred into a refractory-lined ladle, from which it is teemed into
individual ingot moulds where it solidifies. The steel in contact with the
mould walls solidifies first producing a fine equiaxed grain structure or chill
zone. Large columnar grains then grow inwards from the chill zone into the
molten core. The last material to solidify typically forms a coarse equiaxed
grain structure at the centre of the ingot. The typical as-cast crystal structure
of an ingot can be seen below.

Direction of
solidification

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Gases (such as oxygen) dissolved in the molten steel can give rise to
porosity or other casting defects as the material solidifies. Steels for ingot
casting are typically given one of three designations depending on the level
of deoxidation they have been subjected to; killed, semi-killed or un-killed.

Killed steel is completely deoxidised, usually by additions of silicon,


aluminium or manganese which react with the dissolved oxygen forming
oxides. Aluminium additions also react with dissolved nitrogen forming
aluminium nitrides. This almost completely eliminates gas evolution during
solidification. Killed steel ingots are therefore characterised by a high degree
of chemical homogeneity and very low levels of porosity, however they also
suffer from a high degree of solidification shrinkage leading to pipe defects
which have to be cropped from the slab prior to processing. The majority of
structural steels are killed.

Pipe defect

Semi-killed steel is produced when insufficient amounts of deoxidising


agents are added prior to casting to completely remove the dissolved
oxygen in the molten metal. The remaining oxygen reacts with carbon
forming carbon monoxide which produces moderate levels of porosity in the
finished slab. However this also counteracts the solidification shrinkage
typical of killed steels, thereby reducing wastage.

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Un-killed, or rimming, steels have little to no deoxidising agents added prior


to casting. This leads to the evolution of significant amounts of carbon
monoxide during solidification which results in high levels of porosity in the
finished ingot. Un-killed steels are therefore unsuitable for structural
applications although they may be used for cold-working applications such
as wire drawing. Products fabricated from un-killed steels are also prone to
developing porosity when welded.

The above designations are derived from the behaviour of the molten steel
when it is poured into the mould. The violent evolution of carbon monoxide
from solidifying un-killed steels contrasts with the passive solidification
behaviour of fully deoxidised steels hence the term killed.

3.4.2 Continuous casting


Continuous casting involves the solidification of molten metal into semi-
finished billets, blooms or slabs which subsequently require significantly less
processing than ingots. For this reason continuous casting has largely
replaced ingot casting in modern steelmaking facilities. Molten steel is
continuously tapped from a vessel known as a tundish into an open-base
copper mould. The steel in contact with the walls of the water-cooled mould
rapidly freezes to form a solid shell. The mould is oscillated vertically to
prevent the shell from sticking to the mould walls. Below the mould exit, the
thin solidified shell supports and contains the still molten core. Guide rolls
below the mould continuously withdraw the shell from the mould producing a
long vertical strand of solidifying material. Water sprays help to cool the
strand as it passes through the guide rolls. The strand is then typically bent
through 90° until it is horizontal before it is sheared or flame cut into slabs of
desired length once the material has fully solidified.

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Continuous casting represents the most cost and energy efficient method for
solidifying large volumes of metal into simple shapes for subsequent
processing. A high degree of automation is possible with continuous casting
and the process produces a product of high quality and uniformity in a range
of cross-sections. A disadvantage is that impurities segregate at the
centreline of the slab.

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3.4.3 Shape casting


Molten steel can be directly transformed into a finished product in a process
called shape casting. This involves the pouring of liquid metal into a mould
which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape. The molten metal fills
the cavity and solidifies following which the part can be ejected or broken
out of the mould. Moulds can be permanent (eg the metal moulds used in
die casting) or expendable (eg sand casting). Casting allows the production
of complex shapes that would be difficult or uneconomical to fabricate via
other methods. Careful design of the mould helps to prevent casting defects
such as voids or shrinkage porosity from occurring in the finished products.

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3.5 Steel processing


The ingots and slabs produced by ingot casting and continuous casting are
typically subjected to several thermo-mechanical processing steps in order
to transform them into useable products and components. For example plate
or strip used for structural steel or pipe, or sheet steel used in car body and
white-goods manufacture is produced through a process known as rolling.
Other rolled products such as billets and blooms are subjected to further
processing in order to produce finished products such as engine
components and steel cable. These processing techniques are described in
the following sections:

3.5.1 Rolling
Rolling involves the reduction in thickness of a metal feedstock by passing it
between a pair of rotating rolls. The gap between the rolls is less than the
starting thickness of the feedstock thus forcing the material to deform as it
passes between the rolls. Traditionally rolling was carried out in two stages
consisting of an initial stage which converted large cast ingots into slabs or
blooms followed by a secondary rolling stage which converted the blooms
and slabs into plates, sheets and other products. With the widespread
introduction of continuous casting, semi-finished slabs, blooms and billets
could be produced directly, thereby eliminating the requirement for the initial
rolling stage for volume steel production.

 Slab is used to make plate, sheet and pipe. Typical cross-sectional


dimensions: 3000 x 200mm.
 Bloom is used to make rolled shapes and I-beams. Typical cross
sectional dimensions: 150 x 150mm.
 Billet is used to make bars, rods and wire. Typical cross sectional
dimensions: 50 x 50mm up to 120 x 120mm.

Rolling introduces plastic deformation into the material, which, at lower


temperatures, results in higher strength and hardness with a corresponding
decrease in ductility and toughness. Intermediate heat treatments may
therefore be used to compensate for this work hardening.

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During cold rolling the as-cast grain structure is elongated and deformed or
cold worked leading to an increase in hardness. The deformed material is
typically subjected to an intermediate anneal at high temperature between
rolling operations in order to recrystallise the sheet, restoring the equiaxed
grain structure and increasing ductility. This softened product can then
undergo further rolling operations.

During hot rolling, the steel is held above the recrystallisation temperature
(950-1000°C) throughout the process. After each rolling operation the
distorted grains spontaneously recrystallise and grain growth occurs before
subsequent rolling operations (see figure below). The result of hot rolling is
steel with a refined equiaxed grain structure. Steel is then usually heat
treated (normalised or possibly quenched and tempered) before being used.

Any inclusions in the steel will become elongated during rolling forming
features known as stringers (see micrograph overleaf) which are not altered
by annealing operations. Material containing stringers is considered to be
anisotropic. It is recognised that stringers can lead to lamellar tearing when
the material is welded and it is therefore desirable that they are avoided.
Where material properties in the through-thickness direction are required to
be guaranteed, the material is designated Z grade (where Z is the through-
thickness axis in XYZ coordinates). The X direction corresponds with the
rolling direction and generally exhibits the highest tensile strength, Charpy
impact toughness and ductility. The Y or transverse direction tends to exhibit
slightly poorer mechanical properties than the X direction, with the Z
direction often showing the lowest strength and toughness.

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It is therefore important that the rolling direction of the parent material is


considered when designing and fabricating sheet steel components.

3.5.2 Overview of sheet steel production

The above diagram summarises the most common process route for
production of coils of hot rolled steel from molten metal. It can be seen that
the molten metal is initially cast into a long strand before being cut into
individual slabs which are heated or soaked in a re-heat furnace at a

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temperature of approximately 1250°C prior to being rolled. The thickness of


the steel is progressively reduced by a series of rolling operations until the
thickness required by the end user is reached, upon which the steel sheet is
coiled ready for delivery.

3.5.3 Forging
Forging is a manufacturing process that involves the deformation and
shaping of metals under localised compressive forces. Due to its strength
and resistance to deformation, steel is forged at high temperatures. This is
known as hot forging. Forging techniques can be generally divided into two
groups; open and closed die. Open-die forging is a basic technique for
producing simple shapes using a moveable ram or hammer and a static
anvil. Open-die forging is frequently used to roughly shape a component
prior to closed-die forging. The closed-die forging process uses a more
complex-shaped die that completely encloses the workpiece, forcing it into
the desired shape. The flash generated around the periphery of the
component is removed in subsequent finishing operations. Closed die
forging gives accurate component dimensions, however tooling and
maintenance costs can be high. Forged products typically exhibit forging
lines which are revealed by etching as shown in the figure below.

Forging lines

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3.5.4 Extrusion
Extrusion is used to produce a length of material with a fixed cross-sectional
profile by forcing the material through a shaped die under high pressure. It is
possible to extrude steels however very high extrusion temperatures and
pressures are required (in excess of 1200°C and 100,000psi), with
correspondingly high tooling and maintenance costs. Glass powder is used
as a lubricant.

3.5.5 Drawing
Drawing is a process in which the cross-sectional profile of a wire or pipe is
reduced by pulling through a drawing die. Although similar in concept to
extrusion, drawing differs in that the material is pulled rather than pushed
through the die. Tube drawing necessitates the use of a mandrel which fits
inside the die to maintain the shape of the pipe as it is drawn.

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Revision Questions

1 What are the raw materials used in the blast furnace and what functions do they
serve?

2 Briefly describe two steelmaking methods.

3 What is added to killed steel and why?

4 Describe how the grain structure of steel changes as it undergoes hot rolling.

5 What is Z grade steel and why is it sometimes specified for welding structures?

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Section 4

Materials Testing
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Materials Testing
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4 Materials Testing
4.1 Mechanical testing
Mechanical testing produces data that may be used for design purposes, or
as part of a welding procedure or operator acceptance scheme. The most
important function may be that of providing design data, since it is essential
that the limiting values a structure can withstand without failure are known.
The materials properties that can be determined by mechanical testing
include: yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, ductility, notch (impact)
toughness, fracture toughness, crack arrest performance, hardness,
corrosion resistance, creep resistance, fatigue resistance, physical
properties (density, thermal conductivity, etc). More information on material
testing can be found in TWI’s Job Knowledge articles on its web site.

Adequate control of the material properties by the supplier and appropriate


joining procedures and operatives are equally crucial to the supply of a
product that is safe in use and fit for purpose. Mechanical tests are
employed to ensure that both parent material and joint properties are met.
For example the tensile test may be used to determine the yield strength of
a material, for use in design calculations and to ensure that the material
complies with its specified strength.

Mechanical tests may be divided into quantitative or qualitative tests. A


quantitative test provides data that will be used for design purposes, eg
tensile or CTOD tests. A qualitative test is where the results will be used for
making comparisons or as a go/no go test, such as the bend test.

4.2 Tensile testing

Typical tensile test specimen configuration.

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The test is carried out by gripping the ends of a suitably prepared


standardised test piece in a tensile test machine and applying a continually
increasing uniaxial displacement at a constant standardised strain rate, until
such time as failure occurs. Test pieces are standardised in order that
results are reproducible and comparable. Specimens are said to be
proportional when the gauge length is related to the original cross sectional
area of the gauge length. European and ASME codes give gauge lengths of
approximately 5 x specimen gauge diameters and 4 x specimen gauge
diameters, respectively.

Examples of standards covering tensile testing are:

 BS EN ISO 6892-1:2009 Metallic materials. Tensile testing. Method of


test at ambient temperature.
 BS EN 876-1995 Destructive tests on welds in metallic materials -
longitudinal tensile test.
 BS EN 895-1995 Destructive tests on welds in metallic materials -
transverse tensile test.
 ASTM E8-11 Tension testing of metallic materials.

Both the load (stress) and the test piece extension (strain) are measured
and from this data an engineering stress/strain curve is constructed. From
this curve we can determine:

Typical stress-strain curve generated during tensile testing.

1 The yield point or yield strength is the stress at which deformation


changes from elastic to plastic behaviour, ie where permanent plastic
deformation occurs. Below the yield point the specimen will return to its
original length if the load is removed, above the yield point permanent
plastic deformation has occurred.

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2 When there is no yield plateau, it is possible to define a proof strength


which is arbitrarily defined as the stress at which a certain extension is
achieved. Usually the 0.2% proof strength is defined.

Stress - strain curve with the proof stress for a fixed deformation indicated.

3 The ultimate tensile strength (UTS), the maximum measured load


divided by the original cross sectional area.

4 By reassembling the broken specimen, we can also measure the


percentage elongation, ie how much the test piece had stretched before
failure.

5 The percentage reduction of area reflects how much the specimen has
necked or reduced in diameter at the point of failure.

Schematic of a tensile specimen before and after testing showing the


elongation of the gauge length and necking of the gauge diameter.

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4.2.1 Cross weld tensile testing


To approve a butt welding procedure most specifications require tensile
tests to be carried out. These are generally cross-weld (or cross-joint)
tensile tests of square or rectangular cross section that are oriented across
the weld so that both parent metals, both HAZs and the weld metal itself are
tested. The excess weld metal in the cap of the weld may be left in place or
machined off. Alternatively, specimens with a cylindrical cross-section may
be used. The specifications require only the UTS and position of the fracture
to be recorded from a cross weld tensile test. It is possible to measure yield
strength, elongation and the reduction of area of cross joint specimens, but
the fact that there are at least three different areas with dissimilar
mechanical properties makes such measurements inaccurate and
unreliable, although they are sometimes reported for information purposes.
The cross-weld strength is usually required to exceed the minimum
specified UTS of the weaker parent metal. In most situations when steel is
welded, the weld metal is stronger than the parent metal (ie it is
overmatched) so that failure occurs in the parent metal or the HAZ at a
stress above the specified minimum.

Tensile test specimen

Orientation of a cross-weld tensile specimen.

4.3 Impact toughness testing


4.3.1 Charpy impact testing

The impact toughness of a material defines its ability to absorb energy


before it breaks. The impact toughness can be determined with a Charpy
test. The test consists of a specimen being broken by a single overload by a
pendulum. A pointer is used to measure how far the pendulum swings after
it has hit the specimen. The energy absorbed by the specimen is calculated
from this value, which is the impact toughness.

A photograph of the device for a Charpy impact test is shown in the figure
below.

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Hammer

Specimen

Photograph of a Charpy impact testing machine.

The Charpy impact test involves striking a standard specimen with a free
swinging controlled weight pendulum. Examples of standards covering
Charpy testing are:

 ASTM E23-07ae1 Standard test methods for notched bar impact of


testing on metallic materials.
 BS 131-6: 1998 Notched bar tests – Part 6: Method for Precision
Determination of Charpy-V Notch Impact Energies for Metals.
 BS EN ISO 148-1: 2010 Metallic Materials – Charpy Pendulum Impact
Test Part 1: Test Method.

The amount of energy absorbed in fracturing the test piece is measured and
this gives an indication of the notch toughness of the test material. The test
allows metals to be classified as being either brittle or ductile. A brittle metal
will absorb a small amount of energy when impact tested, a tough ductile
metal a large amount of energy. Testing is generally carried out at a single
temperature, for example the minimum design temperature, with triplicate
tests performed. Alternatively tests can be carried out over a range of
temperature to generate a transition curve. It should be emphasised that the
results can usually only be compared with each other or with a requirement
in a specification. Whilst they can be used to estimate the fracture
toughness of a weld or parent metal, conservative assumptions are
necessarily made and thus this is not a very good substitute for actual
fracture toughness measurement.

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Charpy test specimen geometry.

The standard Charpy V specimen is 55mm long, 10mm square and has a
2mm deep notch with a tip radius of 0.25mm machined on one face. In
addition to a V notch, the Charpy specimen may be used with a keyhole or a
U notch. The keyhole and U notch are used for testing brittle materials such
as cast iron and for the testing of plastics.

Charpy test configuration

4.3.2 Drop-weigh nil-ductility test (Pellini test)

The test specimen consists of a rectangular test coupon with a brittle weld
bead on top. The weld bead is notched. The coupon is tested in 3-point
bend at different temperatures in order to determine the nil-ductility
transition temperature (NDTT). Further details in ASTM E208-06 Standard
test method for conducting drop-weight tests.

4.4 Fracture toughness testing


The fracture toughness of a material is not to be confused with its strength.
A good example to explain the difference is the case of a glass bottle. It is
very difficult to pull it apart. That means that the material is very strong.
However, if it is smashed with a sharp blow, it will break very easily. That is
toughness (and in this case it is very low). Stainless steels are usually both

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strong and tough, but not always (especially at temperatures different from
the ambient).

A quantitative assessment of fracture toughness can be made using the


Crack Tip Opening Displacement (CTOD) test. The data generated allows a
fitness-for-purpose analysis to be carried out which enables a critical defect
size to be calculated. So prior to fabrication, realistic acceptance standards
can be set and decisions on appropriate NDE techniques and detection
sensitivities can be made. Whilst the CTOD test was developed for the
characterisation of metals it has also been used to determine the toughness
of non-metallics such as weldable plastics.

The CTOD test is used when some plastic deformation can occur prior to
failure, as it allows the tip of a crack to stretch and open, hence tip opening
displacement.

Unlike the inexpensive 10mm by 10mm square Charpy-V test piece with a
blunt machined notch, the CTOD specimen may be the full thickness of the
material, will contain a genuine crack, and will be loaded at a rate more
representative of service conditions. Conventionally three tests are carried
out, to ensure consistency of results, at a single temperature, for example
the minimum design temperature. On occasions, testing may be carried out
over a range of temperatures to generate a transition curve.

The test piece itself is proportional with the length, depth and thickness of
each specimen inter-related so that, irrespective of material thickness, each
specimen has the same proportions. There are two basic forms namely a
square or a rectangular cross section specimen. If the specimen thickness is
defined as W, the depth will be either W or 2W with a standard minimum
length of 4.6W. A notch is machined at the centre and then extended by
generating a fatigue crack so that the total defect length is half the depth of
the test piece as shown below. For example a test on a 100mm thick weld
will require a specimen measuring 100mm wide, 200mm deep and 
460mm long. This is an expensive operation, the validity of which can only
be determined once the test has been completed.

Proportional rectangular cross section CTOD specimen

The test is performed by loading the specimen in three point bending and
measuring the amount of crack opening. This is done by means of a strain

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gauge attached to a clip placed between two accurately positioned knife


edges at the mouth of the machined notch (see below)

Typical test arrangement, the specimen can be easily immersed in a cooling


bath.

As bending proceeds, the crack tip plastically deforms until a critical point is
reached when the crack has opened sufficiently to extend by ductile tearing
or to initiate a cleavage crack (brittle fracture). This may lead to either partial
or complete failure of the specimen.

As a rule of thumb, a CTOD value of between 0.1-0.2mm at the minimum


service temperature is regarded as demonstrating adequate toughness.

The values that are required for the calculation of fracture toughness are
firstly the load at which fracture occurs and secondly the amount by which
the crack has opened at the point of crack propagation (see below).

Configuration of CTOD specimen immediately prior to crack propagation.


The location of the notch in the weld HAZ or parent metal is important, as an
incorrectly positioned fatigue crack will not sample the required region,
making the test invalid. To be certain that the crack tip is in the correct

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region, polishing and etching followed by a metallurgical examination are


often carried out prior to machining the notch and fatigue cracking. This
enables the notch to be positioned very accurately. Similar examination
should be carried out after testing, as further confirmation of the validity of
the test results.

In general the causes of test failure/invalidity can unfortunately only be


determined once the test has been completed and the crack surface
examined. The precise length of the fatigue crack is measured, this is
required for the analysis, but if the length of the crack is not within the limits
required by the specification the test is invalid. If the fatigue crack is not in a
single plane, if the crack is at an angle to the machined notch or if the crack
does not sample the correct region, the test will need to be repeated.

CTOD testing is covered by:


 BS 7448 Parts 1, 3 and 4 Fracture Mechanics Toughness Tests.
 BS EN ISO 15653-2010 Metallic Materials - Method of Test or
determining Quasistatic fracture toughness of welds.
 ASTM E1820-11 Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fracture
Toughness.

4.5 Bend testing


The bend test is a simple, inexpensive qualitative test that can be used to
evaluate both the ductility and soundness of a welded joint or less
commonly parent material. It is often used as a quality control test for butt
welded joints, having the advantage of simplicity of both test piece and
equipment. No expensive test equipment is needed, specimens are easily
prepared and the test can, if required, be carried out on the shop floor as a
quality control test to ensure consistency in production.

Examples of standards covering bend testing are:

 EN 910: 1996, Destructive tests on welds in metallic materials. Bend


tests.
 ASTM E190-92 (2008), Guided bend test for ductility of welds.

3-Point bending Guided bend test

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Bend test configuration


The bend test uses a coupon that is bent in three-point bending to a
specified angle (defined by the die radius). The guided bend test is where
the coupon is wrapped around a former of a specified diameter and is the
type of test specified in the welding procedure and welder qualification
specifications. The diameter of the former is related to the material thickness
and the angle of bend and can be 90, 120 or 180º. The outside of the bend
is extensively plastically deformed (in tension), so that any defects in, or
embrittlement of, the material will be revealed by the premature failure of the
coupon. Standards generally indicate a defect of 3mm or more is cause for
rejection.

Below approximately 12mm material thickness, transverse specimens are


usually tested, with the root or face of the weld in tension. Material over
12mm is normally tested using the side bend test that tests the full section
thickness.

Schematic showing root, face and side bend test configurations.

4.6 Fatigue testing


Fatigue failure occurs at a fluctuating load well below the yield point of the
metal and below the allowable static design stress, with little or no
deformation at failure. The number of cycles at which failure occurs may
vary from a couple of hundreds to millions. To quantify the effect of these
varying stresses, fatigue testing is carried out by imposing a particular stress
range and this is continued until the test piece fails. The number of cycles to
failure is recorded and testing is repeated at a variety of different stress
ranges. By testing a series of identical specimens, it is possible to plot a
graph of the applied stress range, S, against N, the number of cycles to
failure (an S/N curve). These can be developed for parent materials and
weldments. Published S/N data are also available in text books, codes and
standards. The direction of the load, the configuration of the weld (if any),

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the shape of the component and the environment will all affect the fatigue
life.

Comparative S/N curves for unwelded and welded materials.

In an unwelded component, the bulk of the fatigue life is spent in initiating


the fatigue crack, with a smaller proportion spent while the crack propagates
through the structure. In a welded component, the bulk of the fatigue life is
spent in propagating a crack, since small intrusions at weld toes act as
initiation sites for fatigue. This gives welded components much shorter
fatigue lives. Buried weld defects can also adversely affect the fatigue
performance.

Standards for fatigue testing include:

 ASTM E647 - 11e1 Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fatigue


Crack Growth Rates.
 ASTM E606-04e1 Standard Practice for Strain-Controlled Fatigue
Testing.
 BS ISO 12108:2002 Metallic materials. Fatigue testing. Fatigue crack
growth method.

4.7 Hardness testing


Hardness is the resistance of a material against indentation. It is measured
by indentation under a constant load and there is a broad correlation
between UTS and hardness. There are a number of test methods,
depending on the applied load and indenter geometry, with the most
common types being the Vickers, Brinell and Rockwell hardness tests. A
number of micro-hardness and portable hardness test techniques also exist.

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The Brinell test, which uses a ball indenter, is generally used for bulk metal
hardness measurements, since the impression is larger than that of the
Vickers test, in which a pyramid indenter is used. This is useful, as it
averages out any local heterogeneity and is affected less by surface
roughness. However, because of the large ball diameter, the test cannot be
used to determine the hardness variations in a welded joint, for which the
Vickers test or the micro-hardness test are preferred.

Hardness testing is used to measure the hardness in different areas of a


weld joint or in parent metal and needs to be carried out on a smooth flat
surface, typically a metallographic section. Hardness testing can help
assess the resistance to brittle fracture, cold cracking (hydrogen assisted
cracking) and corrosion sensitivity in a hydrogen sulphide (H2S)
environment. Test reports should give hardness value, material type,
location of indentations (for welds), type of hardness test and load applied
on the indenter and details of the standard to which testing was performed:

 BS EN 1043 Destructive tests on welds in metallic materials. Hardness


testing, Part 1: 1996 Hardness tests on arc welded joints.
 BS EN 1043 Part 2: 1997 Micro hardness testing on welded joints.
 BS EN ISO 6506-1:2005 Metallic materials. Brinell hardness test.
 ASTM E18 - 11 Standard Test Methods for Rockwell Hardness of
Metallic Materials).

4.7.1 Vickers hardness test


The Vickers hardness test forces a square-based pyramidal diamond
indenter into the surface of a sample using a standard load. With this
indenter configuration, the hardness value (HV) is independent of the
indenter load (although operator reading error becomes increasingly
important at low indenter loads). The diamond does not deform at high loads
and so the results on very hard materials are more reliable than Brinell
hardness.

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Testing arrangement for Vickers hardness measurement.

4.7.2 Brinell hardness test


The Brinell hardness test comprises forcing a hardened steel ball indenter
into the surface of a sample using a standard load. The diameter/load ratio
is selected to provide an impression of an acceptable diameter. The Brinell
hardness number (BHN) is calculated by dividing the load by the surface
area of the impression. It is often simpler to refer to a set of standard tables
from which the Brinell hardness number can be read directly from the
impression dimension.

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Testing arrangement for Brinell hardness measurement.

4.7.3 Rockwell hardness test


The Rockwell hardness test employs a diamond cone or hardened steel ball
indenter. The indenter is initially forced into the material under a preliminary
minor load. Once equilibrium has been reached and with the minor load still
applied, a major load is applied, which leads to an increase in the depth of
penetration into the material. Once equilibrium has again been reached, the
major load is removed, but the minor load maintained. Some relaxation in
penetration occurs at this stage. The increase in the permanent depth of
penetration that arises from the application and subsequent removal of the
major load is then used to calculate the Rockwell hardness number (HR):

HR=E-e

Where:

E is a constant, 100 for a diamond cone indenter and 130 for a steel ball
indenter.

e is the permanent increase in the penetration depth due to the major load.

A number of Rockwell hardness scales exist depending on the indenter size


and geometry and the loading levels employed.

The principle of the Rockwell hardness test.

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4.8 Metallographic examination


Metallographic examination is the visual examination of suitably prepared
specimens through a microscope. Examination up to ~10 times
magnification is known as macro examination. When the magnification is
above 100 times it is called micro examination. The technique is used for
detecting weld defects (on macro specimens), to measure grain size (micro)
and determining the microstructural constituents present, including detecting
brittle structures, precipitates, etc. Examination of the microstructure can
also help to assess the resistance to brittle fracture and cold cracking and
corrosion susceptibility.

Macro Micro

Comparison of macro and micro examination.

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The procedure for carrying out metallographic specimen preparation is:

1 Identify Take care when identifying where to cut the specimens from.
Make sure all pieces of material are identified using an
engraving tool (stamping may not be suitable for small samples).
2 Record All details of preparation to be recorded, eg in a laboratory
notebook. May include sketches or photographs to record
sectioning details. Use this record to file other data and test
results too.
3 Cut Usually performed mechanically, eg by band saw or preferably
by slitting wheel.
4 Mount Samples are generally mounted to improve handling during
grinding and polishing. Large samples are mounted in Araldite
resin, smaller samples mounted in a hot press in Bakelite or a
clear resin.
5 Grind Use wet or dry silicon carbide papers ranging from 200 (coarse)
up to 1200 (fine) grit finish. This is often an adequate finish for a
macro examination, but not for micro examination which needs
polishing.
6 Polish Using a rotary polishing wheel with diamond or alumina paste
applied to cloth base. Polishing paste particles range from 6m-
0.25m diameter.
7 Inspect The specimen needs to be examined carefully during and after
polishing to ensure that all polishing marks from the previous
grade have been removed before using a finer polish, or etching.
8 Etch Rinse specimens in acetone or alcohol before etching. Etching
may be purely chemical, or (particularly for stainless steels) be
encouraged by electrolytic polarisation. Immerse and/or swab
the etch on to the polished surface using cotton wool (a typical
etch for ferritic steels is 2% Nital and for stainless steels, 20%
sulphuric acid). Use a heavier etch for macro than micro
examination. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
9 Inspect To ensure that the etching has brought out the features of
interest.
10 Photograph To record the investigation.
11 Storage In a dry environment for an agreed period.

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Revision Questions

1 Draw a stress-strain curve and label the yield point (or proof strength) and the
UTS.

2 When would Vickers hardness testing be preferable to Brinell hardness testing?

3 What can be determined from a cross-weld tensile test?

4 When would a side bend test be specified instead of a face or root bend test?

5 Describe how a metallographic specimen is prepared.

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Heat Treatment of Steels


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5 Heat Treatment of Steels


5.1 Why and how to heat treat?
Heat treatment involves the use of controlled heating and cooling, to
achieve desired mechanical properties (hardening, softening, improved
toughness and formability) in a metal or alloy. It can also be used to improve
certain manufacturability characteristics such as machinability, formability or
ductility after cold working. Heat treatment temperatures for steels are
derived on the basis of the iron-carbon equilibrium diagram which expresses
the stability of different phases under equilibrium conditions and is a helpful
tool for assessing the correct temperature for the majority of heat treatment
processes. The microstructures developed under non-equilibrium conditions
can be assessed by means of isothermal and continuous cooling diagrams.

Heat treatment may be carried out by different means depending on


whether the whole component is to be heated. Some types of heating are:

 Flame oven.
 Electric oven/electric heating blankets.
 Induction/HF heating elements.

5.2 Equilibrium heat treatments (ferrite and pearlite)


Heat treatments to produce ferrite and cementite (Remember: pearlite is the
eutectoid microstructure of lamellar ferrite and cementite) microstructures
are usually associated with long holding times at temperature and relatively
slow cooling rates to produce equilibrium microstructures from the Fe-C
diagram.

oC

Acm
Austenite
910
A Austenite
A33
+ Cementite
Austenite
+ Ferrite
727
Eutectoid A1
Ferrite A1
(Pearlite)

Ferrite + cementite (Fe3C)

0.008 0.77 2.0


0.022
Carbon content in weight %

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These types of heat treatments have been developed to produce uniformity


in microstructures (and sometimes in chemical compositions), improve
ductility, increase toughness, reduce residual stresses and/or improve
machinability. The possible heat treatments are many, but the main ones,
which will be covered here, are:

 Homogenising and hot working.


 Full annealing.
 Normalising.
 Recovery and recrystallization.

5.2.1 Homogenizing and hot working


Homogenizing is a type of annealing heat treatment usually carried out in
the early stages of steel processing, prior to hot forging or rolling, which are
also carried out at similar temperature ranges. Homogenizing heat treatment
is carried out at high temperatures in the austenite phase field, where
diffusion is fast and any chemical composition inhomogeneities from the
casting process can be reduced. Not only is segregation and chemical
composition inhomogeneity reduced, but also, precipitates are re-dissolved
into the austenite.

5.2.2 Full annealing


Full annealing is a heat treatment whereby hypoeutectoid steels (<0.8% C)
are heated to 25-50oC above the upper critical temperature A3 (heating the
steel into single phase austenite field), Hypereutectoid (>0.8%C) steels are
heated to the lower critical temperature (A1) plus approximately 40oC to form
fine grains of austenite and proeutectoid cementite, held at temperature for
a time proportional to the thickest section of the material and slowly cooled
to room temperature. Cooling is usually performed inside a furnace.

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oC

Homogenizing and Hot Working

Austenite
Acm
910

Normalising
Normalizing
A3
A3
Annealing
727
A1
A1

0.008 0.77 2.0


0.022
Carbon content in weight %

The slow, furnace cooling rates from the austenite phase field result in
equiaxed and fairly coarse grained ferrite and pearlite with coarse
interlamellar spacing. This microstructure results in good ductility, low
strength and hardness, which are the main objectives of a full annealing and
are desirable properties, for example, before cold working. Hypereutectoid
steels (>0.83%C) are annealed in the austenite plus cementite phase field,
promoting spheroidized pearlite and thus avoiding low toughness cementite
networks on the grain boundaries from slow cooling from the austenite
phase field.

5.2.3 Normalising
The purpose of normalising is to produce a fine ferrite-pearlite
microstructure and remove internal stresses introduced by heat treating,
casting, forging, or forming. Normalising differs from annealing in that the
steel is allowed to cool in air, as opposed to furnace cooled as is the case
for full annealing. The cooling rate depends on the mass of the component
ie thin sections cool faster in air and develop finer grains than thick sections
of same type of steel. Soaking temperatures for normalising heat treatments
are usually slightly higher than that for annealing. The temperature range
used to normalise hypoeutectoid (<0.8 C) steels is the upper critical (A3)
temperature plus approximately 40oC. For hypereutectoid (high carbon)
steels the normalising temperature range is the upper critical temperature
(Acm) plus ~30oC.

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Ferrite
Pearlite

Annealed Normalised

5.2.4 Recovery and recrystallisation


Recovery and recrystallisation is also referred to in the literature as process
or in-process annealing, but this is not to be confused with full annealing as
recovery and recrystallization heat treatment is carried out at much lower
temperatures. Recovery and recrystallization heat treatment is carried out at
subcritical temperature (below the eutectoid temperature of ~727oC) in order
to restore ductility to cold worked steel products.

oC

Austenite
Acm
910

A3 A
A3 1
A1
727
Recovery and recrystallization

600 Stress Relieve

0.022 0.77 2.0

Carbon Content in weight %

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During plastic deformation or cold working, some of the energy to deform


the material is dissipated in the form of heat, but the rest is stored in the
material in the form of internal crystallographic defects, called dislocations.
This gives rise to high strength, but also low remaining ductility in the
material. Recovery and recrystallization heat treatment is carried out below
the lower critical temperature, A1, so that no phase changes occur, but at a
temperature sufficiently high to allow diffusion to occur.

At the heat treatment soaking temperature, the stored energy present in the
material (in the form of dislocations) is allowed to relax by elimination and
re-arrangement of the internal crystallographic defects. This process leads
to recovery where the internal energy of the system is reduced, but no major
changes in microstructure or mechanical properties are observed.

Following recovery, recrystallization occurs, whereby new, defect-free grains


nucleate and grow from the heavily deformed ferrite grains. During
recrystallization, the strength decreases and ductility is greatly enhanced. If
the material is left at temperature for too long, then grain growth will occur
and the strength will be reduced further and toughness of the material will
be reduced.

Recovery Rx GG

Ductility

Internal
Property

system
energy

Strength

Temperature or time at temperature

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Schematic representation on effect of recovery, recrystallization (Rx) and grain


growth (GG) on mechanical properties.

5.3 Non-equilibrium heat treatment


While the equilibrium phase changes can be assessed by interpretation of
the equilibrium phase diagrams, the kinetic aspects of heat treatments
cannot. Metastable phases, like martensite and bainite are not found on
equilibrium diagrams, since they only form under rapid cooling conditions,
where diffusion of carbon and alloying elements is either suppressed or
limited to very short range diffusion. The kinetics of phase transformations
can be described by transformation diagrams and the main types are:

 Isothermal transformation diagrams, usually called time-temperature-


transformation (TTT) diagrams:

Describes the isothermal decomposition of austenite. Is obtained by


holding the material in the single phase austenite phase field, cooling to
a specified temperature and holding it at this temperature, while
measuring any phase changes that occur over time.

 Continuous cooling transformation (CCT) diagram:

Similar to TTT diagrams in that the decomposition of austenite is described.


However, the phase changes are measured as the test material is subjected
to a continuous cooling thermal cycle.

An example of a continuous cooling transformation (CCT) diagram for a


carbon-steel of approximately 0.4% C and 0.7% Mn is shown in the next
figure.

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Used with permission from: Atlas of continuous cooling transformation diagrams for
engineering steels, British steel corp. Published in US by ASM 1980.

5.3.1 Quench and tempering (QT)


Quenching and tempering can produce steels with high strength, hardness
and toughness. By rapidly cooling from the austenite phase field (Steels with
<0.8% C) or the austenite plus cementite phase field (Steels with >0.8% C),
the ferrite and pearlite transformation is avoided and instead, a metastable
low temperature phase transformation of austenite to martensite occurs.
Martensite is the hardest microstructure that can be formed in carbon steel,
but it is also quite brittle. In order to improve the ductility and toughness, at
the expense of some strength, tempering is carried out. Tempering can be
carried out at any temperature below the lower critical temperature, A1
(below the eutectoid temperature of ~727oC). As a general rule, better
toughness but lower strength and hardness are associated with higher
tempering temperatures. The properties of quenched and tempered steels

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can therefore be tailored by the appropriate selection of tempering


temperature.

The temperature to which steels are heated to before quenching in a


suitable cooling media such as water or oil, is the same temperature used
for full annealing. Hypoeutectoid steels (<0.8%C) are heated to the upper
critical temperature (A3) plus approximately 40oC to obtain a homogenous
and fine grained austenite which upon quenching transforms to very fine
needles of hard martensite. Hypereutectoid (>0.8%C) steels are heated to
the lower critical temperature (A1) plus approximately 40oC to form fine
grains of austenite and proeutectoid cementite. On quenching austenite
transforms to fine martensite, while cementite remains unchanged. As the
hardness of cementite is greater than that of martensite its presence
increases the hardness, wear and abrasion resistance.
oC

Austenite
Acm
910

A3
Annealing
727
A1

0.008 0.83 2.0


0.05
Carbon content in weight %

a b

Diagrams assisting in the selection of heat treatment conditions:

a Fe-C equilibrium diagram used to select annealing temperature prior to


quenching.

b CCT diagram showing the cooling rate necessary to obtain a martensitic


microstructure for this particular steel chemistry.

Quenched steels find very few engineering applications as the martensite is


very brittle, so tempering is usually carried out to soften the martensite and
improve toughness. Tempering also relieves the quenching stresses
developed during hardening, restores ductility and toughness and improves
dimensional stability by decomposing the retained austenite. During
tempering the quenched steel is heated to generally well below the lower
critical (A1) temperature, soaked at this temperature and then cooled very
slowly. The choice of tempering temperature depends upon the properties
required. The time for tempering is usually 1-2hr per inch (2.5cm) of section
thickness.

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Low C steel (0.12C)

Held at 900°C for 30


minutes;

Water quenched.

380Hv

Same as a), but following


tempering at 700°C for
30 minutes and air
cooled.

245Hv

5.4 Stress relief and postweld heat treatment


5.4.1 Stress relief and postweld heat treatment
Stress relieving operations are carried out on welded components for many
reasons. To reduce the level of residual stresses left after welding, reduce
the risk of brittle fracture, aid machining stability, etc. Although the residual
stress can be reduced, it can never be removed completely.

The most common method of stress relief is a thermal treatment which


involves the heating and cooling of the component in a controlled manner.
At temperature, the yield strength of the material is reduced and high
residual stresses are accommodated by plastic deformation. On cooling, the
residual stresses are reduced, with the maximum residual stress possible in
the joint being the yield strength of the material at temperature.

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During welding, hardening may occur in the HAZ, particularly for medium or
high carbon steels. To reduce the hardness of the HAZ, improve the
toughness of the microstructure and relieve the stresses from welding,
postweld heat treatment (PWHT) is carried out following welding. The main
objectives of PWHT are to improve the mechanical properties (higher
toughness or ductility) of the weld metal or HAZ and relieve residual
stresses. It is important to know that some alloys, such as microalloyed low
carbon steels, may actually harden at PWHT temperatures so are not
normally heat treated following welding.

It is intended that no phase transformations occur during PWHT, so for


steels, the PWHT temperature is usually 550-650°C. The heating and
cooling rates are slow (maximum 50°C/hr) and the soaking time is usually
specified as 1hr/inch. When carried out in an oven a neutral atmosphere is
used.

For specific PWHT applications, it is advisable to follow the standards for


specific components given in ASME VIII, ASME B31.3 and ASME B31.8.
Some precautions for carrying out stress relief heat treatment are:

 Provide adequate support for the component (since the yield strength will
be lower at high temperature).
 Control the heating rate to avoid uneven thermal expansions and control
temperature gradients which means no direct flame impingement is
permitted.
 After allowing sufficient soak time to equalise the temperature through
the component, the cooling rate must be controlled to avoid brittle
microstructure formation.

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Review Questions

1 What are the major objectives of heat treatment?

2 Explain various stages in annealing and normalising cycles.

3 Describe important diagrams used to determine heat treatment parameters and


explain what can be drawn from each type of diagram.

4 What are the purposes of PWHT?

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Section 6

Fe-C Steels
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Fe-C Steels
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6 Fe-C Steels
6.1 Steel
Pure iron is very soft and expensive to manufacture and thus has very
limited practical engineering application. However, the properties and
particularly the strength, of iron are greatly affected by the presence of C
and steels are defined as iron alloys, containing less than 2% C. Many other
elements are normally present in steels, both intentionally added alloying
elements and residual elements present from ore or scrap metal used in the
steelmaking process. Iron alloys of more than 2% carbon content are
generally only used for cast iron.

6.2 Steel terminology


The terminology used to describe and specify different steel products can be
confusing, as these can be based on a combination of product form (sheet,
plate, bar, sections, pipe and wire), the way they are made and processed,
strengthening mechanism, coating types, cleanliness level and so on. To
add to the confusion, different industry sectors will use different
nomenclatures and definitions. A simplified terminology is used here, which
is widely used and is relevant to welding, but be aware that other
terminologies also exist.

In a broad sense, steels can be divided in two major groups: Carbon steel
(also called C-Mn steels, depending on Mn level) and alloy steels. This
nomenclature is used in American standards (American Iron and Steel
Institute and The Society of Automotive Engineering) and in modified forms
in European standards as well. The AISI – SAE nomenclature is as follows:

6.2.1 Carbon steels


Carbon is probably the single most important alloying element in steel and a
wide range of properties is possible simply by changing the carbon content.

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Carbon steels can be divided (broadly) into plain carbon and carbon-
manganese steels:

Plain carbon steels


Plain carbon steels are limited to a maximum of 1% manganese and are
usually specified based on maximum carbon content. The microstructures of
plain carbon steels are based around the thermodynamic equilibrium
microstructures of ferrite and pearlite.

Carbon–manganese (C-Mn) steels


Similar to plain carbon steels, except that C-Mn steels have higher Mn
contents of between 1 and 1.65 weight %.

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6.2.2 Alloy Steels


Alloy steels often rely on metastable martensite microstructures to meet the
strength and toughness requirements. Martensite is produced with a
sufficient level of carbon or other elements and a sufficiently rapid cooling
rate. It has high strength and hardness; a softening (tempering) heat
treatment is normally applied to improve toughness. Some alloying elements
increase the hardenability of steels, that is they delay the transformation
from austenite to the equilibrium microstructures of ferrite and pearlite to
longer times, thus giving more opportunity for martensite to form during
cooling. Alloys specified based on element additions to increase
hardenability to achieve designated strength, ductility and toughness
requirements are called alloy steels. In general, total alloy content does not
exceed 5%.

6.2.3 Other steel alloys


In steels, the strength can be effectively increased by adding carbon to the
composition. However, it is well recognized that HAZ toughness decreases
and risk of cracking during welding increases with carbon addition. For the
parent material, the only recognised strengthening mechanism which also
increases toughness is grain refinement. These features are well combined
in steels called high strength low alloy (HSLA) which have low carbon
content, but can have high strength (up to 560MPa yield) due to the grain
refinement and precipitation hardening obtained from very small alloying
additions of vanadium, niobium and/or titanium. Because the additions of V,
Nb and Ti are so small (less than 0.1%), these are also called micro-alloyed
steels. The microstructure of HSLA steels is still generally ferrite and
pearlite, usually with very small amounts of pearlite.

Micro-alloying is used (along with Al additions) in some normalised C-Mn


steels. Where more sophisticated processing, involving controlled
temperature and deformation regimes are used, these steels are commonly
called thermomechanically controlled processed steels or TMCP for short.
Particularly in the oil and gas industry, a slight variation of the TMCP
process is used, where micro-alloying is used to obtain a fine-grain structure
during the hot rolling process, but at the end of the hot rolling process,
accelerated cooling may be used to promote a bainitic microstructure.
Bainite is a microstructure that is intermediate between that of ferrite plus
pearlite, and martensite, where high strength and good toughness can be
obtained without the need for a tempering heat treatment.

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6.3 Weldability of steels


6.3.1 Weldability
Weldability encompasses the ability to make crack-free welds, the ability to
achieve desired properties and the ability to make welds which will survive
service conditions.

Cracking problems of potential concern in steels are:

 Hydrogen-assisted cracking.
 Solidification cracking.
 Lamellar tearing
 Reheat cracking.
 Liquation cracking.

These are covered elsewhere in the course. The most significant of these,
which is most strongly affected by the parent steel composition, is hydrogen-
assisted cracking and this is covered in more detail below. Lamellar tearing
resistance depends on having a clean steel, with a low level of rolled
(Fe,MnS) inclusions.

Joint strength is generally easily achieved with the use of appropriate


consumables. If the steel is quenched and tempered or TMCP, some control
over maximum heat input may be necessary to avoid excessive HAZ (heat
affected zone) softening.

For welds that are to be exposed to sour (H2S) -containing environments,


the risk of sulphide stress cracking (SSC) must be taken into account.
Susceptibility to this form of cracking is generally controlled through
hardness and thus the effect of composition on HAZ hardness is important.

6.3.2 Carbon equivalent


Carbon affects the properties of steel more than any other element, as it
increases hardenability (promotes martensite formation, even at lower
cooling rates), increases the hardness of martensite and lowers the
martensite start temperature (so that less auto-tempering of martensite
occurs during cooling following welding). Carbon therefore has a generally
negative effect on the weldability of steels. Carbon equivalent (CE) formulae
give numerical values for steel composition that give an indication of the
combined effects of carbon and alloy content on hardenability for that steel.
The presence of hard microstructures in the HAZ is associated with
increased hydrogen-assisted cracking susceptibility and a risk of SSC. The
higher the carbon equivalent, the greater the risk of generating hard
microstructures during welding.

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Different carbon equivalent formulas have been proposed and a widely used
carbon equivalent formula is the International Institute for Welding (IIW) CE
or Ceq formula. An IIW CE of less than around 0.4 imparts good weldability;
above 0.5 CE the weldability is considered to be poor.

M 6
n
C
r
M 5
o
V
N
i 1
C 5
u
C
EI

C
  
   
I
W

IIW Ceq

Since its adoption by IIW, the equation has been incorporated into a number
of material standards and codes, including EN 1011-2:2001 and in a
modified form in AWS D1.1-2010, with a +Si/6 term added to the equation.

Further development of carbon equivalent formulae has taken place and


several can be found in technical literature today. The IIW and AWS D1.1
formulae apply in general, but have a better fit to steels with carbon contents
above 0.18%. For lower carbon contents, where the IIW formula is less
suited, the formula proposed by Ito-Besseyo is commonly used:
S
i 0
M
n
C 2
u 0
C
r
N
i 0
M 1
o 5
V 1
p

5
B
 
3

      0

c
m

Pcm is generally used for modern steels typically used for pipeline
manufacture, where carbon contents are no more than ~0.11%. The IIW
formula gives less tolerance to the presence of substitutional elements
(which increase hardenability) than the Pcm equation. What this means is
that at higher carbon concentration, the increased hardenability from the
substitutional alloying results in more martensite in the microstructure and
the risk of hydrogen cracking is increased. At low enough carbon
concentration, the addition of substitutional elements have a much smaller
impact on hardenability and the risk of hydrogen cracking is reduced.

The carbon equivalent can also be used as a compositional characterising


parameter for other properties that may be linked to hardness, such as
toughness and strength. High carbon equivalent steels tend to have high
strength, but lower toughness and poorer weldability.

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6.3.3 Understanding hardenability - TTT/CCT diagrams


The iron-carbon phase diagram shows the stable phases under very slow or
equilibrium cooling conditions. However, the various phases obtained under
rapid or non-equilibrium cooling conditions, as in welding, will be different.
The microstructures developed under non-equilibrium conditions are
described by TTT and CCT diagrams, with the x axis showing the time for
transformation and the y-axis the temperature:

 Isothermal transformation diagrams, usually called time-temperature-


transformation (TTT) diagrams:

Describe the isothermal decomposition of austenite. They are obtained


by holding the material in the single phase austenite phase field, cooling
to a specified temperature and holding it at this temperature, while
measuring any phase changes that occur over time.

 Continuous cooling transformation (CCT) diagrams:

Similar to TTT diagrams in that the decomposition of austenite is


described. However, the phase changes are measured as the test
material is subjected to a continuous cooling thermal cycle.

Welds cool relatively rapidly through the temperature range where steels
undergo phase transformations and therefore the continuous cooling
transformation (CCT) diagrams are more applicable to welding conditions.
The cooling rate depends principally on heat input and joint thickness and
also to some degree on initial temperature. In a CCT diagram, the cooling
rate is given by the slope of the time-temperature cooling profile, as shown
below. In welding, the cooling severity is usually expressed as the time in
seconds for the temperature to fall from 800-500°C and is usually expressed
as t8-5.

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Austenite

∆t8-5=3s
Martensite ∆t8-5=90s
∆t8-5=30s Ferrite and
Ferrite and lower temperature pearlite
transformation products
(Bainite and acicular ferrite)

CCT diagram for medium carbon C-Mn steel, with microstructures obtained
at cooling rates ∆t8-5 of 3, 30 and 90 seconds, shown.

Whilst the cooling rates depend on joint geometry and welding parameters,
the time for the start of transformation to ferrite, pearlite and bainite depends
on alloying additions; C, Mn, Cr, Ni, Mo, Cu, V and B shift the curves to
longer times, thus promoting martensite formation at slower cooling rates.
This effect is reflected in the CEIIW and Pcm formulas.

6.3.4 Weldability of low CE steels


The effects of both carbon and manganese on the weldability of C-Mn steels
are accounted for in the carbon equivalent formula. Mild or low carbon
steels which have a CE of less than 0.4, eg up to 0.3%C, are easily welded
with arc, gas or resistance welding processes. These steels have low
hardenability; therefore hardened zones in weld and HAZ are not too severe
even if rapidly cooled. Preheat is generally not required to weld steels with
IIW CE<0.4 as they have a low susceptibility to hydrogen-assisted cracking.
A low-alloy filler metal matching parent metal mechanical properties is used.

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6.3.5 Weldability of medium carbon equivalent steels


C-Mn steels with a medium level of IIW CE between 0.4-0.5 can be welded
easily using low hydrogen electrodes, which are particularly preferred for
thicker sections. The weldability is still good when using a low hydrogen
welding process or consumables, even though there is some risk of
hydrogen-assisted cracking due to increased hardenability, especially for
thicker sections or under high restraint. For thickness greater than 25mm,
preheat at 40-75°C is required and the interpass temperature should be
maintained at above 100°C. In fabrications using thick sections or if there is
high joint restraint, then PWHT will be necessary to stress relieve.

6.3.6 Weldability of high carbon equivalent steels


When the IIW CE of the steels exceeds 0.5, there is a risk of the formation
of hard phases such as martensite in the HAZ. The weld metal and HAZ are
susceptible to hydrogen-asisted cracking and to low toughness. To weld
steels with IIW CE >0.5 low hydrogen processes must be used, along with a
preheat of 150-250°C depending upon carbon content. An interpass
temperature of at least 150°C should be maintained and after welding, the
preheat continued as a post-heat, followed by a slow cool. The majority of
the arc welding processes can be used to weld high carbon steels with
caution.

6.3.7 Preheat, interpass and PWHT


Preheat is specified as a temperature that the plate must reach prior to
welding. Preheat is usually applied for up to an hour before welding to
ensure that the temperature is even. During multi-pass welding, the
temperature should never fall below the specified preheat temperature.

The interpass temperature is usually specified as a minimum and/or


maximum temperature for the deposited weld metal and adjacent base
metal before the next pass is started. Steels such as high carbon or C-Mn
steel which require preheat, must be kept at a similar interpass temperature
between the weld passes. Usually the heat input is adequate to maintain the
interpass temperature, depending on plate thickness. All the weld runs in a
joint will have the same hydrogen input, cooling capacity and composition
and therefore similar preheat (minimum interpass) requirements, dependent
on heat input, to avoid hydrogen cracking. A possible exception to this
would be the root pass, which may have a higher stress concentration than
the remainder of the joint and so the root region may require a higher
preheat than the minimum interpass temperature of the filling passes.
Maximum interpass temperatures are imposed for lower alloy steels to avoid
excessive grain coarsening, particularly in weld metal (leading to low
toughness) or distortion. In higher alloy steels it may be necessary to ensure
that transformation from austenite between passes is not hindered.

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Post heat is applied for hydrogen release, after the weld has been
completed. The post-heat temperature may be the same as, or greater than,
the original preheat temperature specified, but care must be taken not to
allow the joint to cool before applying the post heat.

Post weld heat treatment (PWHT) is carried out at higher temperatures for
stress relief or to temper hard microstructural phases. See the notes on heat
treatment for more details.

A summary of typical preheat, interpass and PWHT requirements for


different C-Mn steels is given in the following table.

CE Preheat temperature, Interpass temperature, PWHT temperature,


°C °C °C
CE ≤ 0.4 Not required Not specified Not required

0.4 ≤ CE ≤ 40-75 100-200 525-650


0.5 (thick section) (thick section)
CE ≥ 0.5 150-300 150-300 550-650

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Review Questions

1 What does the carbon equivalent indicate? Which formulae work best for low and
higher carbon, respectively?

2 What is weldability and what is the effect of carbon content upon the weldability
of steels?

3 What measures must be taken when welding high carbon steels?

4 Explain how CCT diagrams help understand the HAZ properties of welded joints.

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Section 7

Micro-alloyed/High Strength
Low alloy (HSLA) Steels
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7 Micro-alloyed/High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) Steels


Conventional carbon manganese steels are limited in strength by the
reduced weldability at higher levels of carbon and manganese. High
strength low alloy (HSLA) steel is terminology arising from North America,
which covers steels developed to give improved strength at lower carbon
levels (generally up to 0.12%C). The high strength and toughness of these
micro-alloyed steels comes from the fine grain size, which can be produced
through micro-alloying and thermo mechanically controlled processing
(TMCP) or other appropriate heat treatment. The yield strength of HSLA
steels ranges from 290-700MPa. The low IIW CE means these steels have
good weldability and are less sensitive to various types of cracking in the
HAZ. Micro-alloyed steels can be welded by a wide range of processes.

Structural fine-grained steels are specified in BS EN 10025. The steel


names begin with S, then a number designating the minimum yield strength
in material less than 16mm thickness (usually 275, 355, 420 or 460MPa)
and then a letter and number giving the quality (specified minimum Charpy
toughness). The delivery condition, eg N for normalised, M for TMCP, A for
annealed may be appended and sometimes an L if impact energy at
temperatures not lower than -50°C is specified.

Grain sizes of parent materials can be measured and expressed as a mean


grain size, or standards such as ASTM E112 provide for the use of a grain
size chart to express the grain size number, with a higher number
corresponding to a finer grain size. A fine grain size imparts both high
strength and high toughness.

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7.1 Micro-alloyed steels


Micro-alloyed steels give improved strength at lower carbon levels
(generally up to 0.12% carbon) through the addition of small amounts of
carbide and nitride formers, most commonly Nb, V and Ti. These micro-
alloying elements usually have a combined level of 0.15% maximum.
However, they strengthen the steels through grain refinement and some
precipitation hardening.

Micro-alloyed steels have high strength and toughness with a ferritic/pearlitic


or ferritic/bainitic microstructure, produced by normalising or controlled
rolling/TMCP. They are used in construction, eg offshore platforms (EN
10025), pressure vessels (EN 10028) and high pressure pipelines (API
5L/ISO 3183).

7.2 TMCP steels


Thermo mechanically controlled processed steels have high strength and
toughness with low carbon content and hence good weldability. TMCP
steels have high resistance to hydrogen cracking during welding and can be
used in arctic service. This is achieved through a production method
involving a combination of controlled rolling and on line accelerated cooling
which provides mechanical working, recovery processes, recrystallisation
and grain growth. Generally, the stages involved in production are:

 Rough rolling
Relatively high temperature deformation of the austenite gives rapid
recrystallisation and finer austenite grains. This is the same as normal
processing routes.

 Finishing rolling
Rolling at lower temperature, below the region of rapid recrystallisation.
Plastic deformation at this temperature promotes fine grain size and
retards precipitation. Deformation bands act as sites for subsequent
austenite transformation.

These stages decrease the grain size in order to increase strength and
toughness.

 Accelerated cooling
Typically at 5-15°C/sec between 800-500°C, followed by air cooling from
500°C. Additional strengthening results from the refinement of the ferrite
grains and enhanced precipitation hardening for micro-alloyed steels.

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The following diagram shows the differences between conventional rolling


processes for steels (as-rolled, normalised and controlled rolled) and TMCP
steel production methods (two methods of non-accelerated cooling are
shown, along with an accelerated cooling method), the zig-zags are the
rolling operations.

7.3 Weldability of micro-alloyed steels


As the strength of the parent metal results, in part, from grain refinement
and accelerated cooling, this would not be matched by the strength of the
weld metal (which has an as-cast microstructure) if it were to be of the same
composition. Therefore the weld metal needs to be overalloyed to
compensate. (For modern TMCP steel with very low carbon content, the
carbon content of the parent metal may be 0.05%C, whereas the weld metal
may contain 0.10%C). The risk of hydrogen cracking can therefore be
higher in the weld than in parent metal. With the increased alloying, the weld
metal transforms from austenite to ferrite after the parent metal and so any
hydrogen is rejected from the HAZ into the weld metal, thereby increasing
the risk of hydrogen cracking. Therefore, any preheat should be based on
that required to protect the weld metal, rather than the parent metal.

PWHT is typically required for thickness greater than 40mm. TMCP grades
will, in general, not tolerate PWHT without detriment. If TMCP steel is to be
subjected to PWHT, this should be specified at the time of the order; the
PWHT temperature may be limited to 580°C or even 560°C (BS EN 10025-
1).

One of the main welding problems with carbon and C-Mn steels is to
achieve adequate fracture toughness in the HAZ and weld metal with high
productivity. It may be necessary to limit the heat input to around 3.5kJ/mm
to minimise grain growth, but with many modern steels designed to resist
grain growth in the HAZ, many of which are TMCP, much higher heat inputs
can be tolerated. Although high heat inputs can result in HAZ softening in
TMCP steels, particularly those with accelerated controlled cooling, joint
strength is generally not compromised unless this is severe and extensive.

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7.4 Applications for high strength steels


 Pipelines, as designated in standards such as ASTM A517 and API
5L/ISO 3183, eg Grades X52, X60, X65, X70 and X80. The number after
X is the yield strength in ksi.

 Structural steels, used for buildings and bridges, etc. EU standards


include EN 10025, EN 10113, EN 10137 and the steels are designated
eg S355N, S550A. The S means structural steel, 355 is the yield
strength in MPa, N, M or A is delivery condition (normalised, TMCP or
annealed). American standards include ASTM A514.

 Pressure vessels, for example specified in EN 10028, EN 10149, EN


10225, EN 10210 (replaces BS 4360:1990). In a similar way to structural
steels, an example designation is P355N, where P means for pressure
purposes.

 Naval applications according to DefStan 02-736 Part 1 [Q1(N) steel].

 Cranes, earth moving equipment, submarine hull construction and


offshore oil and gas wells use quenched and tempered steels.

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Revision Questions

1 What effect does grain size have on strength and toughness of HSLA steels?

2 What is the minimum yield strength and production method of 10mm thickness
S355M steel?

3 What considerations are necessary when selecting a welding consumable for


welding micro-alloyed steel?

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Section 8

Structure of the Welded Joint


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Structure of the Welded Joint
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8 Structure of the Welded Joint


The welded joint consists of three distinct areas: weld metal, heat affected
zone (HAZ) and the unaffected parent metal.

8.1 Weld metal


The molten metal in the weld pool melts back the adjoining parent steel,
diluting the chemical composition of the weld metal with parent material
(Figure 8.1).

Figure 8.1 Grain structure at the fusion boundary.

On cooling, the weld pool generally solidifies as dendrites of delta ferrite


(Figure 2), followed by transformation to austenite. Epitaxial growth of the
new austenite grains in the weld metal on the unmelted austenite grains in
the HAZ can often be observed to have occurred. In other words, the
orientation of the crystals in the weld metal adjacent to the fusion line often
has the same orientation as the crystals in the parent material adjacent to
the fusion line.

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Figure 8.2 The solidification process at the fusion boundary.

8.1.1 Dilution
The ratio of the volume of parent metal melted to the total weld volume is
known as the dilution of the weld. Some melting of the parent metal and
hence some dilution, is necessary to ensure adequate fusion of the weld;
certain joints will have more dilution than others. See Figure 8.3. There is
higher dilution in single-pass welds and in joints with shallow bevel angles.
A large number of weld passes welded with a backing bar gives low dilution.
Lower dilution can mean a lower risk of solidification cracking, if the parent
steel contains more sulphur, phosphorus and carbon than the filler metal.
Dilution is also influenced by the welding process, eg submerged arc
generally gives higher dilution than MIG/MAG welding.

Square butt (two Single bevel (multi- V groove with backing


runs high dilution). run medium dilution) strip (used for metal
testing, low dilution)
Figure 8.3 Schematic weld cross sections, indicating the total weld area, with the
dashed lines indicating the amount of parent material diluted into the weld

In cases where no filler material is added (resistance, electron beam, laser


and some autogenous arc welding), the weld metal has the same
composition as the parent material.

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8.1.2 Weld metal solidification and transformation


Primary ferrite (also called proeutectoid ferrite or sometimes grain boundary
ferrite) is the first austenite decomposition product to form, nucleating on
prior-austenite grain boundaries and is the result of austenite decomposition
at high temperature; see Figure 8.4. Its formation is favoured in high heat
input welds and is avoided or minimized by rapid cooling. The presence of
large amounts of grain boundary ferrite is generally not beneficial for
toughness and it generally imparts lower strength than other microstructural
phases.

Acicular ferrite appears as small laths of ferrite with a low aspect ratio (1-2
microns in width), formed in intragranular regions by nucleating on non-
metallic inclusions (which are generally spherical and sub-micron in
diameter) in the weld pool. It forms at around 650-550°C (depending on
alloy content, cooing rate and the efficacy of the inclusions as nucleants),
after the primary ferrite and has an interlocking appearance. As it has a
small grain size, it is usually associated with excellent toughness.

The microstructure in Figure 8.4 is of a typical MMA weld metal. This weld
was made using an AWS A5.1 E7018 4mm diameter electrode and shows a
microstructure of large regions of primary ferrite along the original austenite
grain boundaries. Acicular ferrite has formed in the centre of the prior-
austenite grains.

Primary
ferrite

Figure 8.4 Microstructure of a typical MMA weld metal.

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Further clarification: What does pro-eutectoid ferrite mean?


On cooling from liquid, the weld metal will generally solidify as delta ferrite
(high temperature ferrite with body-centred-cubic structure) and then
transform to austenite (face-centred-cubic). Below the A3 line the austenite
starts to transform into ferrite (also body-centred-cubic but formed at a much
lower temperature than delta ferrite), which nucleates on the grain
boundaries. Below the A1 line, under equilibrium cooling conditions, the
remaining austenite transforms into the eutectoid product called pearlite
(which is composed of lamellae of ferrite and cementite). The ferrite formed
before the eutectoid reaction is called pro-eutectoid and can occur only in
Hypoeutectoid steels (with a carbon content below 0.8%).

The iron-carbon phase diagram (Figure 8.5) is discussed in more detail in


the section on alloys and phase diagrams in your notes, but is partially
reproduced here for reference.

Figure 8.5 Part of the iron-carbon phase diagram.

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8.2 The HAZ


The HAZ can be sub-divided into four regions, depending on the peak
temperature reached: grain coarsened, grain refined, intercritical and sub-
critical (all of which constitute the visible HAZ); see Figure 8.6.

Figure 8.6 HAZ regions for a single weld bead.

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8.2.1 Grain coarsened HAZ


The grain coarsened HAZ is the region closest to the fusion line and
reaches a peak temperature over 1100°C. Full austenitisation occurs and
there is sufficient time at high temperature for grain growth to occur. Fast
cooling may result in martensite being formed, which has high hardness and
a corresponding loss of ductility. Slower cooling gives ferrite and carbide
microstructural phases. In single pass welds, this region is usually
associated with the lowest toughness.

Figure 8.7 HAZ microstructures of a C-Mn steel, approximate position of grain


boundaries are indicated.

Figure 8.7 shows a typical grain coarsened HAZ microstructure. The


different phases are shown magnified below, for a slowly cooled high heat
input weld on the left, Figure 8.8a and a faster cooled, low heat input weld
on the right, Figure 8.8b.

FS(A) Ferrite with aligned second phase, which has poor toughness.
FS(NA) Ferrite with non-aligned second phase which has better
toughness.
M Martensite which (until it has been softened by tempering)
generally has high hardness and low toughness.

a b

Figure 8.8 C-Mn Steel HAZ microstructures.

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8.2.2 Grain refined HAZ


The grain refined HAZ is the next region away from the fusion line and
reaches temperatures just above A3 and hence isn’t high enough to allow
significant grain growth in the time available. As several austenite grains
nucleate from each ferrite grain on heating and then several ferrite grains
nucleate from each austenite grain on cooling, the grain size is reduced; see
Figure 8.9. The fine grain structure also gives an increase in toughness and
lower hardness than in the coarse-grained HAZ.

Figure 8.9 C-Mn steel grain refined HAZ microstructure, some grain boundaries
are delineated for clarity.

8.2.3 Intercritical HAZ


The intercritical HAZ (Figure 8.10) reaches a peak temperature of between
approximately 720-910°C; which is the temperature range between A1 and
A3 on the iron – carbon diagram. At this temperature range partial
austenitisation occurs. Carbon will diffuse into the newly formed austenite
regions which will either be stabilised as retained austenite or form
martensite on cooling. Such regions are referred to as MA phases and can
result in low toughness in the case of a coarse microstructure being present
before intercritical reheating. In this region, carbides in the steel are
spheroidised.

Figure 8.10 C-Mn steel intercritical HAZ microstructure.

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8.2.4 Subcritical HAZ


The subcritical HAZ reaches a peak temperature of 580-720°C and the
tempering at this temperature produces no noticeable microstructural
change in C-Mn steels, beyond some slight spheroidisation, Figure 8.11.
The effect is similar to that occurring during a tempering heat treatment. The
temperature is below A1 and so no phase transformations occur. The
relaxation of internal stresses results in slight softening in this region of the
HAZ. The microstructure is ferrite (white regions) and pearlite (dark regions).
At temperatures below approximately 580°C, the parent material is not
affected (for welding conditions where exposure is short).

Figure 8.11 C-Mn steel sub-critical HAZ microstructure.

8.3 Microstructures of multi-pass welds


Many welds are multi-pass, which introduces the complication of each of
these regions (in both HAZ and weld metal) being subjected to a further
thermal cycle. Complete re-austenitisation eliminates the effects of a
previous intercritical or sub-critical thermal cycle, but all of the regions of an
initial HAZ can be subjected to intercritical and sub-critical reheating; see
Figure 8.12

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Figure 8.11 The complexity of the HAZ in a multi-pass weld: GC = grain


coarsened, GR = grain refined, IC = intercritical, SC = subcritical.

The reheat thermal cycle of subsequent weld passes normalises and refines
parts of the microstructure in the previous weld metal, which improves
toughness. Figure 8.12 below shows that weld Run 2 refines part of the HAZ
from Run 1, such that the refined coarse-grained HAZ from Run 1 has a
similar microstructure to the fine-grained HAZ in Run 2. In multi-pass welds,
the subsequent weld run also tempers the previous weld metal, thereby
reducing residual stresses. However, not all effects are beneficial and the
lowest toughness microstructure in a HAZ is often associated with the
GCHAZ of a first weld pass, subsequently reheated in the intercritical
temperature range by a second weld pass. The reduction in toughness is
associated with the formation of MA phases (explained previously) in a
coarse starting microstructure.

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Figure 8.12 Example of the microstructure of a C-Mn steel multi-pass weld.

The lower heat input per pass of a multipass weld (compared to a single
pass weld) means that the amount of grain growth is limited and previous
passes also provide some preheat which slows down the cooling rate of the
subsequent pass and helps reduce the hydrogen level and thus reduces the
risk of hydrogen cracking. However, multi-pass welding can mean a lower
productivity from the larger number of passes needed compared to an
equivalent single-pass weld.

8.4 Heat input


The heat input influences the weld cross-sectional area. High heat input
welds have a large weld bead and commonly for submerged arc welding,
achieve high dilution; the associated slow cooling results in austenite grain
growth in the HAZ, giving low toughness. If a high heat input arc weld has a
deep narrow shape, this can contribute to a risk of solidification cracking.
Low heat input welds, such as multi-pass welds, have smaller weld beads.
The fast cooling can give hard brittle zones in the HAZ and a risk of
hydrogen cracking, which means that the heat input must be controlled or
preheat used. The heat input during arc welding is governed by the current,
voltage and travel speed and by the thermal efficiency (which depends on
the welding process):

Heat input (kJ/mm) = Volts (V) x Amps (A) x 60 x thermal efficiency


Travel speed (mm/min)

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The heating during welding causes several effects.

 Expansion and contraction during heating and cooling introduces


residual stresses.
 Changes in chemical composition by diffusion and dilution of the weld
metal can affect the mechanical properties of the joint.
 Heating up to the melting temperature and then cooling down to room
temperature results in a HAZ in the joint; see Figure 8.6.
 The maximum temperature reached determines the extent of
transformation.
 The amount of time spent above a specific temperature affects the scale
of the transformation product.
 The cooling time between 800-500°C is commonly recorded and
reported. For both the HAZ and the weld metal, it influences the type of
microstructure and the hardness after welding in steels.

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Revision Questions

1 What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a low heat input when arc
welding?

2 Describe the typical microstructures formed in MMA weld metal.

3 List the four regions of the HAZ. Which has the lowest toughness (describe the
region of lowest toughness in single and multipass welds)?

4 What are the advantages of using a multi-pass instead of a single pass weld in a
similar joint?

5 If the heat input during welding is not controlled, what disadvantageous effects
could occur in the HAZ?

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Section 9

Cracking Mechanisms
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Cracking Mechanisms
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9 Cracking Mechanisms
The main types of fabrication cracking that can affect welded joints are:
 Fabrication hydrogen cracking (also known as hydrogen, hydrogen-
induced cold cracking, or delayed cracking).
 Hot cracking:
 Solidification cracking.
 Liquation cracking.
 Lamellar tearing.
 Reheat cracking.

9.1 Hydrogen (cold) cracking


Hydrogen atoms dissolved in the steel crystal lattice during welding cause
the steel to become brittle at lower temperatures, which may result in
cracking under the influence of shrinkage stress. Cracks can occur in the
weld metal or HAZ and can occur many hours after weld completion.

For hydrogen cracking to occur, four critical factors must be present


simultaneously, namely: Hydrogen, a susceptible microstructure, stress and
a temperature normally near normal ambient. Take any one of these
components away and cracking is avoided.

Stress Hydrogen

CRACK
(At low enough
temperature)

Susceptible
microstructure

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9.1.1 Hydrogen
If there is no hydrogen in the weld region, then clearly there will be no
fabrication hydrogen cracking. The amount of hydrogen present is a variable
that can be controlled, once the various sources of hydrogen are
recognised. Hydrogen comes from the breakdown of hydrogen containing
compounds in the welding arc and in particular from:

 Atmosphere
Particularly in warm and humid conditions.
 Consumable
Moisture in fluxes or dirt/grease on wires.
 Surface contamination
Grease, dirt, rust or moisture on the joint faces.

As it is the hydrogen level present in welded joints at near ambient


temperature that influences the susceptibility to cracking, promotion of
hydrogen escape during welding is beneficial. The application of preheat
promotes hydrogen escape through longer cooling cycles. For multipass
welds, a similar effect is achieved through control of the interpass
temperature and time.

To minimise the amount of hydrogen in the weld, low hydrogen content


consumables can be used and adequate pre-heat, interpass temperature
control and post-heat schedules followed. As hydrogen can also be
introduced to welds from contamination of the plate surface from dirt, oil or
grease, it is very important to clean and degrease the joint area before
welding.

9.1.2 Susceptible microstructure


In general, the softer the microstructure the lower the risk of cracking. As
hardness increases, so the risk of cracking also increases. In general the
HAZ microstructure is at most risk of fabrication hydrogen cracking in C-Mn
steels.

The actual hardness that can be tolerated without cracking depends on


other factors such as the amount of hydrogen, restraint (residual stress) and
imposed stress. However, in general, for C-Mn steels welded with low
hydrogen consumables, hardness up to ~350HV is considered acceptable.
In situations where hydrogen content is high, such as with cellulosic
consumables, lower hardness is required. Alternatively, if sufficient
precautions are taken and the hydrogen content and applied or developed
stresses are very low, then even higher hardness than 350HV can be
tolerated.

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Softer microstructures can be achieved through careful control of the


welding procedure. The use of higher heat input and to a lesser extent the
application of preheat and control of interpass temperature, will all increase
the cooling time through the austenite to ferrite transformation and promote
the formation of softer, safer microstructures. Lower joint thicknesses have a
lower heat sink, which is also beneficial.

Chemical composition of the steel affects the hardness which is achieved for
a given cooling rate. This is also discussed in the module on Fe-C steels. A
measure of a materials hardening response is obtained through
compositional parameters, known as carbon equivalent factors, eg IIW CE,
Pcm. High hardness is thus caused by a combination of the cooling rate,
typically characterised by the time to cool between 800-500°C and the
hardening response of the material, characterised, for example, by IIW CE:

IIW CE = C + Mn/6 + (Cr + Mo + V)/5 + (Ni + Cu)/15

Pcm is another measure of hardenability that is sometimes used, particularly


for low carbon steels:

Pcm = C + Si/30 + (Mn + Cu + Cr)/20 + Ni/60 + Mo/15 + V/10 + 5B

If high hardness cannot be avoided during welding, it can be reduced


following welding by PWHT to temper the microstructure and thus reduce
the hardness. If this is required to prevent cracking (which will only be in
very severe situations), PWHT must follow welding without an intervening
cool to ambient temperature and a double tempering treatment may then be
appropriate to temper any microstructures which form from austenite which
has been retained throughout the PWHT process.

When welding High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steels, a filler metal with
higher alloy content might be necessary to overmatch the parent metal
strength (which has been achieved by grain refinement and/or precipitation
hardening at low CE). This means that the weld metal may be more
susceptible to fabrication hydrogen cracking than the HAZ. Weld metal
fabrication hydrogen cracking in the body of the weld is typically oriented
transversely across the weld (perpendicular to the high shrinkage residual
stress along the weld bead). At sufficiently high alloy content, such cracking
is also perpendicular to the outer surface. However, in thick-section C-Mn
steel welds, it may be oriented at approximately 45° through the thickness of
the weld; this is commonly referred to as chevron cracking.

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9.1.3 Stress
For fabrication hydrogen cracking, the stress needs to be greater than
around half the material yield strength to be a concern. Such stresses come
from weld shrinkage and are not controllable by the welder. However, higher
stresses (and thus greater risk) arise in thick section material, from restraint
as a result of rigid fixturing or from stress concentrators such as weld toes,
defects, or poor alignment and fit-up. PWHT will reduce residual stresses in
welds and help avoid fabrication hydrogen cracking, but is only useful if the
weld is not allowed to cool to near ambient before the PWHT.

9.1.4 Temperature
Fabrication hydrogen (cold) cracking only occurs once the material has
cooled. The temperature at which hydrogen cracking can occur depends on
the composition of the steel; C-Mn steels need to be below 150°C, but some
alloy steels may be prone to cracking at temperatures below 300°C. It also
takes some time for hydrogen to diffuse within the steel to potential cracking
sites, so welds should be left for 24 or 48 hours after welding before
inspection is carried out, so that any hydrogen cracking will be detected.
Fabrication hydrogen cracking can be avoided by keeping the material warm
and thus safe from cracking, for a sufficient time to allow any hydrogen to
diffuse away to a substantially lower level, by applying preheat, maintaining
an interpass temperature and/or continuing the preheat as a post-heat or
post-weld heat treating immediately after welding.

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9.1.5 Summary of factors affecting hydrogen (cold) cracking

9.2 Solidification (hot) cracking


Solidification cracks are formed at high temperatures, ie while the weld
metal is solidifying.
Low melting temperature

There are four main factors that affect the likelihood of hot cracking in
steels:

 Susceptible weld profile.


 Susceptible weld metal composition.
 Transverse stress (or strain).
 Temperature range for solidification.

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9.2.1 Weld profile


Deeper and narrow weld beads with a depth to width ratio over 2:1 are most
prone to solidification cracking, because the solidification fronts meet along
the centre-line effectively perpendicular to high shrinkage stresses. To avoid
solidification cracking, reduce the penetration and increase bead width, in
order to give a depth to width ratio of closer to 0.5:1.

Certain weld profiles prevent any remaining liquid weld metal back-filling
shrinkage cavities. In particular, concave (or flat) fillet welds. A fast travel
speed can also mean that the solidification fronts meet in this susceptible
orientation and that the distance from weld pool to incipient crack is long
and difficult to feed with liquid metal.

9.2.2 Weld metal composition


Two principal metallurgical factors promote cracking of weld metal:

 A wide solidification range, ie a wide temperature range during which the


weld is in a mushy state, without any significant strength or resistance to
contraction stresses.
 The presence of low melting point films between the grain boundaries.
These can be promoted by sulphur, which forms (low melting point)
sulphides in ferritic steel and in nickel or nickel alloy weld metal.

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A number of elements affect the risk of solidification cracking in ferritic


steels, the most important being sulphur and carbon (which are bad) and
manganese (which is good). Increasing the manganese content of the weld
increases the melting temperature of (Fe,Mn)S inclusions in the weld metal
and helps prevent the formation of the lower melting point FeS. Sulphur is
typically a parent material impurity and the S content of the weld metal can
be controlled by reducing dilution. Austenitic stainless steel has a very low
solubility for sulphur and can be very sensitive to hot cracking. The usual
(beneficial) practice is to adjust the composition of austenitic stainless steel
weld metal so that a few percent of ferrite forms.

9.2.3 Stress
Often the shrinkage stress (or strain) in the weld bead is sufficient to cause
solidification cracking, if the other factors are present.

9.2.4 Temperature range for solidification


A wide temperature range for weld metal solidification increases the risk of
solidification cracking. Weld metal solidifies over a range of temperature and
on solidifying contracts considerably. As a function of the solidification
sequence, a low melting point liquid film can develop between the columnar
grains and dendrites at the limit of the solidifying weld pool. Unless more
liquid is able to flow into these areas, rupture, in the form of solidification
cracks, will occur, as these films are unable to accommodate the tensile
contraction strains.

From the Fe-C diagram it is easy to see how increased C content increases
the temperature range for solidification.

°C

>C Liquid (L)


1538
L
1495
Delta ferrite ()
L+
+
1394

Austenite ()

0.25 0.5 %C

The weld metal starts to solidify at around 1,500°C, the FeS eutectic
solidifies at 988°C. However, as Mn is added, this temperature is raised
towards 1,570°C, which is the MnS eutectic temperature.

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9.2.5 Avoidance of solidification cracking

Reduce Add Mn Reduce heat


restraint input to avoid
coarse grains
Decrease Mn forms inclusions
travel speed with sulphur before Fe Improve joint fit-
can react (higher up
temperature reaction)
Reduce heat Reduce dilution
input to lower (e.g. avoid rutile
dilution electrodes)

Low S steel
Change joint Increased hot
design ductility Reduce C%

AVOID HOT CRACKING IN STEEL

9.2.6 General guidelines


 Welding consumables and filler metals are often formulated to resist hot
cracking and so avoidance of high dilution welding conditions or joint
geometries associated with high dilution, is advisable.
 High welding speeds are likely to increase the incidence of hot cracking.
 Avoid concave or flat welds.
 Consumables for stainless steels, which are over-alloyed to take account
of dilution and give enhanced ferrite levels, tend to resist solidification
cracking.

9.3 Liquation cracking


Liquation cracking is also a hot cracking phenomenon and occurs in the
high-temperature zone of the HAZ, or in previously deposited weld metal,
during a subsequent run. Cracks follow an intergranular path and only
extend for a few grains away from the boundary. Cracking occurs due to the
formation of grain boundary liquid films (of (Fe,Mn)S in ferritic steels) at
temperatures below the bulk solidus temperature. On cooling below the
solidus temperature, the liquid present at the grain boundaries is unable to
accommodate tensile strains caused by contraction and cracks may form.

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Liquation cracking has been observed in materials such as austenitic


stainless steels, nickel alloys and 6xxx and 7xxx series aluminium alloys.
Liquation cracking also occurs in ferritic steels, but (with current sulphur
levels in steels from major steel suppliers) it is relatively rare in this type of
material.

Avoidance of liquation cracking is usually based on the reduction in the


concentration of elements (or constituents) of low melting temperature at the
grain boundaries. Similar to solidification cracking, the addition of Mn to
ferritic alloys reduces the risk of cracking by promoting MnS instead of the
low melting temperature eutectic between Fe and S.

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9.4 Lamellar tearing


Lamellar tearing occurs when a susceptible material is strained in the
through-thickness direction by the welding contractional stresses, to a level
that exceeds the through-thickness ductility of the material. It is a cracking
phenomenon generally associated with rolled steels. The step-like cracking
is found beneath the weld in the parent material, usually outside the visible
heat affected zone, but often parallel to the fusion boundary of the weld.

The problem is related to the presence of flattened (rolled) non-metallic MnS


inclusions in Al-treated parent steel, lying parallel to the plate surface and
producing low ductility in the through-thickness (short transverse) direction.

For this form of cracking to occur, the weld must be oriented such that
strains act through the joint, across the plate thickness, ie so that the fusion
boundary is approximately parallel to the plate surface, giving rise to
shrinkage strains that are normal to the rolling direction.

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A low value of the short


transverse reduction of area
gives a high lamellar tearing
risk.

See BS EN 1011-2: 2001,


Annex F and T. G. Davey,
The Welding Institute
Research Bulletin, 1979,
20(6), 169-171.

It is widely accepted that cruciform, T and corner joints present the greatest
risk of cracking. It is also acknowledged that full penetration T-butt welds
offer greater cracking risk than simple fillet welds of smaller leg length.
Appropriate design of the bevel location of corner joints, to avoid welds
impinging on a plate surface, can reduce the risk of cracking.

9.5 Reheat cracking of low alloy steel


Reheat cracking occurs in creep-resistant alloys containing two or more of
the following alloying additions: Cr, Mo, Nb or V. It occurs in the coarse-
grained HAZ (CGHAZ) and very occasionally in the weld metal.

Above a temperature of the order of 1,200°C, precipitates (carbides and


nitrides) in the CGHAZ are dissolved. During the fairly rapid cooling after
welding the precipitates remain in solution and the area is effectively
solution treated. When the weldment is reheated during service or PWHT,
within the temperature range of 350-550°C the precipitates begin to reform
as very fine particles within the grain, which strengthens the grain interior.
Also, other precipitates forming on the grain boundaries reduce the grain
boundary mobility. As at this temperature range stress relaxation (stress
relieving) is occurring by plastic deformation (creep to accommodate
residual stresses); deformation is concentrated at the grain boundaries
which are weaker than the precipitate-reinforced grain interior. Due to the
lower ductility of the grain boundaries, these tend to crack by a typical creep
failure mechanism of cavity formation along the grain boundaries and
coalescence to form a crack; this is reheat cracking.

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In order to reduce the risk of cracking, the heating rate should be as fast as
possible, in order to heat the steel quickly through the temperature regime in
which it is most brittle and can crack. Care must be taken to avoid
differential heating, as this can produce distortion and high levels of strain.
For structural welds, the cracking risk can be reduced through the use of a
steep-sided preparation; the high angle of attack leads to a high degree of
refinement of the coarse-grained HAZ of the underlying pass. Several
equations have been devised to characterise the risk of reheat cracking in
parent steels and weld metal.

∆G = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V - 2
∆G < 0

∆G1 = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V + 10C - 2


∆G1 < 2

PSR = Cr + Cu + 2Mo + 10V + 7Nb + 5Ti - 2


PSR < 0

K = Pb + Bi + 0.03Sb (ppm)
K < 1.5 (for weld metal)

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Revision Questions

1 What are the four factors necessary for fabrication hydrogen cracking?

2 What weld profiles are more susceptible to solidification cracking and why?

3 Where in the welded joint is reheat cracking likely to occur and in what type of
materials?

4 How does the quality of the parent metal affect the likelihood of lamellar tearing?

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Section 10

Corrosion
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Corrosion
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10 Corrosion
10.1 Definition
Corrosion is the deterioration of a metal due to chemical or (very often)
electrochemical reactions with its environment.

10.2 Reactions during corrosion


For example rusting of iron or steel - this involves the chemical or
electrochemical reaction of iron with oxygen and water, which can be
thought of as an exchange of electrons between the iron atoms and water
molecules. The iron is said to be oxidised, the water and oxygen are said to
be reduced.

Iron + water + oxygen Rust


Fe + H2O + O2 Fe(OH)2
Redox

 Oxidation is electron loss.


 Reduction is electron gain.
 Corrosion is a balance of reduction and oxidation - Redox.

The redox potential is a measure of the affinity of a substance for electrons


compared with that of hydrogen. The redox potential of hydrogen is set at 0
volts and substances capable of reducing have negative potentials relative
to hydrogen, while substances capable of oxidising have positive potentials
relative to hydrogen.

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10.3 Galvanic series


Relative potentials in seawater:

 Platinum
 Gold
 316 stainless steel
 Titanium
 Nickel
 Copper
 Tin
 Mild steel
 Cadmium
 Zinc
 Magnesium

Types of corrosion

Galvanic
Galvanic corrosion occurs when two dissimilar metals are placed in contact
and their different redox potentials cause corrosion. Practical implications of
the galvanic series are that the more anodic metal will be the metal that
corrodes. The farther apart the two metals, the faster will be the corrosion
rate. In order to protect against galvanic corrosion you need to electrically
insulate dissimilar metals from each other and/or eliminate the electrolyte
(eg water).

General

General corrosion attack proceeds uniformly over the entire surface and
there is a uniform loss of wall thickness (mm/year). This is common in steel
in water or seawater or stainless steels in acidic or strong alkaline solutions.
A corrosion allowance (mm) may be specified in the design in order to take
this into account.

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Intergranular

Intergranular corrosion attack is localised at and adjacent to the grain


boundaries and occurs in stainless steel due to chromium (Cr) carbide
precipitation (sensitisation) and for welded stabilised grades (eg 321, 347) it
can take the form of knife line corrosion in the HAZ. Resistance to
intergranular corrosion in stainless steel is improved by lowering the carbon
content, controlling the welding procedure, or by adding titanium (Ti) or
niobium (Nb) to stabilise the stainless steel.

Pitting

Pitting corrosion is a highly destructive non-uniform attack due to the


localised breakdown of passivity. The pit becomes the anode whilst the
surface becomes the cathode; this is the effect of differential aeration which
means that oxygen levels become reduced in the pit compared to the
oxygen levels outside of the pit. Pitting corrosion results in holes in the
metal. In stainless steel it occurs most commonly in chloride-containing
environments or oxidising salts. Resistance against this type of corrosion is
improved by increasing Cr and Mo content; N has also a favourable
influence.

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Crevice

Crevice corrosion attack occurs in narrow crevices filled with liquid and
where the oxygen level is very low (differential aeration) eg gasket surfaces
or under bolt/rivet heads, intrusions at weld toes. Under-deposit corrosion is
a form of crevice corrosion and is where corrosion occurs under non-
metallic deposits or coatings on the metal surface. Materials resistant to
pitting corrosion are also resistant to crevice corrosion.

Stress corrosion cracking

Stress corrosion cracking or SCC occurs when metal is subjected to tensile


stress and exposed to a corrosive environment. Material can remain
unattacked generally while fine branched cracks progress through it
(cracking can be either intergranular or transgranular). In austenitic stainless
steels SCC occurs in chloride-containing solutions. The risk of SCC
increases with increasing salt concentration, tensile stress and service
temperature (it is seldom found below about 60°C). In carbon steel SCC
occurs in sour (H2S containing) environments at low temperatures. The
main contributing factors to SCC are illustrated in the following figure.

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10.3.1 Common corrosion protection techniques


There are several ways of protecting a material from corrosion, including:

 Coatings
Paints, plating, weld cladding, anodising and metal spraying.
 Inhibitors
Add suitable chemicals to control the environment.
 Cathodic protection
Impressed current or sacrificial anodes (eg galvanised steel).
 Anodic protection
Passivation of stainless steel.

10.3.2 Pickling and passivation


A very thin layer of chromium oxide naturally grows on the surface of
stainless steels. This is called the passive layer or film or oxide. Pickling
involves applying highly corrosive acids to a metal or alloy to remove areas
of lowered corrosion resistance eg weld oxide. Passivation is subsequently
performed and involves immersion in nitric acid to re-grow the passive layer
by oxidation. The passive state has a higher redox potential than the active
state (active state is when corrosion is occurring).

10.3.3 Corrosion testing


There are two types of corrosion test : ranking tests which determine the
relative corrosion resistance of materials in an environment, eg ASTM G48
etc, or electrochemical tests which measure properties such as the critical
pitting or crevice temperature or pitting potential, eg ASTM G150 etc.

Corrosion tests don’t necessarily represent service conditions and so the


effect of the specimen preparation and the testing environment should be
understood with respect to the actual service environment – there is a
difference between as-received/as-welded metal for example. The
environment and temperature are important factors to note.

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Revision Question

1 A welded process pipe has suffered corrosion. Describe the types of corrosion
that may have occurred in and around the weld.

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Section 11

Welding of Stainless Steels


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11 Welding of Stainless Steels


11.1 What makes stainless steel stainless?
According to the European definition, a steel must contain at least 10.5% of
chromium to be qualified as stainless. Chromium is the essential element in
stainless steels which makes them stainless because it enables the metal to
produce a passive oxide film at the surface of the material. When in contact
with air, the surface of a metal is covered by a very thin layer of metal oxide
(several tens of nanometres). In the case of carbon steel, the oxide is iron
oxide and is porous. On the other hand in the case of stainless steel, the
oxide is chromium oxide, which is not porous and stable. It prevents the
metal from further oxidation (passive). Moreover, the passive oxide reforms
instantaneously after the surface has suffered mechanical damage,
provided that the metal is in an oxygenated environment, eg air. The
thickness of the passive film is affected by the metal temperature and the
chemical environment. No stainless steel can resist all environments.

11.2 Why use stainless steel?


Stainless steels have specific properties that make them an attractive choice
for a wide range of applications:

 Resistance to corrosion and oxidation in a wide range of media and


temperatures. The ferritic and duplex grades are also resistant to
chloride stress corrosion cracking.
 Formability: exceptional stretch forming and deep drawing capability.
 Weldability, especially the austenitic and duplex grades.
 Non-magnetic properties (austenitic grades), or magnetic properties
(ferritic grades).
 High temperature properties: oxidation resistance up to 1150ºC, high
temperature strength.
 Low temperature properties: the austenitic grades have good impact
toughness at temperatures down to -273ºC.
 If work hardened, stainless steels are wear resistant.
 Ease of cleaning, hygienic.
 Wide range of surface finishes.

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11.3 Crystallographic structure


11.3.1 Possible structures
Three different ferrous phases can exist in stainless steels, namely
austenite, ferrite and martensite. Their formation is driven by the chemical
composition of the metal and its thermal history.

Each phase is associated with a specific crystallographic structure


(arrangement of the atoms in the metal). The austenite is face centred cubic
(FCC), the ferrite is body centred cubic (BCC), Figure 11.1 and the
martensite is body centred tetragonal (BCT). As a result, the three phases
have different properties and will give to each stainless steel grade its
specific characteristics.

FCC structure BCC structure

Figure 11.1 BCC and FCC crystallographic structures.

11.4 The elements contained in stainless steel


11.4.1 Ferrite stabilisers
The following elements promote the presence of the ferrite phase (and the
martensite phase). Each alloying element also gives specific properties to
the alloy:

 Iron (Fe) It is always the main constituent of stainless steels.


 Chromium (Cr) For corrosion and oxidation resistance.
 Molybdenum (Mo) For resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion.
 Tungsten (W) For resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion.
 Titanium (Ti) To increase intergranular corrosion resistance
near welds.
 Niobium (Nb) To increase intergranular corrosion resistance
near welds.
 Vanadium (V) To improve creep resistance.
 Silicon (Si) To improve high temperature oxidation resistance.

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11.4.2 Austenite stabilisers


The following elements promote the presence of the austenite phase. Each
alloying element also gives specific properties to the alloy:

 Carbon (C) Promotes strength, but reduces the weldability.


 Nickel (Ni) Improves ductility, toughness and resistance to
stress corrosion cracking.
 Manganese (Mn) For strength.
 Nitrogen (N) For resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion and
strength.

11.4.3 Others
Some elements, like sulphur, do not stabilise any of the iron phases. It is
added to improve machinability.

11.4.4 Phase prediction according to composition


The presence of the different phases (austenite, ferrite and martensite) in a
stainless steel weld can be predicted, if the chemical composition is known.
In order to make this prediction, elements stabilising ferrite or austenite are
used to calculate the chromium equivalent and nickel equivalent (Creq and
Nieq), as below:

Creq= %Cr + %Mo + 1.5%Si + 0.5%Nb

Nieq = %Ni + 30%C + 0.5%Mn

The chromium and nickel equivalent values are plotted on an empirical


diagram (the Schaeffler diagram), which can be used to predict the
proportion of the phases in the weld metal, see Figure 11.2 below.

Figure 11.2 Schaeffler diagram.

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11.5 Five basic types of stainless steels


11.5.1 Austenitic stainless steels
General information
The austenitic stainless steels are the most common. They represent about
70% of the total stainless steel usage.

As indicated by their name, these steels contain principally austenite. The


austenitic structure is obtained thanks to specific chemical compositions.
The main alloying elements are chromium and nickel and austenitic
stainless steels typically contain 18-27% Cr and 8-22% nickel.

A few examples of common austenitic stainless steel grades (AISI) are


presented below:

304
18-20%Cr + 8-10%Ni + 0.08%C
304L
18-20%Cr + 8-12%Ni + 0.03%C (improved corrosion resistance)
304H
18-20%Cr + 8-12%Ni + 0.1%C (improved creep strength)
304N
18-20%Cr + 8-10.5%Ni + 0.08%C + N
316
16-18%Cr + 10-14%Ni + 0.08%C + 2-3%Mo (improved pitting corrosion
resistance)
321
17-19%Cr + 9-12%Ni + 0.08%C + Ti
347
17-19%Cr + 9-13%Ni + 0.08%C + Nb
308
19-21% Cr + 10-12% Ni + 0.08% C (used to weld 304 parent metal)
309L
22-24% Cr + 12-15% Ni + 0.02% C (used for dissimilar welds, buttering
carbon steels)

Attributes of austenitic stainless steels grades:

 Formable, stretch forming due to their high ductility.


 Weldable, even thick sections.
 They show good fracture toughness, even at low temperatures.
 Non-magnetic.
 Can be strengthened by cold work.
 Can be surface hardened.
 Corrosion resistance which may be enhanced by additional alloying.

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Disadvantages of austenitic grades:

 Rich in nickel, therefore subject to big price variations.


 Very expensive, due to the high alloying level.
 They have low thermal conductivity and high thermal expansion.
 Difficult to machine, due to their tendency to harden when cold worked.

Welding austenitic stainless steels


Although austenitic grades are not subject to cold (hydrogen) cracking, they
can be susceptible to hot (solidification) cracking. This phenomenon is
sensitive to the presence of impurities, such as sulphur and phosphorous.

The weld metal can often contain, in addition to the austenite phase, some
delta ferrite, depending on the compositional balance. This can be
beneficial, because it helps reduce the risk of hot cracking (sulphur being
more soluble in the ferrite phase than in the austenite), however it can
promote the formation of a detrimental chromium-rich phase called sigma
phase. Corrosion performance can also be affected by welding: for example,
a phenomenon called ‘weld decay’ can occur in some circumstances (see
paragraph 11.7.2).

Conventional welding processes can be used on austenitic stainless steels,


such as MMA, TIG, MAG, FCAW and SAW. Since there is no risk of cold
cracking, rutile electrodes can often be employed. Welding is usually done
with low heat inputs because of concerns about cracking and corrosion
resistance. When using backing strips, it is advisable to increase the root
gap for proper fusion and decrease the included angle, in order to minimise
the weld volume and reduce distortion.

11.5.2 Ferritic stainless steels


General information
Ferritic stainless steels represent about 20% of the total production of
stainless steel. The ferritic structure is obtained by appropriate alloying. The
main alloying element is chromium and ferritic stainless steels typically
contain 13-30% Cr.

Attributes of ferritic stainless steels:

 Formable.
 Cheaper than the austenitic stainless steels and their price is more
stable (lower nickel content).
 They have similar thermal properties to carbon steels.

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Disadvantages of ferritic grades:

 Not weldable in thick sections.


 Not as stretch formable as the austenitic stainless steels.
 Not heat treatable.
 They have poor toughness at low temperatures.

Ferritic stainless steels are used in price-sensitive applications that require


adequate corrosion resistance at ambient temperature, for example vehicle
exhausts or cutlery.

Welding ferritic stainless steels


The main problem with welding ferritic steels is grain growth at high
temperature, which results in a loss of fracture toughness and crack
sensitivity during welding. They generally have poor weldability and only 3-
5mm thick sections are usually welded. Low heat inputs and austenitic fillers
(to obtain tough weld metal) are used.

11.5.3 Duplex stainless steels


General information
Duplex stainless steels are designed to have approximately 50% ferrite and
50% austenite. They typically contain 20-25% chromium, 3-8% nickel, 0.1-
4% molybdenum and 0.05-0.4% nitrogen.

Attributes of duplex stainless steels:

 They have a higher strength than austenitic stainless steels.


 They have moderate toughness at low temperatures (service
temperature should be limited to the range from -40-260 ºC).
 Weldable in thick sections.
 High alloy grades have exceptional resistance to stress corrosion
cracking and pitting.
 Less susceptible to price variations than the austenitic stainless steels.
 They can be cold worked.

Disadvantages of duplex stainless steels:

 Not as easily weldable as the austenitic stainless steels.


 Not easily formed.
 More difficult to machine than austenitic stainless steels.
 They become brittle when exposed to temperatures higher than 475 ºC.
 They can suffer from sigma phase precipitation if exposed to
temperatures above 540 ºC.

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Welding duplex stainless steels


To weld duplex grades, a filler metal containing a higher level of nickel than
the parent material is generally used for improved mechanical and corrosion
properties. This ensures that an adequate level of austenite is formed in the
weld during cooling (to preserve the ferrite/austenite phase balance).

11.5.4 Martensitic stainless steels


General information
Martensitic stainless steels contain 11.5-18% chromium and 0.03-0.30%
carbon. The martensite is obtained by quenching (very rapid cooling) from
austenite phase field so that martensitic transformation is induced.

Attributes of martensitic stainless steels:

 Heat treatable to a wide range of properties.


 High strength steels with moderate toughness at room temperature.
 They have good high temperature strength (up to 500ºC).
 Suitable for the manufacture of cutting blades.
 Relatively insensitive to price variation due to their low nickel content.

Disadvantages of martensitic stainless steels:

 Not readily weldable, except for the low carbon grades.


 They have poor low temperature toughness.
 Their process route is more complex than austenitic stainless steels.
 They have limited corrosion resistance.

Welding martensitic stainless steels


Martensitic stainless steels are very susceptible to cold cracking (due to
their martensitic structure), which limits their weldability. Preheat of 200-
300ºC is required and the interpass temperature should be maintained. Post
weld heat treatment (PWHT) at 650-750ºC, immediately after welding, may
be necessary.

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11.5.5 Precipitation Hardened stainless steels


General information
There are three main types of precipitation hardened (PH) stainless steels,
martensitic, semi-austenitic and austenitic. Martensitic steels have high
strength obtained by quenching (to form martensite) and then ageing
(precipitation hardening). Some specifications for semi-austenitic grades
require sub-zero cooling before ageing which is typically carried out in the
range 480-620°C. Austenitic types obtain their strength only by ageing.

Attributes of precipitation hardened stainless steels:

 Very high strength.


 Better toughness than martensitic stainless steels.
 Better corrosion resistance than martensitic stainless steels.

Disadvantages of precipitation hardened stainless steels:

 Relatively expensive.
 The manufacturing route is quite complex.
 Not easily weldable.
 Not formable.
 Their service is limited to below 310ºC.

11.6 Mechanical properties


11.6.1 Typical values given in a certificate
All steel products are tested to ensure that they comply with recognised
standards and specifications.

In addition to the grade, chemical composition and product description, the


certificates typically contain the following mechanical properties:

 Room temperature tensile properties:


0.2% proof stress (the threshold stress value at which the material
deforms permanently), Rp0.2 or σ0.2, in MPa.
Ultimate tensile strength (the stress at which the material fails), σUTS or
RM, in MPa.
Elongation (relative elongation of tensile specimens after failure), El, %
 Hardness, Vickers HV, Brinell HB or Rockwell HRC.
 Impact toughness, J.

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11.6.2 Stress-strain curves of stainless steels


The results of a tensile test are usually presented as a stress (σ)-strain (ε)
curve. The stress is the ratio of the load applied on the specimen to the
square section of the specimen. The strain is the ratio of the elongation of
the specimen to the initial length of the specimen, multiplied by 100 (to give
% values).

The typical relative strengths and ductilities of the five types of stainless
steels are presented in Figure 11.3 below.

Figure 11.3 Typical stress-strain curves of the different stainless steels.

11.6.3 Maximum strengths of the different types of stainless steels


The strength of austenitic stainless steels can be maximised using work
hardening, up to 1800MPa (fine sheet or fine wire).

The strength of duplex stainless steels can be maximised using work


hardening, up to 3000MPa (fine wire).

The strength of martensitic stainless steels can be maximised by quench


and tempering, up to 1800MPa.

The strength of precipitation hardening stainless steels can be maximised


by aging, up to 2400MPa.

Finally, all the stainless steels can be strengthened using surface hardening.

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11.6.4 Impact toughness

The impact toughness of austenitic stainless steels decreases steadily as


the temperature decreases. The impact toughness of ferritic stainless steels
varies slightly differently. The toughness decreases steadily with the
temperature until the temperature reaches a threshold value, called the
ductile to brittle transition temperature (DBTT), when it suddenly drops to
very low values. The impact toughnesses of martensitic, duplex and
precipitation hardened stainless steels behave the same way as the ferritic
stainless steels. Figure 11.4 below illustrates the variation of toughness with
temperature.

Figure 11.4 Impact toughness vs temperature for the different types of stainless
steels.

11.7 Potential problems with welding stainless steels


11.7.1 Background information
The main weldability problems for stainless steels are:

 High temperature grain coarsening, resulting in embrittlement which


affects ferritic and duplex stainless steels.
 Low temperature hydrogen cracking which affects martensitic and some
precipitation hardened stainless steels.
 Hot (solidification) cracking, which is mainly a problem for austenitic
stainless steel.

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 Sigma () phase embrittlement, which can be a problem in elevated


temperature service for ferritic and duplex stainless steels and in the
weld metal of austenitic stainless steels where there is some ferrite.
 Weld decay (sensitisation). Problem for austenitic stainless steels.
 Heat tint resulting in lowered corrosion resistance. Reduce by backing
and shielding gas. Can pickle and passivate.

11.7.2 Weld decay (sensitisation)


Weld decay, also called sensitisation or intercrystalline corrosion, can occur
when susceptible alloys are heated within the susceptible temperature
range of approx. 500-850°C, ie in a heat affected zone (HAZ) or during high
temperature service. At these temperatures, carbon diffuses to the grain
boundaries and combines with chromium to form carbides. This leaves a Cr-
depleted layer along the grain boundaries which is susceptible to corrosion.
Therefore corrosion cracking occurs along grain boundaries in the HAZ.
This is illustrated in Figure 11.5. Weld decay can be avoided by keeping the
carbon low, eg by using low carbon grades like 304L and the heat input low
and by avoiding preheat or postweld heat treatment. It is also possible to
use grades with added elements which combine with the carbon eg 321
(which contains Ti), or 347 (which contains Nb).

Figure 11.5 Schematic explaining the sensitisation phenomenon.

11.7.3 Sigma () phase formation


Sigma () phase is a high chromium, brittle, intermetallic phase which
precipitates between 500-1000ºC (depending on steel composition) over
time in service or during welding, Figure 11.6. This phase has a detrimental
effect on the properties of the material, particularly the toughness and the
corrosion resistance. Consequently, its formation is undesirable and should
be avoided.

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Figure 11.6 Fe-Cr phase diagram.

Sigma phase forms more readily in ferrite than in austenite, therefore in


austenitic stainless steels, the amount of ferrite has to be controlled in
order to limit sigma phase precipitation. Grades containing molybdenum
require less time for  phase precipitation.

Sigma phase precipitates at temperatures between 500-1000 ºC, therefore


care must be taken to avoid or minimise times at these temperatures during
heat treatments.

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Revision Questions

1 Name three different types of stainless steel.

2 Explain the causes and avoidance of weld decay.

3 Why are austenitic stainless steels susceptible to solidification cracking?

4 How can solidification cracking in austenitic stainless steels be avoided?

5 What problems may stainless steel welds suffer in service?

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Surfacing
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12 Surfacing
12.1 Reasons for using overlays and coatings
It is often desirable to change the surface properties of a component,
because the properties required at the surface may be different to those
required of the base material. Some examples are described below.

12.1.1 Wear
There are several types of wear, for example solid particle erosion, liquid
droplet erosion, abrasion, metal-to-metal wear and cavitation.

Wear resistant materials are often quite hard and brittle. If the surface of a
component must be wear resistant, but the component must have high
toughness and bulk strength to do its job, then it may not be possible to find
a single material that will do both.

An example might be a pump that is handling an abrasive sand/water slurry.

Another reason why wear resistant alloys are not generally used for bulk
parts is that they are harder to manufacture. Usually, they are not easily
forged, extruded or drawn. Although they can often be cast, cracking during
cooling can be a problem in larger parts. This is another reason why a wear
resistant cladding or coating is often more cost effective.

12.1.2 Corrosion
There are several types of corrosion, for example:

 Atmospheric corrosion
Varies depending on temperature and moisture/salt content. Industrial
and coastal air is more corrosive than rural mountain air.
 Aqueous corrosion (moisture)
For example sea water, fresh water, acids (including sour environments
in the Oil & Gas industry), or alkalis.
 High temperature oxidation
For example the scaling up of furnace parts.
 Hot gas corrosion
Chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, etc.

Although many materials that resist corrosion also have good strength and
toughness, they tend to be expensive (eg nickel alloys, titanium alloys, or
stainless steels).

Other corrosion resistant materials, such as gold, platinum, glass, paints,


polymers and CoCr alloys are either extremely costly and/or do not have the
required strength. Applying corrosion resistant materials as coatings onto
cheaper base materials is therefore often more cost-effective.

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12.1.3 Heat degradation


In addition to surface oxidation, components operating at high temperatures
can also mechanically degrade. The microstructure can change and/or the
part can deform slowly at high temperatures (this is known as creep). For
this reason aero-engine parts such as combustion chambers or turbine
blades are often protected by ceramic oxide based thermal barrier coatings.

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12.2 Types of protective layers


Protective layers can be classified according to typical layer thickness, as indicated in Table 12.1 below.

Table 12.1 Some common surfacing processes and welding related challenges associated with them.
Typical thickness Coating technique Examples Typical welding-related issues to be aware
range of
5-25μm Thin film techniques, eg: Gold-coloured PVD titanium nitride (TiN) These coatings should preferably be applied
(0.005-0.025 mm) Physical Vapour coatings are used on cutting tools and after welding.
Deposition (PVD) dies/punches.
Chemical Vapour CVD coatings are used on metal forming tool
Deposition (CVD) and dies. The diamond coatings on high
performance tool bits are CVD diamond.
Up to 1mm Paints, waxes, polymers Used for decorative and corrosion protection When applying paint systems to welded
purposes. Suitable for low temperature, low fabrications to mitigate corrosion, consider the
cost applications where wear is not an issue. potential for localised corrosion and stress
corrosion cracking of the weld, especially if
being used at high temperatures where
coating protection may fail.
If welding a coated structure, remove all
residual paint/coating before welding and
reapply (if applicable) after welding.
10-500μm Electroplating techniques Being phased out for environmental and health The plating process can induce hydrogen
(0.01-0.5mm) such as chrome or reasons. embrittlement in high strength alloy welds and
cadmium plating. consideration should be given to post-
deposition heat treatment.
50-500μm Thermal spray coatings WC-Co wear resistant coatings Thermal sprayed coatings should be applied
(0.05-0.5mm) using powder as a feed Thermal barrier coatings (typically based on after welding.
stock stabilised zirconium oxide)
See following Sections.
0.1-3mm Thermal spray coatings Thermally sprayed aluminium (TSA) coatings Thermal sprayed coatings should be applied
using wire as a feed stock are widely used for corrosion protection of after welding if at all possible.
offshore oil rigs.
See following Sections.
1.6mm and above Weld surfacing See Section 12.3 onwards See Section 12.3 onwards

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50-200μm Hot dip galvanising The most common hot dipping process for When welding parts that are going to be
(0.05-0.2mm) industrial applications is galvanising, which is galvanised, it is important to use a filler metal
the coating of iron or steels with zinc for rust that matches the silicon content of the base
proofing. steel. The Si content of a steel has a dramatic
It is an extremely versatile and easy means of effect on the thickness of the galvanised zinc
providing corrosion protection for construction layer. If, for example, the weld filler metal has a
materials exposed to atmospheric conditions. higher Si content than the steel, the galvanised
Protection is imparted in two ways: assembly will have a visibly thicker zinc
 Zinc acts as a galvanic protector of the steel coating on the weld area.
by slowly sacrificially corroding in a corrosive Hot dip galvanising of welded structures can
aqueous environment. cause Liquid Metal Embrittlement of the
structure at areas of stress concentration, such
 Continuous barrier of zinc protects the
as dramatic section changes or badly prepared
underlying substrate from contact with the
weld finishes. Zinc has a low melting point and
corrosive electrolyte.
if melting occurs due to welding being done
Hot dip galvanising is essentially a two-step nearby, liquid Zn can cause Liquid Metal
process. First, the steel must be properly Embrittlement.
prepared to accept the zinc coating. A clean Care is required when welding galvanised
base metal is essential to achieve a good steels. Zn vapour may cause porosity in the
galvanised coating, normally accomplished by welds with high speed welding processes such
pickling the component in an alkaline solution to as GMAW or laser.
remove any rust or grease. Breathing in of metal oxides such as zinc and
The second step involves immersing the copper can lead to an acute flu-like illness
component in a bath of molten zinc, long enough called metal fume fever. It occurs most
for the zinc to form a series of alloy layers with commonly when welding galvanised steel;
the base steel of sufficient thickness to meet symptoms usually begin several hours after
certain required weight specifications. exposure with thirst, coughing, headache,
sweating, pain in the limbs and fever.

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12.3 Weld surfacing


Weld surfacing may be one of three variants:

12.3.1 Weld build-up/repair


Worn or damaged surfaces can be replaced by building up the surface with
a weld metal which approximates the composition and/or mechanical
properties of the parent metal, in order to restore the original component
dimensions.

12.3.2 Hardfacing
A softer material is given a wear, abrasion or erosion resistant surface by
cladding using a hardfacing alloy with high hardness, such as cobalt alloys
(eg Stellite®), tungsten carbide, Cr-Mo steels, or martensitic steels.

12.3.3 Cladding
Cladding provides a corrosion or oxidation resistant surface on a less
corrosion resistant material. An example is the deposition of a stainless
steel (309, 316) or nickel-based layer (625, 825) on a carbon steel base.
The clad materials will depend on the application, eg austenitic stainless
steels for corrosion resistance, nickel alloys for oxidation resistance, copper-
nickel alloys for saltwater service. One advantage is the cost saving arising
when surfacing a relatively inexpensive metal, such as a carbon steel, with a
more expensive but corrosion resistant layer of stainless steel rather than
using solid stainless steel.

Figure 12.1 Examples of cladding.

Material and weight savings may be made by cladding high strength QT


steel. If the required material thickness is less than 10mm the economics
tend to favour using full thickness alloy plate, but for thickness above 10mm
using corrosion resistant cladding on QT steel can be more economical.

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Figure 12.2 Weld overlay being applied to a large industrial process vessel.

The diagram on the following page gives an overview of Surfacing


Techniques and these are described in more detail on the following pages

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Surfacing methods

Fusion welding Laser welding Solid state welding

Arc welding ESW Explosive Roll Bonding Mechanical


cladding (metallurgical cladding
cladding)

MMA GTAW GMAW SAW FCAW PTAW

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12.4 Arc welding surfacing techniques


Surfacing techniques have been used in a variety of applications for
thousands of years but it is only since the 1940s that arc welding has been
used.

12.4.1 Manual metal arc (MMA)


Manual Metal Arc welding is a widely used hardfacing process. It uses
coated electrodes.
Due to the low cost of the equipment, the low operating costs of the process
and the ease of transporting the equipment, this flexible process is ideally
suited to repair work.

Figure 12.3 The MMA hardfacing process (Image © Deloro Stellite Inc., used with
permission).

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12.4.2 Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)


In GTAW welding (commonly known as Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding)
the hardfacing material is fed in (usually by hand) in the form of a rod.

Cold wire GTAW is used infrequently because of its low deposition rate, but
the addition of a hot wire facility can increase deposition rates to match
those of the GMAW/MAG process but with a GTAW quality deposit.

Advantages of the GTAW process include simple manual operation and


good control of the welding arc. The process can also be mechanised, in
which case a manipulator is used to move the workpiece in relation to the
welding torch and the hardfacing rod or wire.

Welding rods used for GTAW Welding can also be used for hardfacing with
the oxy-acetylene welding process.

12.4.3 Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and submerged arc welding (SAW)

Figure 12.4 The GMAW hardfacing process (Image © Deloro Stellite Inc., used
with permission).

In these processes, consumable hardfacing wire (which can be a cored


wire) is fed continuously from a spool through the welding torch into the arc,
where it is melted and transferred to the workpiece.

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In GMAW welding, the weld pool is protected from the atmosphere by a


stream of shielding gas. The process is very flexible: it can be partially or
fully mechanised and is suitable for a wide range of applications.

Wire (which can be a cored wire) or a flat strip consumable is used as the
hardfacing consumable in the SAW process. In this process, a mineral-
based fluxing powder flows around the consumable wire and is melted by
the arc. It forms a gaseous shield around the arc and also forms a slag on
top of the weld pool, shielding the cooling weld pool from the atmosphere.

Figure 12.5 The SAW Process (Images courtesy of ESAB AB).

12.4.4 Flux cored arc welding (FCAW)


FCAW uses a cored wire. Drawing a hardfacing wire down to a small
diameter for GMAW/MAG or SAW is, in many instances, impossible and
cored wires are commonly used for this application.

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12.4.5 Plasma transferred arc welding (PTAW)


The PTAW process is easily automated, providing a high degree of
reproducibility of the weld overlays. In addition, because of the highly
concentrated heat source, this has high deposit rates and can achieve a
very low level of iron dilution in the overlay.

Because the hardfacing materials are in powder form, it is possible to


produce overlays from many different materials (and combinations of
materials) with a wide range of hardness and other properties.

Figure 17.6 The PTAW Process (Image © Deloro Stellite Inc., used with
permission)

12.4.6 Electroslag welding (ESW) and strip cladding


Strip cladding (which can be either SAW or ESW) is similar to conventional
welding, but with the wire filler metal being replaced by a flat strip of the
surfacing material. The strip widths commonly used vary from 15-240mm,
with a thickness of 0.5mm.

Electroslag welding (ESW) is a good alternative to SAW for strip cladding.


The difference between them is that in SAW an arc is maintained between
the strip and the base material. In ESW, the strip enters a molten flux bath
and melts due to resistive heating alone.

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The deposition rate from a 60mm wide strip can be as high as 36kg/hr for
ESW and 20kg/hr for SAW. ESW cladding provides lower levels of substrate
dilution into the surfacing material than SAW (10% compared with 20%),
meaning that the required chemical analysis can often be achieved in a
single layer deposit where SAW cladding may need two. The strip cladding
process is usually confined to relatively large and thick components which
need to be manipulated to enable welding to be carried out in the flat
position. It is used for surfacing the internal surfaces of pressure vessels
and large diameter pipe and in the reclamation of steel mill rolls.

Figure 12.6 Strip cladding.

Figure 12.7 Strip cladding weld beads.

The overlap between adjacent beads must be controlled to avoid lack of


fusion defects (Figure 12.7).

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12.5 Laser weld deposition


When overlaying with a laser an optical arrangement is used to focus the
laser beam on the workpiece and heat it. Simultaneously, hardfacing
material in the form of powder or wire is introduced into the laser beam and
melted.

Due to the narrow heat-affected zone and the fast cooling rate, the heat
input is low, thereby producing an almost stress free overlay. Compared
with other welding processes, for a given hardfacing alloy, the fast cooling
rate of the laser process produces an overlay with a significantly finer
microstructure.

Usually, this fast cooling leads to a higher hardness; but in some hardfacing
alloys that rely on time-dependent carbide growth for their wear properties it
can lead to unexpectedly poor wear resistance.

12.6 Explosive cladding


In explosive cladding (Figure 12.8), a plate of cladding material is
accelerated under the influence of detonation to impinge obliquely on to a
base plate. A jet of metal (from both plates) in the form of a spray is ejected
ahead of the collision point, cleaning the weld surfaces of any oxide films or
surface impurities. Pressure at the collision point is well in excess of the
yield strength of any metal, resulting in inter-atomic bonding between the
contacting surfaces.

This is a solid state process so can clad a wide range of metals to almost
any base material (dissimilar materials). The parent plate is stationary which
means that components of a wide range of sizes can be joined. However,
geometric configuration must allow a uniform progression of the detonation
front, which limits the application to flat plate and cylindrical and conical
structures. There are also safety issues with the use of explosives. The
main industrial sectors using explosively clad materials include the food and
chemical process industries.

Figure 12.8 Explosive cladding process.

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12.7 Clad pipes


Pipelines carrying crude oil and gas are exposed to very corrosive
conditions, due to hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, chlorides and water in
the oil/gas. This requires the use of stainless steels and nickel alloys; which
are not only expensive materials but also have lower strength than low-alloy
steels. As a result, high pressures can only be handled with these materials
if very thick-walled pipe is used. Hence, the use of clad pipe is
recommended, where a normal high tensile ferritic steel pipe is lined with a
ca. 3mm thick corrosion-resistant material.

Special welding procedures have to be considered to guarantee the


corrosion resistance of the inner clad layer.

There are two categories of clad pipes.

12.7.1 Metallurgically clad pipes


The internal cladding and the steel pipe are bonded together metallurgically
as one mass with no separation. Various processes are utilized to produce
such pipe:

Seamless pipes can be produced by:


 Weld cladding.
 Centrifugal casting.
 Extrusion.

Seamless clad pipes are seldom used for pipelines in the common range of
between 8-24”.

Metallurgically clad (roll bonded) pipes are manufactured by hot rolling the
plates of the different materials together to produce a metallurgical bond
between them. This process is widely used. An advantage compared with
overlay welding is that there is no dilution from the base material see section
12.8.

The advantages compared with explosive cladding are:


 Higher bonding quality.
 Reduction of weld length due to larger dimensions.
 Use of thinner clad material is possible.

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12.7.2 Mechanically clad pipes


A prepared pipe package (with the corrosion-resistant liner inside the low-
alloy steel pipe), is expanded by high internal pressure inside a tool. The
inner contour of the tool is manufactured in accordance with the required
outer contour of the final product.

Contact between the two layers is achieved by the different elastic and
plastic behaviours of the ferritic steel outer pipe and the austenitic material
of the inner pipe, whereby the spring-back effect of the ferritic outer pipe is
greater than that of the inner pipe when the pressure is released.

This results in residual compressive stress on the inner pipe of ca. 50-100
MPa, which provides a homogenous contact.

12.8 Dilution in weld overlays


When a surface layer is applied by a weld deposition process, it is
metallurgically bonded to the substrate and there is some mixing of the base
material and the overlay especially in the first few weld passes.

When applying overlays onto steels, there will be some iron from the steel in
the overlay. This decreases the corrosion resistance of overlays such as
Alloy 625 and affects both the corrosion and the wear resistance of
hardfacing alloys.

What constitutes an acceptable level of dilution will depend on the service


requirements. Dilution is usually specified in customer specifications and in
international standards for specific applications. It is generally expressed as
a percentage dilution of parent metal in the surfacing layer.

The required composition at the outer surface is achieved by selecting the


most appropriate surfacing alloy, but in addition, the amount of parent metal
melted and mixed in with the filler metal varies from process to process and
is influenced by welding parameters, in particular electrode polarity, welding
current and travel speed.

The effect of welding process can be seen in Figure 12.9, which shows how
the dilution levels in Stellite® 12 welds drop off rapidly from about 50%Fe at
the weld fusion line, to about 5%Fe at a distance of 4mm from the fusion
line.

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The dilution for PTAW deposits is lower than for GTAW deposits, reaching
10%Fe at less than 1mm deposit thickness. For GTAW deposits however,
dilution levels below 10%Fe are typically only reached at deposit
thicknesses of over 2mm.

60
50
% Fe Content

40 PTA Weld
GTA weld
30

20
10

0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Distance from fusion line, CM

Figure 12.9 Typical dilution levels in stellite 12 GTAW and PTA overlays.

Figure 12.10 shows how the hardness of the overlay drops more or less
linearly with dilution up to levels of about 15%Fe, although the curve seems
to start flattening out at the highest iron percentages.

540
530
520
Hardness VHN

510
500
GTA weld
490
480 PTA weld
470
460
450
440
0 5 10 15 20
% Fe Dilution

Figure 12.10 Effect of dilution on the hardness of CoCrW weld hardfacings.

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12.9 Sensitization of the substrate


When applying high-carbon hardfacing alloys onto austenitic stainless steel,
carbon can diffuse from the hardfacing into the heat affected zone (HAZ).
This carbon can form carbides on the steel grain boundaries and in the
process it depletes the Cr near the grain boundaries. The result is that the
grain boundaries in the HAZ are less corrosion resistant than the steel
overall, which can be a problem if the component is to be used in a
corrosive environment (eg sea water).

This process is known as weld decay or sensitization (see Figure 12.11).

It is necessary to be aware of this and to evaluate each individual


application as to the risks involved. Usually additions of strong carbide-
forming elements such as Nb or Ti to the base material help limit
sensitization, because the carbon bonds preferentially with these elements
rather than with the Cr. Such steels are called stabilized and the most
common examples are AISI 321 and AISI 347 stainless steels.

Figure 12.11 Schematic of sensitization, which can occur as a result of carbon


diffusing from the hardfacing into the base steel and forming carbides on the grain
boundaries. The resultant Cr-depleted zones have poor corrosion resistance.

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12.10 Welding and NDT of clad steels


The weldability issues for welding clad steel plates are mainly:

 Maintaining the continuity (ie corrosion resistance) of the cladding.


 Difficulties with dissimilar metal welding.
 Mismatch of the bore diameters.
 NDT and access restrictions.

In addition to these, the different coefficients of thermal expansion of the


carbon steel and corrosion resistant alloy in the weld can result in thermal
fatigue. Martensite formation at the carbon steel fusion line may occur if
there is excessive dilution with the parent plate.

These metallurgical issues mean that often nickel base fillers (eg alloy 625)
are preferred as they have less thermal expansion coefficient mismatch
from carbon steels than stainless and are also less likely to form martensitic
HAZs. However, they are more expensive than carbon steel and stainless
steel wires.

The combination of ferritic and austenitic materials in one joint gives rise to
restrictions on the NDT methods that can be used (eg ultrasonics may
bounce from the interface whether defective or not). It is common to have
some misalignment in the bore (ie at the clad layer) of abutting tubes or
pipes. However, the clad layer cannot be machined to fit or else the
corrosion resistance will be lost. This misalignment issue therefore imposes
tight tolerances of the ends of clad pipes in order to weld them.

The access for welding is important when assessing how the joint is to be
welded.

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Butt welding clad plate if both sides accessible:

Step 1
Faces bevelled from
carbon steel side.

Step 2
Fit-up.

Step 3
Weld from carbon steel side.

Step 4
Root gouge.

Step 5
Weld from stainless steel side.

Step 6
Protective plate welded on
(optional).

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Butt welding clad plate if both sides accessible – alternative method:

Step 1
Faces bevelled.

Step 2
Fit-up.

Step 3
Weld from carbon steel side.

Step 4
Clean the root and weld from the
stainless steel side.

Welding clad steel plates from only one side:

Step 1
Faces bevelled.

Step 2
Fit-up.

Step 3
Welded from C steel side only.

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Welding clad steel pipe from only one side:

Step 1
Faces bevelled and carbon plate cut
back to expose cladding.

Step 2
Fit-up.

Step 3a
Welded with stainless steel/Ni base
filler only.

Step 3b
Welded with stainless and carbon
steel filler.

12.11 Standards
Weld overlay processes, consumables and the properties of the weld
overlays themselves are covered by several internationally recognised
standards.

These will be covered in the Level 2 and Level 3 courses.

12.12 Quality control of weld overlays


The quality control techniques for weld overlays will be covered in the Level
2 and Level 3 courses.

12.13 Thermal spray coatings


Thermal spray coatings will be briefly covered in the Level 2 and Level 3
courses.

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Revision Questions

1 Name two possible technical reasons for applying an overlay to a component.

2 Explain why it is usually more cost-effective to apply an overlay to a component


than to make the whole part from the same material.

3 What causes weld dilution in overlays and why is it significant?

4 Name two advantages of the PTA weld overlay process.

5 Name 3 typical challenges that might be faced when welding clad pipes or plates.

6 Consider what methods of surface protection you might choose for the following:

a Protection of a steel bridge structure from the weather. Would you choose a
different method for a small footbridge compared with a large rail bridge?

b Bucket of a JCB used for earth moving.

c Valve seat and plug made of carbon steel and exposed to sour (acidic) gas.

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Section 13

Creep Resistant Steels


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13 Creep Resistant Steels


Creep is the slow, time dependent deformation of a material under a
constant load. The extent of the deformation is a function of temperature as
well as time and stress, although there is a threshold temperature, for a
given material, below which creep is not of concern. For most metals, creep
is considered to be an elevated temperature phenomenon, occurring
typically at temperatures of around 0.3-0.4Tm, where Tm is the melting
temperature. Creep cracking and ultimately creep failure occur by an
intergranular mechanism.

The high service temperature, service loads and time impose special
considerations in material selection. As well as creep resistance, it is
necessary to consider oxidation and corrosion resistance, microstructural
stability, ie carbide precipitation, sigma phase formation (in stainless steels)
and temper embrittlement.

Creep occurs in three distinct phases:

Primary creep
Is associated with a rapid increase in strain and decrease in the strain rate
with time. The latter is due to work hardening.

Secondary creep
Also known as steady state creep. In this regime, which forms the bulk of
the creep life of a component, a balance is achieved between the creep rate
and the work hardening rate.

Tertiary creep
Is the final stage, in which the creep strain rate increases in an unstable
manner until the material finally fails. This is the result of structural changes
within the material, such as cavity / void formation and localised necking,
leading to a reduction in cross-sectional area and hence an increase in the
effective stress. Linkage of the cavities / voids leads to the formation of
cracks and ultimately failure.

Typical creep curve of creep strain versus time.

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13.1 Creep resistance


When choosing materials for high temperature applications, special care
must be taken to avoid the risk of creep fracture in structures operated for
extensive periods at high temperatures. The creep resistance of steel is
improved by solid solution strengthening from additions of carbon, chromium
and molybdenum. Chromium gives oxidation resistance and forms carbides
which increase strength at elevated temperatures. Molybdenum stabilises
the microstructure and impedes carbide coalescence at elevated
temperatures. Small quantities of other carbide formers such as vanadium,
niobium, tungsten and titanium may be added for precipitation strengthening
or grain refinement but these may also affect transformation hardening and
weldability.

These effects mean that some Cr-Mo steels can be used up to ~550°C
without risk of creep failure, compared with C-Mn steels which are only used
up to ~425°C. With the addition of Co, V, W and Nb and with appropriate
balancing of the levels of C, N and B, service temperatures for 9%Cr steels
of 625°C are currently possible, with a target temperature of 650°C.

Creep resistance and strength of a material decrease as the temperature


increases and so creep failure of a component is evaluated on the basis of
service load and temperature and tensile properties at the service
temperature. As well as retention of strength at the working temperature, it
is important to consider a material’s resistance to other high temperature
degradation mechanisms such as oxidation, graphitisation, erosion /
corrosion, fatigue (creep fatigue and thermal / thermomechanical fatigue),
reheat cracking and microstructural degradation and embrittlement. Since
the installation of many components will require welding, the reduction in
creep strength introduced by welding must always be considered. This
shows itself by the shorter creep lives of welded fabrications where welds
are exposed to appreciable cross-weld and system stresses. The creep
failure of weldments is generally classified by the failure location. The failure
mechanism that has given rise to the greatest concern is cracking that
usually occurs at the outer edge of the visible heat-affected zone and is
generally referred to as type IV cracking, which is discussed below.

The types of creep-resistant steel and their maximum service temperatures


for oxidation and creep resistance are given below.

Steel type Oxidation resistance Creep limit


°C °C
C-Mn steel 500 425
1
/2Cr 1/2 Mo 550 510
1Cr 1/2Mo 565 560
21/4 Cr 1Mo 580 595
9Cr 1Mo 600 600
9Cr1Mo mod 625 625

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13.2 Weldability of creep-resistant steels


The addition of alloying elements such as Cr, Mo and V increases the
hardenability of steel and reduces weldability. The latter is severely affected
if the steel hardens during rapid cooling after welding. As the Cr content
increases, the temperature at which transformation to martensite starts (Ms)
and finishes (Mf) decrease. Therefore it may be necessary to restrict the
maximum interpass temperature adopted during welding to ensure that
microstructural transformation is complete between passes. This will then
allow some tempering by subsequent weld passes and promote hydrogen
escape during the welding operation. As the Cr content increases, the AC1
temperature also increases. Advantage is taken of this and the PWHT
soaking temperature is generally increased since, in view of the higher
creep resistance, higher temperatures are necessary for stress relief.

Creep-resistant steels find widespread application in power plant and


petrochemical applications and can be welded using conventional arc
welding processes (MMA, TIG, MAG, FCAW or SAW). Matching filler
materials are readily available from many suppliers (although, for
information, 1/2Cr1/2Mo1/4V is generally welded using 21/4Cr1Mo filler).
Generally, the consumables have a lower carbon content than the parent
metals.

In general, few fabrication cracking problems have been encountered with


these steels, although precautions should be taken to avoid fabrication
hydrogen cracking. Low hydrogen processes are required and for MMA
welding usually only basic consumables are used. Back purging should be
used when welding pipes with >2%Cr, to prevent loss of corrosion
resistance or coking.

Other problems that can be encountered during welding and any


subsequent post-weld heat treatment of the creep resisting steels are loss of
toughness in the CGHAZ, reheat cracking, temper embrittlement and hot
cracking.

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13.3 Creep testing


Creep testing, in general, involves the application of a constant axial load to
a test specimen in a similar manner to a tensile test. Testing usually
involves tensile loading, although a compressive load could be adopted.

The typical set-up involves a vertically mounted cylindrical or rectangular


cross-section specimen with a constant load applied via means of a dead
weight and lever system. A typical creep test set-up is shown schematically
below.

The creep test set-up.

Tight control of temperature is required during the test and this is usually
achieved with the use of a tubular furnace mounted onto the frame of the
test rig. The temperature is typically controlled to within  2-3C.

In some instances detailed measurement of creep strain is required. This is


achieved through the use of sensitive extensometers which are able to
measure extensions of 10-3 or 10-4 mm.

A more simplified test is the stress rupture test in which the time to rupture
at a specific temperature and stress is determined. In this case no
measurement of strain is required, negating the need for expensive
extensometry. Further cost savings can be achieved through the use of
multi-specimen strings within a single furnace, with the temperature of each
sample generally recorded separately via thermocouples. When a single
specimen breaks, the load on all samples is removed and in most cases the
equipment is designed such that failure of a specimen stops the clock and
switches off the furnace. The broken specimen would then be removed from
the string and the test re-started.

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Creep testing standards include:

BS EN ISO 204: 2009 Metallic Materials. Uniaxial Creep Tests in Tension.


Method of Test.

ASTM E139-11 Standard Test Methods for Conducting Creep. Creep-


Rupture and Stress-Rupture Tests of Metallic Materials.

13.4 The use of creep data


The design life of many components can be significantly in excess of 20
years, during which time, rupture or significant deformation must be
avoided. However, due to limitations of testing time, creep data are seldom
available beyond 100,000 hours (11 years), but more typically are obtained
with durations between 1000 and 10,000 hours. It is thus essential to be
able to reliably extrapolate the data to allow longer duration accurate life
prediction both at the design and construction stage and during life
extension programmes.

Extrapolations based on stress versus strain rate or stress versus life data is
generally rather unreliable due to changes in the creep mechanisms
involved. More reliable extrapolations are based on short time tests carried
out at temperatures above normal operating temperature to predict longer
term behaviour at the operating temperature. For this approach, the use of
time-temperature parameters is required; there are a number of such
parameters available of which the Sherby-Dorn, Larson Miller and Manson-
Haferd are perhaps the best known. These parameters allow the
equivalence of times at temperatures to be assessed. For example, these
parameters can be used to calculate the equivalent times to achieve rupture
at different temperatures, or the equivalent temperature to achieve rupture
in a given time.

13.5 Reheat cracking


Reheat cracking is an intergranular cracking mechanism and is most
commonly found in the coarse grained HAZ of thick section weldments, but
can occur in columnar weld metal. The cracking generally occurs as the
weld is heated to the PWHT temperature, but can also develop during
elevated temperature service. Reheat cracking results from impurities
migrating to the grain boundaries and finely dispersed precipitates forming
within the grains as the weld is heated to the PWHT temperature. As the
relaxation of residual stresses occurs by a creep mechanism the
combination of weak grain boundaries and very strong grain interiors results
in grain boundary failure.

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Photomicrographs showing the intergranular nature of reheat cracking in the


coarse grained HAZ.

The susceptibility to reheat cracking is influenced by a number of factors,


namely composition, prior austenite grain size, the relative strengths of the
weld metal and HAZ, the PWHT/operating schedule and the joint geometry.
Of these, composition is probably the most significant factor.

In terms of composition, at least two of Cr, Mo, V and B are required. Steels
with Mo and V, particularly when the V is over 0.1%, are particularly
susceptible. High levels of C and Si increase the risk and the impurity
elements generally associated with temper embrittlement (P, S, Sn, As, Sb)
also have a detrimental effect on the cracking susceptibility. Many
fabricators therefore specify limits on these deleterious impurity elements.
Reheat cracking is more likely to occur in regions of coarse prior austenite
grain size, ie immediately adjacent to the fusion line, since an increase in
prior austenite grain size results in less grain boundary area for impurity
elements to segregate to and fewer regions for deformation to be
accommodated.

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The risk of reheat cracking can be controlled by careful control of steel


composition. Various compositional parameters have been derived to allow
the susceptibility to reheat cracking to be assessed:

 G = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V – 2 where G<0 implies the material is not


susceptible.

 G1 = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V + 10C – 2 where G1<2 implies the material is


not susceptible.

 P SR = Cr + Cu + 2Mo + 10V + 7Nb + 5Ti – 2 where P SR <0 implies the


material is not susceptible.

 K = Pb + Bi + 0.03Sb (ppm) where K <1.5 to achieve freedom from


reheat cracking.

If the HAZ is markedly stronger than the weld metal then the weld metal will
deform preferentially. Conversely, if the weld metal is appreciably stronger
than the HAZ, then the majority of plastic deformation will occur in the HAZ
and the risk of cracking will increase.

The risk of cracking can also be reduced by rapid heating through the critical
temperature range, generally from 350-600°C depending upon the
composition, in which the grain boundary impurities and intra-granular
precipitates form. Care needs to be taken to select heating rates that avoid
uneven heating which in turn can lead to distortion and high residual
stresses and which may violate code requirements. Welded joints should
also be designed to avoid stress concentrating features which can promote
cracking.

The risk of reheat cracking can be further reduced through the use of low
heat inputs to minimise grain growth in the HAZ and devising a welding
procedure that results in the maximum amount of grain refinement in the
HAZ. The use of a steep-sided preparation may also be beneficial; the high
angle of attack leads to a high degree of refinement of the grain-coarsened
HAZ of the underlying pass. Alternatively, a two-layer, controlled deposition
buttering technique can be adopted. This employs different welding
parameters for the two layers and requires careful control of bead overlap,
resulting again in substantial refinement of the grain-coarsened HAZ of the
first layer.

The risk of reheat cracking can be reduced by grinding of the weld toes to
give a smooth profile and removal of any traces of undercut; if this operation
is carried out warm it can also be beneficial in reducing the risk of hydrogen
cracking. Peening of the weld toe regions may also have a beneficial effect.

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The most sensitive grades are those containing vanadium, the


½/½/¼CrMoV steel being one of the most sensitive. It is so sensitive that it
may be necessary to maintain the preheat and hot grind and blend the weld
toes of a thick, highly restrained weld to reduce stress concentrations before
immediately performing the PWHT operation. The higher alloyed CrMo
steels are less susceptible to reheat cracking.

Reheat cracking in the CGHAZ of a thick section weld in 1/2Cr1/2Mo1/4V


creep-resistant steel.

13.6 Temper embrittlement


Temper embrittlement, which occurs in alloy steels, is the reduction in notch
toughness that arises when the steel is heated into, or cooled through, the
temperature range 375-575C. It can also result from prolonged exposure
within this temperature range.

The susceptibility of a material to temper embrittlement can be assessed by


measurement of the change in the ductile/brittle transition temperature
before and after heat treatment. In most cases, the hardness and tensile
properties of the material will not show any change as a result of
embrittlement, but the ductile to brittle transition temperature can be raised
by as much as 100°C for embrittling heat treatments.

A step cooling heat treatment is frequently adopted in the assessment of


temper embrittlement susceptibility, as described in ASTM A387/A387M - 11
Standard specification for pressure vessel plates, alloy steel, chromium-
molybdenum. The heat treatment involves heating samples in a furnace and
holding at successively lower temperatures, as shown below. This process
is followed by Charpy testing to determine a transition curve. The shift in the
ductile to brittle transition temperature is a measure of the embrittling effect
of the impurities.

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Step cooling heat treatment.

Temper embrittlement is reversible and the notch toughness can be


restored by heating above 600C and then cooling rapidly to 300C.

Temper embrittlement results from the segregation of impurity elements to


the prior austenite grain boundaries, resulting in an intergranular fracture
appearance. The principal embrittling elements, in order of importance, are
Sb, P, Sn and As.

To reduce the susceptibility to temper embrittlement, careful control of base


metal and weld metal composition is required, focussing particularly on
keeping the levels of impurity elements very low.

Compositional parameters have been developed to assess a material’s


susceptibility to temper embrittlement. The two most widely adopted
parameters are the Bruscato X factor and the Watanabe J factor which are
defined as:

X = (10P + 55Sb + 4Sn + As)/100 in ppm

Which is applicable to weld metals.

J = (Mn + Si) (P + Sn) x 104 in wt %

This is applicable to parent material and weld metal.

If J <180 or X <20 there is considered to be a low risk of temper


embrittlement.

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13.6.1 Type IV cracking


The occurrence of cracking in a welded joint is generally classified
according to the crack location. Type I and II modes are associated with
cracking in the weld metal; type I is where cracking is confined to weld
metal, whereas with type II, the cracking may extend into the HAZ and
parent material. Type III cracking occurs in the coarse-grained HAZ. Type IV
cracking is associated with the outer regions of the HAZ, typically the grain
refined and intercritical HAZ regions. Type IV cracking is associated with an
accelerated rate of void formation in the grain refined/intercritical regions of
the outer HAZ and results in the premature rupture of cross-weld creep
specimens compared to those in parent material. These regions exhibit a
degree of over-tempering compared to the parent steel, leading to
coarsening of carbides, which subsequently provide sites for void nucleation
and hence reduce the creep performance. In cross weld samples, the type
IV region is held between the stronger parent material and coarse-grained
HAZ regions and the resulting accumulation of damage in the type IV region
leads to premature failure.

It should be noted that type IV cracking or mid-life cracking is a problem that


has plagued the power industry for some 40 years, but it has come
particularly to the fore with some of the advanced higher alloy creep
resisting steels such as grade 91 and other creep strength enhanced ferritic
steels. A number of premature failures have occurred in service, attributed
to type IV cracking, which have led to costly delays and repair programmes
and which have highlighted the need to monitor closely, or in some cases
downgrade other components in these materials. Allowance must be made
in the design for the lower cross-weld strength of a weldment, which is
generally achieved by incorporating a weld strength factor, which is the ratio
of cross-weld creep strength to parent steel creep strength

13.7 Assessment of creep damage


It is obviously desirable to detect creep in its early stages by a non-
destructive, non-intrusive method. Increasing use is being made of risk-
based inspection, giving improvements in safety and in the efficient use of
resources. Many different methods have been applied to try and detect the
voids formed in the early stages of creep, but the voids are initially much
smaller than the defects traditionally targeted by NDT methods.

The assessment of creep damage is a largely qualitative exercise, looking at


the extent and distribution of creep cavitation and the formation of micro and
macro cracking. This is achieved through microstructural replication, in
conjunction with in-situ hardness measurements to assess any loss in
strength. The measurement of hardness, using a portable hardness tester,
such as the Krautkramer Microdur 20 or Proceq’s Equotip, is a potentially
valuable tool. In principle, it could be used to assess the extent of softening
throughout creep service, but would need an initial measurement of
hardness to permit its use for an estimate of the remaining creep life.

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Table 13.1 Example of correlation of damage in welded joints of a reformer tube,


with the extent of damage revealed by sectioning and metallographic examination.
Damage Observed damage Estimate of
level elapsed life, %
A Absence of lenticular creep voids 0
B Voids widely distributed, but not aligned 30
C Voids aligned, but not linked 50
D Microcracks resulting from the interlinking of aligned 75
voids. The microcracks do not reach the mid-wall
thickness. They occupy limited sectors of the
weldment.
E Cracks that approximate or exceed the depth of 2/3 100
of the wall thickness. The cracks occupy a major
part of the perimeter of the welded joint.

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Revision Questions

1 Define creep and state various stages of it.

2 Name the major characteristics required by a creep-resistant material.

3 What effects do Cr and Mo have on steel?

4 What are the major problems encountered during welding of creep-resistant


steels?

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Section 14

Cryogenic Steels
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Cryogenic Steels
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14 Cryogenic Steels
Cryogenic steels are used in applications for low temperatures, particularly
in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases. Ferritic steels at low
(sub-zero) temperatures can show low toughness and hence are prone to
brittle failure. They become ductile as the temperature is raised. Other
critical components such as aircraft and chemical processing equipment are
also required to work at sub-zero temperatures and thus the behaviour of
metals at temperatures down to -150°C needs consideration, especially
from the point of view of welded design, where changes in section, flaws
and stress concentrations at welds may occur. Cryogenic steels are
designed to show good fracture toughness at low temperatures, mainly
achieved by control of the composition and the microstructure. They also
need good weldability. The choice of cryogenic steel, ie its composition,
depends upon the lowest temperature service limit.

14.1 Composition of cryogenic steels


For moderate cryogenic temperatures (down to around -60ºC), adequate
toughness can be obtained by using fine-grained C-Mn steels. A fine grain
size is achieved with additions of aluminium and micro-alloying elements
(Nb, V or Ti); along with low levels of alloying additions (low IIW CE), giving
good weldability and good fracture toughness. However, in general terms,
nickel is the most important alloying element that imparts good low
temperature toughness to low carbon steels. Depending on the required
service temperature (from -60 to -196ºC), nickel steels have additions of
between 1-9% nickel and less than 0.15%C. The 9%Ni steels have good
toughness down to -196°C and have a lower coefficient of thermal
expansion compared with austenitic stainless steels and aluminium alloys.
They have low thermal conductivity and high melting point and strength at
elevated temperature, which provide structural integrity under fire
conditions, although these steels are not intended for creep service.

For other cryogenic applications, austenitic stainless steel and aluminium


alloys can be used. They do not show a ductile to brittle transition and they
maintain adequate toughness at low temperatures. They will be covered in a
separate section of this course.

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14.1.1 Effect of nickel on transformation diagrams (CCT and TTT)


Nickel increases the hardenability of the steel, which results in martensite
and bainite formation, while also lowering the martensite start and finish (Ms
and Mf) temperatures. The resulting microstructure confers good ductility on
the steel. Nickel additions alter the steel’s microstructure to obtain higher
toughness at low temperature by refining the ferrite grain size, giving a fine
distribution of carbides and by increasing the resistance to cleavage
fracture.

14.1.2 Effect of nickel on the impact toughness behaviour


The figure below shows the format of an impact toughness transition curve
for C-Mn steels, with a high toughness upper shelf at higher temperatures,
which drops sharply in the transition temperature range to give a low
toughness lower shelf at low temperature.

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When nickel is added to steel, the effect is to shift the transition curve to
lower temperatures. This means that the high toughness upper shelf is
maintained down to lower temperatures, plus the lower shelf toughness is
higher.

14.2 Applications of cryogenic steels


Gas Liquefaction Recommended material
Temperature, oC
Ammonia -33.4
Fine grained Al killed
Propane (LPG) -45.5
Propylene -47.7 Fine grained Al killed or 2.25% Ni
steel
CO2 -78.5
3.5%Ni steel
Ethane -88.4
Ethylene -103.8
Methane -163
5-9% Ni
Oxygen -182.9
Argon -185.9
Nitrogen -195.8 Austenitic stainless steel

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14.3 Weldability of cryogenic steels


14.3.1 Fine-grained Al killed steels
These steels can be normalised, QT or TMCP. Proper welding conditions
include preheat and the use of low hydrogen electrodes to avoid HAZ
cracking. Ni-containing consumables may be used, eg 2%Ni alloy MMA or
TIG consumables, to ensure good weld toughness. The weldability of fine-
grained steels is discussed in the section on HSLA steels.

14.3.2 Ni steels (1-3.5%Ni)


These are considered as low nickel steels. They have a ferrite plus pearlite
microstructure. Ni steels solidify as austenite which has low solubility for
impurities such as S, P and O. Nickel-containing cryogenic steel welds are
hence prone to hot cracking in the presence of impurities such as S and P,
since there is potential formation of low melting temperature nickel sulphide
phase that may lead to liquation or solidification cracking. Low heat input or
pulsed welding techniques are therefore used to help avoid this, in addition
to cleanliness and limiting residual stresses. In 2-3.5% Ni steels, there is a
risk of hydrogen-assisted cracking in the HAZ or weld metal because of their
high hardenability. Control of hydrogen levels and preheat in the range of
150-250oC are applied. Maximum interpass temperatures are 350oC for
2.3% Ni and 250oC for 3.5% Ni steels. PWHT at 580-620oC may also be
used. All arc welding processes can be employed. MMA electrodes are
either matching composition or more usually high Ni electrodes of the
Inconel type, ie Ni-Cr-Fe type.

14.3.3 Ni steels (5-6%Ni)


Similar to 1-3.5% nickel steels, 5-6% nickel steels have a ferrite + pearlite/
martensite structure (QT steel) which shows reduced toughness in the HAZ
due to an increase in grain size in the area heated to over 850°C. Therefore,
a low hydrogen welding process is essential. Use a low heat input process
to preserve the fine grain structure (<4.5kJ/mm); pulsed welding can be
beneficial. The interpass temperature should be a maximum of 250°C;
PWHT is carried out at 650°C followed by rapid cooling. Typical filler
materials are Ni-based, eg Inconel 82, Inconel 625. Other weldability
problems are similar to 9%Ni steel.

14.3.4 Ni steels (9%Ni)


These steels can be double normalised and tempered or QT. 9% nickel
steels must have a very low sulphur content (maximum 0.006%) to avoid
liquation and solidification cracking; hence, they show no lamellar tearing. A
low phosphorus content (maximum 0.006%) is needed if good low
temperature toughness is to be achieved. They are not sensitive to stress
corrosion cracking and show a ductile martensitic structure (with maximum
hardness of 400HV). Typically, they have 5% retained austenite (QT steels)
and so there is no danger of cold cracking. The presence of austenite in the
structure acts as a sink for any hydrogen present. For this reason, no
preheat is required for thicknesses up to 50mm. They are welded using low

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heat input to avoid loss of toughness in the high temperature HAZ and an
interpass temperature up to 250°C; PWHT is not normally required. In the
high temperature HAZ, the level of austenite decreases in a narrow band
adjacent to the fusion boundary and hardening occurs, eg from 250HV-
350HV).

Filler materials are nickel-based: AWS A5.11 ENiCrMo-6 (EN ISO 14172 E
Ni 6620) or ENiCrMo-3 (E Ni 6625) Therefore the weld metal strength
under-matches that of the parent plate. The weld pool is also very viscous
(sluggish). Fully austenitic stainless steel fillers are prohibited, due to their
higher coefficient of thermal expansion than the parent metal and brittle
martensite formation near the fusion line. Cleanliness is very important to
avoid hot cracking and smooth blending between weld face and parent
metal is required to avoid stress concentration. 9% nickel steel is strongly
ferro-magnetic (and also may have residual magnetism) which can make
arc blow a problem during welding. The use of AC current and
demagnetisation before welding may be required to overcome this.

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Review Questions

1 Give the typical composition of three low temperature steels.

2 State the main weldability problems of low Ni steels.

3 Which type of welding electrodes could be used to weld such alloys?

4 How can we reduce the effect of reduction in toughness in the HAZ as a result of
welding of the Ni steels?

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Section 15

Aluminium Alloys
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Aluminium Alloys
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15 Aluminium Alloys
15.1 Introduction
Aluminium is one of the most useful engineering materials. It has an fcc
crystal structure, is low density, white and lustrous and can provide a range
of strengths (50-650MPa) from pure aluminium to precipitation-hardening
alloys with only a third of the density of steel. However, although it has a
good strength to weight ratio, it also has twice the thermal expansion
coefficient of steel, along with high thermal and electrical conductivity.
Principal alloying additions include Cu, Si, Mg, Mn, Zn and Li. Aluminium
alloys are classified into two main groups; cast (Al-Si) and wrought alloys.
There are a large number of wrought alloys, which are broadly divided into
two main types; the work hardenable alloys and the heat treatable alloys.

15.2 Work hardenable alloys


They derive their strength from solid solution hardening which can be
supplemented by cold working. All these alloys are weldable and do not
respond to heat treatment, hence these are also known as non-heat-
treatable alloys.

15.3 Heat treatable alloys


These alloys are strengthened by controlled heating and cooling and contain
small quantities of elements such as Cu, Mg, Si and Zn. The full heat
treatment consists of a solution treatment at 460-530oC followed by cold
water quenching and then artificial ageing at 110-200oC. In natural ageing,
the alloy is left at room temperature after quenching. During solution
treatment, the alloy becomes a uniform single phase solid solution and
retains the solute within the solid solution upon quenching. During ageing,
the dissolved solute is precipitated as particles of solute element
compounds. Ageing at higher temperatures accelerates the precipitation
process. Some examples of heat treatable alloys: Al-Cu-Mg, Al-Zn-Mg and
Al-Mg-Si.

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15.4 Designation of aluminium alloys


The most common composition designations for wrought alloys follow the
Aluminium Association 4 digit classification. The first digit specifies the
major alloying element(s), these are shown below:

Series Element names in order of % Atomic symbols Treatable status

1xxx Super - or commercial-purity Al Non-heat treatable


aluminium
2xxx Aluminium-copper Al-Cu Heat treatable
3xxx Aluminium-manganese Al-Mn Non-heat treatable
4xxx Aluminium-silicon Al-Si Non-heat treatable
5xxx Aluminium-magnesium Al-Mg Non-heat treatable

6xxx Aluminium-magnesium-silicon Al-Mg-Si Heat treatable

7xxx Aluminium-Zinc Al-Zn Heat treatable


8xxx Other elements Al-Fe Both heat treatable and
Al-Li etc non-heat treatable

For temper designation a specific letter indicates the condition of the alloy.
Various letters used are as follows:

F - As fabricated - no control on mechanical properties.


O - Annealed, soft.
H - Strain hardened.
T - Heat treated to produce stable tempers.

Some examples:

1100-O 99%min Al+0.12% Cu, annealed.


2024-T3 Al-4.4Cu-1.5Mg-0.6Mn, solution heat treated, cold worked and
naturally aged.
5052-H34 Al-2.5Mg-0.25Cr, half hard.
3003-H14 Al-1.2Mn, half hard.

Half hard means partially cold worked.

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15.5 Welding of Al alloys


Welded aluminium has a wide range of applications in pressure vessels,
furniture, containers, armoured vehicles, aircraft and ships. One of the
important characteristics of aluminium alloys that may affect its weldability is
the surface layer of Al2O3 which is typically quite thin and strongly adherent.
It melts at 1926°C, whereas pure aluminium melts at 660°C. Aluminium also
has high thermal conductivity which means that heat from a welding zone is
quickly conducted away, resulting in a wide HAZ and problems with lack-of-
fusion when welding. The wide HAZ is sometimes associated with loss of
joint strength and so it may be necessary to compensate for this by locally
increasing the wall thickness at welds. Aluminium’s high thermal expansion
coefficient causes large thermal strains and consequent residual welding
stresses. It also does not change colour before it melts, which can make it
harder to weld since colour change is a good indicator to assess
temperature during welding of higher melting point alloys. The differences in
melting behaviour mean it is essential to re-train welders who have learnt to
weld steels when they switch to aluminium welding.

15.6 Porosity due to dissolved gases (hydrogen)


Origin
Porosity is one of the major problems encountered in aluminium castings
and weldments. The cause of porosity is the rejection of gas dissolved in the
liquid during solidification to form gas bubbles or pores in the metal,
reducing the strength and soundness of the weld. The most important gas
causing porosity is hydrogen, which can be present from various sources.

Electrode coating
The MMA electrode coating is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture) so when
these electrodes are used, the absorbed moisture adds hydrogen to the
weld. However, MMA is rarely used for production welding of aluminium
now.

Filler wire
Sometimes filler wires have surface contamination such as grease, dirt and
oxides (with adsorbed moisture).

Shielding gases
These are used in the MIG and TIG welding processes. They can contain
moisture and therefore hydrogen, the major source of which could be plastic
carrier pipes.

Parent metal
Hydrogen may originate from the parent metal either from a hydrated
surface layer or internal, dissolved hydrogen. Other forms of surface
contamination consisting of grease, oil or paint can also provide sources of
hydrogen.

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It is therefore recommended that electrodes and filler wires should be stored


in a moisture-free environment. Cleaning parent metal surfaces, before
welding, can reduce porosity significantly. Gas shielded welding should be
used for optimum weld quality; however the pipes carrying shielding gases
must be free of moisture.

15.7 Oxide skin


Aluminium oxide (Al2O3) has a very high melting point compared with
aluminium alloys. During welding, the Al2O3 layer can affect the weld quality
in two ways: it can hold moisture and grease which are sources of hydrogen
that can cause porosity and it also can provide a barrier to fusion of the weld
pool and the parent metal. The oxide must therefore be removed in order to
make a weld. In addition to mechanical and chemical cleaning methods,
some arc welding processes can be effective in disrupting the oxide film
during welding. When welding with TIG using AC or MIG using DCEP the
arc helps to break up and remove the oxide film. This process is known as
cathodic cleaning. Cleaning requirements are especially stringent when
using direct current electrode negative TIG, as the arc exerts no additional
cleaning action.

15.8 Hot cracking

The terms hot cracking, solidification cracking and hot tearing tend to be
used synonymously for cracking which occurs directly on solidification as a
result of the stresses or strains induced by cooling shrinkage and the
restraint of the solidifying metal by the surrounding metal fixtures. Unlike
steels, however, the susceptibility to hot cracking tends to be linked to the
contents of the main alloying elements (see next page), not impurities, as
well as the weld shape and restraint. Hot cracks typically initiate at the
trailing edge of the weld pool as a result of high shrinkage and thermal
stresses occurring whilst there are still liquid films at the grain boundaries.

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Alloys can be ranked in terms of hot cracking susceptibility and many


important parent metals have significant susceptibility to solidification
cracking: the typical effect of alloy content on susceptibility to hot cracking is
shown in the following figure. Each alloy system has a susceptible
composition range which must be taken into consideration before welding.
The dilution of parent metal with filler may be critical.

The susceptibility of most commercially important aluminium alloys to


solidification cracking can be interpreted in relation to a simple eutectic
solidification model. At low solute levels, the volume of eutectic liquid
associated with terminal solidification is low and any liquid films are thin or
discontinuous and the weld is resistant to cracking. At high solute levels,
there is more eutectic liquid and it can back-fill any shrinkage cavities,
preventing cracking. However, at intermediate levels of solute, the volume of
eutectic liquid is such that continuous liquid films form, creating the highest
susceptibility to cracking. Each alloy system will have its peak susceptibility
at different solute levels, but the shape and trends are similar for each
aluminium alloy.

15.8.1 Choice of filler metal


When choosing the optimum filler alloy, the application of the welded part
and its desired performance must be prime considerations. Many alloys and
alloy combinations can be joined using any one of several filler alloys, but
only one filler may be optimal for a specific application. The primary factors
to be considered when selecting filler metals are:

 Ease of welding.
 Sensitivity to weld cracking.
 Strength of the weld.
 Weld ductility.
 Service temperature.
 Corrosion resistance.
 Colour match between the weld and the base alloy after anodising.

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Various filler materials used for different alloys are given in below.

Parent metal Filler metal(s) Heat Applications


treatable?
1xxx 1080A No Chemical plant, architecture
1200 (4047A prevents weld metal
4043A cracking where there is high
dilution), electrical industry.
4047A
3xxx 3103 No Buildings, heat exchangers,
4043A chemical equipment.
4047A
5xxx 5554 No Marine, automotive, cryogenics.
5154A
5356
5556ª
6xxx 4043A Yes Structural, automotive, extrusions
5356
7xxx 5556A Yes Aerospace, defence, high
strength.

4xxx fillers are also used for Al-Si castings and 5xxx fillers for Al-Mg
castings.
15.9 Welding processes for aluminium alloys
The main arc welding processes for welding aluminium and its alloys are
TIG and MIG. TIG is used for welding thinner sections, using AC current
gives half a cycle of cathodic cleaning in both manual and automatic
processes. MIG is used for heavier sections. MMA is rarely used now since
it has poor arc stability. It is possible to use gas welding (oxyacetylene or
oxy-hydrogen flame) to weld aluminium with a flux and filler using a neutral
flame. The difficulties with welding aluminium alloys with traditional arc
welding processes have meant that aluminium alloys are increasingly
welded using newer welding processes such as laser or friction stir. Lasers
have a concentrated heat source which counters the high thermal
conductivity of aluminium and reduces distortion. As friction stir welding is a
solid state welding process, it avoids the problems of porosity and cracking
encountered in fusion welds.

15.10 Titanium alloys


Like iron, titanium is an allotropic element, ie there is a phase change and
the temperature at which this occurs depends on the alloy content. At room
temperature, titanium has an alpha phase structure (hexagonal close
packed hcp), see Figure. At higher temperatures (from 883ºC for pure
titanium), titanium has a beta phase structure, which is a body centred cubic
(bcc) structure, see the Figure below. As a consequence of their different
crystallographic structures, the alpha and beta phases have different
properties.

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hcp bcc

Depending on its chemical composition, which confers a specific phase


balance, a titanium alloy belongs to one of four families: commercially pure
titanium, alpha alloys, alpha/beta alloys and beta alloys.

The major attractive aspects of titanium alloys are:

 Their good strength to weight ratio.


 Their excellent corrosion resistance.

Titanium alloys are readily weldable, however, two specific aspects


embrittlement, caused by atmospheric contamination and porosity need to
be addressed. To avoid them, it is important to make sure that the surfaces
of the workpiece and consumable are clean and that adequate auxiliary
shielding, including trailing shields and back purging, is employed.

The high strength, low weight and outstanding corrosion resistance


possessed by titanium and its alloys have led to a wide and diverse range of
successful applications in aerospace, chemical, power generation, oil and
gas extraction, medical, sports and other industries. Titanium is as strong as
steel but is 45% lighter than steel. It is mainly used for its excellent corrosion
resistance, but can be used for service from -160-600°C. Commercially pure
titanium is one of the alpha (α) alloys and has proof strength in the range
350-450MPa and is used for good basic corrosion resistance. α-β alloys
have a two phase structure and have medium to high strength, but the
weldability is sensitive to the ratio of α and β phases. β alloys have the
highest strengths and can also be cold formed. High strength titanium alloy
Ti-6Al-4V has strength in the range 900-1100MPa. Commercially pure
(99%Ti) is used for chemical and marine uses. Ti-6Al-4V is the workhorse
aerospace alloy, variants of it are used in oil and gas production.

TIG welding is the most commonly used process for titanium, but plasma
welding can also be used as well as laser, electron beam and resistance
welding. Matching filler is usually used when arc welding. Compared to
other commonly welded metals, particular care needs to be given to gas
shielding, as additional shielding is required to protect the hot weld and HAZ
from the atmosphere. At high temperatures, titanium rapidly absorbs
atmospheric gases causing severe embrittlement. Inadequate shielding can

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be revealed by discolouration of the welded joint. However, there are fewer


welding problems with titanium than steels. The main issue to address is
prevention of embrittlement of the weld due to atmospheric or surface
contamination. Porosity is also possible from dissolved hydrogen with the
surfaces of the workpiece and consumable being the principal sources for
contaminants.

15.11 Magnesium alloys


Magnesium alloys have the highest specific strengths of structural alloys:
magnesium is approximately 2/3 of the density of aluminium. Alloying
elements such as Al, Mn, Zn, Zr are used to obtain magnesium alloy
strengths equal to mild steel. Magnesium alloys can be heat treated and
work hardened like aluminium, however, they have low melting points, high
thermal conductivities and thermal expansion coefficients, which can lead to
difficulties in achieving good fusion and high distortions, when welded.

Magnesium alloys can be welded by TIG(AC), resistance and gas


processes. Like aluminium and titanium alloys, magnesium alloys are
covered in an adherent oxide film which should be removed prior to welding.
Removal is typically by milling or pickling.

An addition of 10% Al improves weldability by enabling grain refinement.


However, high Zn alloys are prone to hot cracking and Mg-Zn alloys are not
recommended for welding.

PWHT may be beneficial for mitigating stress corrosion cracking of welds in


salt spray environments.

Magnesium alloys are used for a number of applications. For example, Mg-
6Zn-3Al is used for sand and die castings in automotive applications
requiring good room temperature strength.

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Review Questions

1 Explain various types of aluminium alloys.

2 Explain how a four digit number represents an aluminium alloy.

3 How does temper designation helps in assessing the alloy?

4 Which are the important factors to be considered when choosing a filler metal?

5 How is porosity in an aluminium alloy weld controlled?

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Section 16

Dissimilar Joints
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Dissimilar Joints
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16 Dissimilar Joints
When arc welding two dissimilar materials, a number of aspects need to be
considered in addition to those associated with welding similar materials.
Firstly, from a practical viewpoint, it may not be possible to make a fusion
weld if the two materials have significantly different melting points or thermal
conductivities, as it is essential to have controlled melting on both sides of
the joint simultaneously; otherwise there is a risk of lack-of-fusion and flaws.
Secondly, even if it is possible to fuse the metals, it may not be possible to
produce an adequate joint if the two materials are metallurgically
incompatible.

16.1 Metallurgical incompatibility


Metallurgical incompatibility may lead to uncontrollable weld metal or HAZ
cracking, or a weld metal microstructure that cannot provide adequate
mechanical or corrosion performance. This may occur, for example, when
unacceptable levels of martensite or intermetallic phases are formed. The
fusion boundary region can have a range of compositions between that of
the parent metal and weld metal and may contain microstructures that are
unacceptable for service.

16.2 Types of dissimilar welds


The main types of dissimilar welded joints used in service are between two
different ferritic steels, eg mild steel and creep resistant steel, between a
ferritic steel and a stainless steel (usually austenitic stainless steel) and
sometimes between two different stainless steels. Other types of joints may
be made between two non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminium, or
between steel and a non-ferrous metal. These are less common and can
sometimes only be joined by mechanical means or by using specialised
processes such as friction welding or electron beam welding.

16.2.1 Welding two different ferritic steels


When welding two different ferritic steels, such as Cr-Mo creep-resistant
steel and mild steel, the filler material is generally selected to match the
weakest parent material strength. Hydrogen cracking precautions (preheat,
interpass and post-heat temperature and consumable type/condition) must
match the requirements for the highest alloy material, since this will be most
susceptible to hydrogen cracking.

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16.2.2 Welding ferritic steel to stainless steel


When welding C-Mn steel to stainless steel, the general recommendations
are to preheat only if necessary, keep the interpass temperature below
150°C and avoid PWHT, since these precautions will prevent problems such
as sigma phase formation in the stainless steel. When C-Mn steel and
stainless steel are melted together in a weld pool, there is a risk that, during
subsequent elevated temperature exposure, carbon will diffuse to the higher
chromium stainless steel side, leaving a carbon-depleted zone in the ferritic
steel HAZ, while the higher chromium weld metal becomes carbide-
enriched, which can cause sensitisation or weld decay. There is also a
possibility of martensite formation at the ferritic steel fusion line, giving a risk
of hydrogen cracking. If there is insufficient mixing when using stainless
steel filler, hot cracking can occur in the weld metal. It is therefore important
to try to avoid high dilution and to select the filler metal carefully. Even when
two materials are metallurgically incompatible, it may be possible to make a
satisfactory weld using a suitable filler metal that is compatible with both.
Where a welding consumable with composition similar to one of the
materials is not appropriate, nickel-based filler may be adopted.

One final consideration when making dissimilar welds between C-Mn steels
and stainless steels is how they are going to be inspected. Ultrasonic testing
has difficulties with austenitic material, but is good for ferritic steels. The two
materials will have different permeability for radiography, making
radiographs harder to interpret, especially at the most critical fusion line.
Although the carbon steel will respond to magnetic particle inspection, the
austenitic stainless steel will not.

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Revision Questions

1 What precautions are required when making dissimilar welds between creep-
resistant steel and C-Mn steel?

2 What weldability problems are possible when welding austenitic stainless steel to
C-Mn steel?

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Section 17

Other Alloys
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Other Alloys
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17 Other Alloys
17.1 Cast irons and cast steels
Cast irons are iron based alloys containing more than 2% carbon (up to 7%
C), 1-3%Si and up to 1%Mn. As cast irons are relatively inexpensive, very
easily cast into complex shapes and readily machined, they are an
important engineering and structural group of materials, but not all grades
are weldable and special precautions are normally required even with the
so-called weldable grades.

Cast steels may be of any steel composition, but have not had any
subsequent heat treatment or processing (forging, rolling, etc) to modify the
as-cast microstructure. As for cast irons, the shapes may be complex and
welding such materials usually requires special precautions.

The balance of carbon and silicon in the casting defines whether the
material is defined as a cast iron or steel. The diagram below indicates
some general compositional ranges.
5
%C+1/3Si = 4.3
4.5
Spheroidal irons

3.5
C Content, %

3 Grey irons

2.5
White irons
2
Malleable irons
1.5

1
%C+1/6Si=2.0
Steels
0.5

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5

Si Content, %

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17.1.1 Types of cast iron


Cast irons can be conveniently grouped according to their structure, which
influences their mechanical properties and weldability.

Grey cast iron

Unetched grey cast iron Pearlitic matrix grey cast iron

Mixed ferrite-pearlite matrix grey cast iron, showing the remaining dendritic
structure from casting.

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Grey cast irons contain 2-4.5%C and 1-3%Si. Their structure consists of
branched and interconnected graphite flakes in a matrix of pearlite, ferrite or
a mixture of the two. The graphite flakes form planes of weakness and so
strength, ductility and toughness are inferior to those of structural steels.
Grey cast iron has moderate strength (up to 275MPa), excellent ductility,
excellent machinability and can be welded with Ni-Fe consumables. Ni
consumables are not recommended as grey cast irons often have a high
phosphorus content, which aggravates solidification cracking in the weld.

Nodular cast iron

Nodular cast iron with a ferritic matrix.

If molten iron with a composition in the range 3.2-4.5%C and 1.8-2.8% Si is


treated with magnesium or cerium additions before casting, the graphite
forms in spheres instead of flakes, known as nodular, spheroidal graphite
(SG) or ductile iron. Nodular irons are available with a pearlite, ferrite or
pearlite-ferrite matrix, which offers a combination of greater ductility and
higher tensile strength than grey cast irons. Nodular cast iron has good
machinability, the highest strength and ductility of the cast irons and is
readily welded with most consumables.

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White cast iron

By reducing the carbon and silicon content and cooling rapidly, much of the
carbon in cast iron is retained in the form of iron carbide without graphite
flakes forming. However, iron carbide, or cementite, is extremely hard and
brittle and these castings are used where high hardness and wear
resistance is needed but they have poor ductility and are unweldable.

Malleable cast irons

Malleable cast irons are produced by heat treatment (>60h at >870oC) of


closely controlled compositions of white cast irons, which are decomposed
to give carbon aggregates dispersed in a ferrite or pearlitic matrix. The fine
aggregates of carbon mean that a useful level of ductility is obtained. The
atmosphere used for heat treatment results in slightly different materials
properties - if the heat treatment is oxidising, there results rosettes of
carbon, with a decarburised layer - whiteheart malleable iron, which can be
easily welded if the weld does not penetrate beyond the decarburised layer.
If the heat treatment is neutral or reducing, rosettes form, but the surface is
not decarburised - blackheart malleable iron. In general, the tendency to
form carbides on solidification rather than graphite makes these cast irons
slightly less weldable than the nodular cast irons, although the other
properties are similar. Blackheart are more easily welded than grey cast
irons.

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17.1.2 Welding cast irons


Braze welding
Braze (also called bronze) welding can be used to join cast irons using a
bronze rod. This process avoids many of the disadvantages of fusion
welding since melting of the parent material does not occur, eg pick-up of
impurity elements such as phosphorus and sulphur from the casting by the
braze metal does not occur. Likewise, the maximum HAZ temperature is
much lower so hardened structures are not produced and the soft braze
metal is generally easily machinable, but ensuring cleanliness of the iron
before braze welding is essential.

The disadvantages of the method are that the joint properties are controlled
by a relatively soft braze metal or a rather weak braze/cast iron interface.
The lower melting and softening temperature of the braze deposit also limits
the maximum service temperature of braze welds, typically to around 260°C.
There is also poor colour matching between the braze and the casting. In
addition, it is more difficult to detect imperfections in braze welds than in
fusion welds, due to the metallurgical discontinuity along the bond line as a
whole.

Arc welding
Welding is a fast cooling process, so HAZ microstructures are modified and
can be hard and brittle (similar to white cast iron). There are two basic
methods to avoid HAZ cracking when arc welding cast irons – welding with
high preheat and very slow cooling, or welding keeping the cast iron as cool
as possible. MMA is widely used in the fabrication and repair of cast iron.
When using the hot technique, cast iron electrodes are often used, the
intense, high temperature arc enables higher welding speeds and lower
preheat levels with the flux coating improving arc stability, reducing porosity
and adding alloying elements to give a near matching weld deposit (with
nodular graphite structure).

The disadvantages of MMA are the greater weld pool penetration and
parent metal dilution compared to other processes. A number of standard
ferritic steel MMA consumables can also be used on weld and repair jobs.
When opting for the cold technique, nickel-based electrodes are used as
nickel does not form carbides so carbon is rejected from the weld area as
graphite, the weld metal volume increases and there is less risk of cracking
in the HAZ, but they can be sensitive to solidification (hot) cracking
(especially high Ni electrodes), which means dilution must be limited. Welds
made with nickel or nickel-iron fillers have generally higher strength and
more ductility than welds made with cast iron electrodes, but with nickel filler
the bevel angle needs to be wider because nickel forms a very viscous
metal weld pool.

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MIG and FCAW can be used to weld cast irons, mainly using dip transfer
and can achieve high deposition rates, whilst limiting the amount of weld
penetration. Solid wires used are nickel, Monel (70Ni-30Cu) or copper
alloys; cored wires used are Ni-Fe or Ni-Fe-Mn.

Oxy-acetylene welding
Because of the relatively low temperature heat source, oxy-acetylene
welding will require a higher preheat than MMA. Penetration and dilution is
low but the wide HAZ and slow cooling will produce a soft microstructure. It
is used with a slightly reducing flame and the consumable has a slightly
higher carbon and silicon content than the parent to provide a weld deposit
with similar properties.

17.1.3 Consumables for cast iron welding


Cast iron matching fillers
These are used for the welding of nodular cast irons (the weld metal also
has this structure). The preheat should be high and slow cooling promotes
the formation of graphite rather than carbides. Good colour matching is
achieved with this type of consumable. This type of consumable is usually
used for oxy-acetylene welding, but can also be used for arc welding.

Nickel based fillers


These are the most widely used fillers in arc welding. No preheat is
required. Any carbon entering the weld pool from dilution from the weld pool
is rejected as graphite, generating a volume change, which helps counteract
a tendency for solidification cracking.

Pure nickel consumables are often used to repair casting defects, but are
more susceptible to solidification cracking. Dilution of the cast iron into the
weld pool, particularly for high phosphorus content grey cast irons increases
the risk of solidification cracking to an unacceptable level.

Nickel-iron (45-60%Ni) is used extensively with nodular irons and is widely


used with other cast iron repairs as they are less susceptible to solidification
cracking from impurity dilution.

Nickel-copper or Monel type fillers are a good choice when the composition
of the iron is not known, or when tolerance of dilution and good
machinability are required. These also have a fairly good colour match to
cast irons.

Mild steel fillers


Despite a good colour match, these are not recommended, as the deposit
will be hard from carbon dilution into the weld metal. The exception to this is
when welding whiteheart malleable irons and the penetration of the weld is
within the decarburised layer.

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Copper based fillers


These have largely been replaced by the Ni-based fillers. However, for
bearing surfaces, or joining cast irons to dissimilar metals, they are still
used. These consumables result in deposits with good sliding and anti-
seizing properties.

17.2 Nickel and nickel alloys


17.2.1 Introduction
Nickel has a stable, face-centred cubic (fcc) structure at all temperatures
from cryogenic up to its melting point (1455°C). Since it has no phase
transformation, the grain size can be refined only by cold work followed by
annealing. Nickel has a thermal expansion approximately equal to that of
carbon steels. Nickel 200 (commercially pure nickel) has >99.5%Ni and is
used in chemical processing and electronics. Nickel alloys are used in a
large variety of applications and on every scale and are generally chosen
because of their:

 Excellent corrosion resistance (from -200 to over 1090°C).


 High temperature properties and heat resistance.
 Low temperature properties.

17.2.2 Classification
Pure nickel may be alloyed with various elements to produce and/or
enhance the properties desired for service. Nickel alloys may be broadly
classified into three groups according to the mechanism of strengthening.

Solid solution strengthened alloys


These alloys contain additions of principally chromium, cobalt, copper, iron,
molybdenum, tungsten and vanadium. Elements such as titanium, niobium
and aluminium can be added to reduce oxygen content and hence porosity,
when welding.

Commercial solid solution strengthened alloys include:

 Alloy 400 (Monel) (Ni + 31.5%Cu), which is highly corrosion resistant in


sea water, sulphuric and hydrofluoric acids.
 Alloy 600 (Ni + 15.5%Cr + 8%Fe) which resists oxidising and reducing
environments and severe corrosion at temperature.
 Alloy 625 (Ni + 21.5%Cr, 2.5%Fe, 9%Mo, 3.6%Nb +Ta) which has
excellent strength and toughness from cryogenic to high temperature;
oxidation, corrosion and fatigue resistant.
 Alloy 825 (Ni + 30%Fe, 21.5%Cr, 3%Mo, 2.25%Cu) which has excellent
corrosion and pitting resistance and is used for service in reducing acids
and oxidising chemicals.

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Precipitation hardened alloys


Controlled precipitation of the gamma prime (Ni3(Al,Ti)) phase within the
nickel alloy matrix strengthens these alloys. Precipitation can be caused
either by heat treatment or simply during slow cooling after casting. A
commercial precipitation hardened alloy is Waspaloy (Ni + 19.5%Cr,
13.5%Co, 4.3%Mo, 3.0%Ti, 1.4%Al, 2.0%Fe), which has excellent high
temperature strength and oxidation resistance up to 650°C. It is used for gas
turbines. Other alloys are Alloy X-750 and Alloy 718.

Oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys
Oxide particles such as ZrO2 or Y2O3 are introduced in to the master alloy
by mechanical alloying. The mechanically alloyed powers are consolidated
by placing them in sealed cans for extrusion or hot pressing, followed by
conventional hot and cold-working processes. A final annealing at high
temperatures is required to develop the stable, coarse grain structure
suitable for the most demanding stress-rupture applications.

INCONEL ALLOY MA 754 is a typical Oxide Dispersion-Strengthened


Nickel-Chromium Superalloy. The strengthening particle is Y2O3.

17.2.3 Weldability of nickel alloys


Pure nickel has extremely good weldability and can be welded using MMA,
TIG, MIG and SAW. The majority of the solid solution alloys may be welded
using MMA, TIG or MIG, with some alloys also weldable using SAW. The
precipitation hardened grades are more difficult to weld because of their
lower ductility and innate susceptibility to weld/HAZ cracking. However, with
care many precipitation hardened grades may be welded using TIG and a
few grades also with MIG and MMA. SAW methods should not be used on
precipitation hardened nickel alloys. As a general rule, filler material for
welding nickel alloys matches the parent material; however, most filler
materials contain small quantities of oxygen-removing elements, such as
aluminium, titanium and/or niobium to help reduce the risk of porosity or
cracking during welding.

Nickel alloys are considered to be easily weldable to themselves and other


similar materials using resistance welding techniques.

Comprehensive gas shielding is needed, generally argon, helium or Ar-He


mixtures. When welding solid solution and precipitation hardened alloys, the
annealed and solution treated conditions respectively are the preferred
methods. Preheat is generally neither required nor recommended, however,
to reduce the risk of porosity due to moisture, the joint may be warmed to
above ambient temperature (>20°C) to drive off any condensation. Nickel
alloys can also be laser and electron beam welded.

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17.2.4 Weldability problems


Background
Despite the good weldability of nickel alloys, a number of flaws in the weld
and HAZ may occur but as a general rule, the occurrence of flaws may be
minimised by improving cleanliness prior to and during welding.

Solidification cracking
Hot cracking results from low melting point solute elements segregating to
the weld centreline. Sulphur, even in very small quantities and lead, boron,
bismuth and phosphorus can all cause hot cracking. Thus, manganese and
niobium additions in filler metals are used to combine with sulphur to avoid
this. The problem may be minimised by reducing the welding speed to
improve depth-to-width ratio and by employing parent metal with a fine grain
size.

Porosity
The principal causes of porosity are gases from air (O2 and N2), or from
surface contamination (yielding O2 and H2) being incorporated into the weld
pool during welding. To avoid porosity, attention must be paid to the
cleanliness of the joint preparation and the effectiveness of the gas shield in
TIG and MIG welding processes. Preheat might be required in case of
moisture condensation. Adding oxygen-removing agents, such as aluminium
or titanium, can also help reduce porosity but these elements can form small
islands/slag spots so interpass cleaning is critical.

Oxide Inclusions
Slag and surface oxide can also cause particulate inclusions. Oxides of Ti,
Nb, Cr and Ni itself all have much higher melting temperatures than the
base metal, therefore, oxides trapped in the weld pool form inclusions.
Surface oxide must be removed by machining or grinding, since wire
brushing only polishes the oxide, making it less easy to see but still present.

Lack of sidewall fusion


Molten nickel weld metal is very viscous which means that the bevel angle
may need to be increased and accurate weld metal placement is required, in
order to avoid lack of sidewall fusion when welding.

17.3 Copper and copper alloys


17.3.1 Welding pure copper
Copper and copper alloys are chosen because of their corrosion resistance
and electrical and thermal conductivity. Copper metal has a (fcc) crystalline
structure that melts at 1083°C, is extremely tough, while being very ductile
and has a thermal expansion coefficient 1.3 times that of steel. Copper,
because of its high thermal conductivity, may need preheating for
thicknesses greater than about 5mm to produce a fluid weld pool and avoid
fusion defects. Electron beam welding is particularly useful for thick section
welding.

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Copper and most copper alloys can be joined by arc welding. Weldability
varies with grade; tough pitch is less weldable than PDO or oxygen-free
copper. Welding processes that use gas shielding are generally preferred,
although SMAW can be used for many noncritical applications.

The preferred welding processes are TIG and MIG with inert shielding
gases, either argon or argon-helium mixtures used. Porosity is best avoided
by using appropriate filler wire containing deoxidants (Al, Mn, Si, P and Ti);
by use of dry inert gases and drying electrodes and fluxes before welding.

High levels of distortion and residual stress can result when welding copper
due to the high thermal expansion coefficient. This can be minimised by
employing preheat and allowing free expansion of the components during
welding.

17.3.2 Brasses
Brasses are alloys of copper and zinc. When considering weldability,
brasses are separated into two groups, low zinc (up to 20%Zn) and high
zinc (30-40%Zn). Nickel silvers contain 20-45%Zn and nickel is added to
improve strength. The main problem in fusion welding these alloys is the
volatility of zinc which results in white fumes of zinc oxide and weld metal
porosity. Only low zinc brasses are normally considered suitable for arc
welding using the TIG and MIG processes. TIG welding with a zinc-free filler
rod is the most popular.

To minimise porosity, a zinc-free filler wire should be used, either silicon


bronze or an aluminium bronze. High welding speeds will reduce pore
coarseness. TIG and MIG processes are used with argon or an argon-
helium mixture for shielding gas but, for oxyacetylene welding, an oxidising
flame is used. A preheat is normally used for low (<20%) Zn brass to avoid
fusion defects due to the high thermal conductivity. Although preheat is not
needed in higher zinc content alloys, slow cooling reduces cracking risk.
PWHT also helps reduce the risk of SCC in areas where there is high
restraint.

17.3.3 Bronzes
There are several types of bronze:

 Phosphor bronze is copper-tin (1-10%Sn) alloy containing up to 0.4%


phosphorus; normally welded with matching consumables.
 Silicon bronze contains typically 3%Si and 1%Mn and is probably the
easiest of the bronzes to weld.
 Gun metal, which is essentially a tin bronze with up to 5%Zn and may
additionally have up to 5%Pb. Alloys with high lead contents are
considered unweldable due to hot cracking problems in the weld metal
and HAZ.

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17.3.4 Aluminium bronze


There are essentially two types of aluminium bronze; single phase alloys
containing between 5-10%Al, with a small amount of iron or nickel and more
complex two phase alloys containing up to 12%Al and about 5%Fe with
specific alloys also containing nickel and manganese and silicon. Gas
shielded welding processes are preferred for welding this latter group of
alloys. In TIG welding, the presence of a tenacious, refractory oxide film
requires AC (with argon shielding), or DC (with a helium shielding gas).
Preheat is not normally required except when welding thick section
components.

Two phase alloys are more easily welded. Single phase alloys can be
susceptible to weld metal cracking and HAZ cracking can occur under highly
restrained conditions. Matching filler metals help to maintain the weld
corrosion resistance. Rigorous cleaning of the material surface is essential,
both before and after each run, to avoid porosity.

17.3.5 Copper nickel alloys


Copper nickel alloys (cupronickels) contain 5-30%Ni, with specific alloys
having additions of iron and manganese; 90/10 and 70/30 Cu/Ni alloys are
commonly welded grades. These alloys are single phase and generally
considered readily weldable using inert gas processes ie TIG, MIG and to a
lesser extent, MMA. Matching filler can be used but 70/30 is often regarded
as a universal filler for these alloys. Copper-nickel alloys have a thermal
conductivity similar to low carbon steel and can normally be fusion welded
without preheat. Lead, sulphur and phosphorus are particularly detrimental
and may cause intergranular hot cracking in highly restrained joints. It is
essential that the surfaces be clean and free of these contaminating
elements before heating to a high temperature, such as in annealing or
welding.

As the alloys do not contain deoxidants, autogenous welding is not


recommended because of porosity. Filler metal compositions contain
typically 0.2-0.5%Ti, to prevent weld metal porosity. Argon shielding gas is
normally used for both TIG and MIG and argon gas backing is generally
recommended, especially in pipe welding, to produce an oxide-free root
underbead.

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Revision Questions

1 What is braze welding and what are the advantages of the process for joining
cast iron?

2 Name four different types of cast iron and which of these can be readily welded?

3 What are the main welding defects likely when welding nickel alloys? How can
they be avoided?

4 Why is preheat needed when welding pure copper?

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Arrangement of Atoms
Atomic
arrangements

Molecular Crystal Amorphous


structures structures structures
Structure of Pure Metals
• Limited number of • Atoms have repeated • Short range order
atoms strongly patterns in 3 but no long range
bonded together. directions. order.
TWI Training & Examination Services • Bonds with other • Long range order. • Liquids or non-
similar groups are crystalline solids.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course • Atoms fixed on space
weak. lattice. • eg soot.
• eg CO2, H2O. • eg diamond, metals.

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Types of Crystal Structure Types of Crystal Structure

Body centred cubic Face centred cubic

Features: Features:
• no. of atoms = 9. • no. of atoms = 14.
• high strength. • high ductility and
• moderate ductility. malleability.
• examples: Cr, V, • examples: Ni, Cu,
Mo, W, Nb,  - Fe. Al, Ag, Au, Pb,  - Fe.

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Types of Crystal Structure Solidification of Metals

Hexagonal close-packed Metals solidify in 3 dimensions as dendrites.

Features: Directions of
dendrite
• no. of atoms = 17.
growth
• low plasticity follow
• examples: Ti, Zn, directions of
Mg, Be, Zr. c heat
dissipation.

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1-1
Grain structure Grain Structure
Crystals of metals are known as grains. Solidification of metals - practical implications
• Grain boundaries.
• Columnar structure of
weld metal.

Grain

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Crystal Structure: Point Imperfections Crystal Structure: Linear Imperfections

Perfect lattice Linear imperfections = dislocations


Point imperfections

Interstitials Vacancies

Atoms in lattice
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Dislocations Plastic Deformation

Edge Appears due to an extra Movement of dislocations is the mechanism of


plane of atoms. plastic deformation.

DISLOCATIONS

Appears due to a
Screw
step of atoms.

• Dislocations move along planes of high atomic density.


• Dislocation movement leads to plastic deformation.
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1-2
Preventing Dislocations Moving Elastic and Plastic Deformation

• When dislocations cannot move it takes more force • Elastic deformation = reversible, small (below yield point).
to deform (yield) the material and the metal has • Plastic deformation = permanent, larger (beyond yield
higher strength. point).
• Yield strength is lower at higher temperatures so
• Dislocations become pinned by flaws in the crystal deformation is easier at higher temperatures.
lattice and stable (low energy) lattice sites.
Elastic Plastic
• Barriers to dislocation motion include:
– Interstitial atoms (eg in solid solution alloys). Yield
point
– Precipitates (eg second phase or inter-metallic
particles).
– Grain boundaries.
– Other dislocations.

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Hot and Cold Deformation Strengthening Due to Grain Size

• Hot deformation = above recrystallisation Decreased


temperature. grain size
• Cold deformation = below recrystallisation
temperature.
Increased number of
• Recrystallisation = new grains nucleating and
grain boundaries
growing within the solid.
• Recrystallisation occurs in deformed solid
material above the recrystallisation temperature Increased hardness and strength
eg weld HAZ.
(also increased toughness)

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Grain Size Measurement Work Hardening


ASTM E 112 Coarse grains Fine grains • Work hardening is when a material is plastically
deformed in order to increase its dislocation
Increase in 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 density and therefore increase its strength.
grain size • During work hardening (or cold work) dislocations
become entangled and their further movement is
prevented – higher strength.
• This is also associated with a decrease in ductility.
• Effects can be reversed by annealing at high
temperature, recovery and recrystallisation, to
reduce the dislocation density.

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1-3
Alloys

Alloys are substances with metallic properties


composed of at least two elements, of which at
least one of them is a metal.
Alloys and Phase Diagrams
Why do we need alloys?
• To obtain materials with superior properties.
TWI Training & Examination Services • To match requirements that cannot be
EWF/IIW Diploma Course fulfilled by pure materials alone.

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Alloy Systems Solid Solution


A solid solution is a microscopically homogeneous and
Alloy systems
random distribution of atoms of one kind (solute)
throughout atoms of another (solvent).

With total With total With total


solubility in solubility in solubility in
liquid and solid liquid phase liquid phase
phase (solid and total and partial Substitutional: diameter of solute Interstitial: diameter of solute atom
solution) insolubility in solubility in atom = diameter of solvent atom ± is much smaller than diameter of
solid phase solid phase 15% (eg Ni in Cu). solvent atom (eg C in Fe).

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How To Produce A Phase Diagram Alloy Systems


System with total solubility in liquid and solid
phase: Cu - Ni alloy system.
T (°C) T (°C)
Liquid
1455 °C

1085 °C Solid
Phase diagrams can be determined by taking a series of
cooling curves for a system over a range of compositions
Then swap the time axis for composition. 100% Cu 100% Ni
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2-1
Using the Phase Diagram Using the Phase Diagram
Determine the phases present at different temperatures Find the temperatures at which solidification starts/ends
T (°C) 100% Liquid T (°C)
Liquid Liquid
phase
T1
Mixture (mush)
of liquid and
solid phase TStart
T3
TEnd

T2 Solid
Solid
100% Solid
phase

100% Cu 60% Cu 100% Ni 100% Cu 60% Cu 100% Ni


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Using the Phase Diagram Using the Phase Diagram


Determine the concentration of phases at a specific Determine the quantity of phases present at a specific
temperature (T) temperature (T) - the lever rule.
Liquid
T (°C) T (°C)
Liquid

T = 1232°C T = 1232°C
Solid
C

solid phase Solid % of solid = A = 66-60


liquid phase C 66-57
57% Cu
66% Cu

100% Cu 60% Cu 100% Ni 100% Cu 66% Cu 60% Cu 57% Cu 100% Ni


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Alloy Solidification - Coring Alloy Solidification - Coring


• During solidification, first solid to form 60% Cu
Liquid T (°C)
T (°C)
has a different composition to the last
solid to form.
• Therefore chemical composition and
properties vary through the dendrite. TStart
• The larger the distance between Solid
liquidus and solidus lines, or the TEnd
higher the cooling rate, the larger the
inhomogeneity.
• Can only be corrected by heat
treatment for long time at high
temperature (eg 24 hours @ 1000°C) 100% % Cu at end of % Cu at start of 100%
then slow cooling. Cu solidification solidification Ni
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2-2
Alloy Systems Alloy Systems

Alloy systems System with total solubility in liquid phase and total
insolubility in solid phase, eg Bi - Cd alloy system.
T (°C) T (°C)

Liquid 321 °C

271 °C

With total With total With total Liquid + Bi Liquid + Cd


solubility in solubility in solubility in 146 °C
liquid and solid liquid phase liquid phase Solidus line

Eutectic
phase (solid and total and partial
solution) insolubility in solubility in Eutectic + Bi Eutectic + Cd
solid phase solid phase
100% Bi 40% Cd 100% Cd
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Eutectic Alloy Features Solidification in Bi - Cd Alloy System

• It is a mechanical mixture between two Crystals of


Liquid
pure Cd T (°C)
components at a specific concentration. T (°C)

• It has the lowest melting/solidification point 321 °C


TStart
among all the alloys. 271 °C Liquid

• Solidification occurs at a fixed temperature. Liquid + Bi Liquid + Cd


• Usually it consists of 146 °C
Solidus line
a lamellar structure.
• An alloy system can
Liquid phase Solid phase
possess more than composition composition
one eutectic alloy.
100% Bi 80% Cd 100% Cd
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Eutectic Reaction in Bi - Cd Alloy System The Eutectic Alloy in Bi - Cd Alloy System


T (°C) T (°C) Liquid 146 °C Eutectic (Bi + Cd)
T (°C) T (°C)
Liquid 321 °C
Liquid 321 °C
271 °C
271 °C
Liquid + Cd

Solidus line 146 °C


146 °C Solidus line
Crystals
of pure Cd
Eutectic
Bi + Cd
Eutectic Bi + Cd

100% Bi 80% Cd 100% Cd


100% Bi 40% Cd 100% Cd
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2-3
Alloy Systems Alloy Systems
System with total solubility in liquid phase and partial solubility in
Alloy systems solid phase: Cu - Ag alloy system T (°C)
1085°C
Liquid
962 °C
Liquid + 
Liquid + 
T (°C) 
with total with total with total  780 °C
Solidus line
solubility in solubility in solubility in
8% Ag 91% Ag

Eutectic
liquid and solid liquid phase liquid phase
+
phase (solid and total and partial
solution) insolubility in solubility in
solid phase solid phase
100% Cu 72% Ag 100% Ag
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Solidification in Cu - Ag Alloy System Eutectic Reaction in Cu - Ag Alloy System


Crystals of  Liquid T (°C) T (°C)
T (°C) T (°C) 1085 °C
1085 °C Liquid 962 °C
Liquid + 
TStart Liquid 962 °C
Liquid +  Liquid + 
  780 °C
Liquid +  Solidus line
 Eutectic  + 
 780 °C
Solidus line
Crystals of 

Solid phase Liquid phase


composition composition
100% Cu 30% Ag 100% Ag
780 °C
100% Cu 30% Ag 100% Ag Liquid Eutectic ( + )
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Partial Solubility in the Solid Phase Age Hardening

• Insolubility of one element in the solid phase Single phase - 


of the other means that particles of one solid (uniform solid solution)
phase will precipitate in the other solid α
phase.
• Needs slow cooling (equilibrium conditions).
α+ Normal
• Precipitates tend to nucleate on existing
βsec cooling
grain boundaries.
Grain
• Second phase precipitates can age harden
boundary
the alloy.
precipitates
Range of age hardening alloys
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2-4
Precipitate Size vs. Temperature Practical Implications of Age Hardening

• Increased hardness and tensile strength.


• Size of precipitates become coarser as the
ageing temperature is increased.
• Ageing temperature controls distribution of
the second phase as well as size.
• Many fine and uniformly dispersed
precipitates are more effective than few coarse
precipitates.
• If heating is too prolonged/excessive, the alloy
re-softens.
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Solid State Phase Transformations The Iron-Carbon Phase Diagram


T (°C) Liquid T (°C)
• Iron-Carbon diagram can be broken down into
several smaller phase diagrams:
• Peritectic reaction.
– Liquid to solid transformation, occurs at high temperature
 about 1495°C and low carbon (<0.5%).
+ + • Eutectic reaction.
 – Liquid to solid transformation, occurs in cast irons at

greater than 2.1% carbon at 1148°C .
Eutectoid

+ • Eutectoid reaction.


– Solid to solid transformation, occurs at low carbon (0.02-
2.1%) and at 727°C. The most important part of the phase
100% A 100% B diagram for predicting the phases in steels in service.
Eutectoid: similar to eutectic, but solid to solid phase change
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Phases in Iron Iron-Carbon Peritectic and Eutectic Reactions

• Liquid, L (melting point of steel is between 1147-


1550°C).
• Delta iron, δ, a bcc high temperature iron phase.
• Austenite, γ, fcc phase, stable from 723-1447°C.
• Ferrite, α, bcc iron phase, stable down to room
temperature.
• Iron carbide, Fe3C, a higher carbon compound
also called cementite, which along with α forms
pearlite (a lamellar eutectoid).

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2-5
Iron Carbon Eutectoid Reaction Iron Carbon Phase Diagram

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Steel Microstructures Phase Diagram - Advantages


• One diagram is valid for an entire alloy system.
• At a specific temperature, can determine:
– phases present and their composition.
– percentage of each phase for various alloy
compositions (lever rule).
• Determination of melting/solidification points of all
alloys.
• Offers information regarding solubility.
• Determine phase changes that occur with a change in
composition and/or temperature.
Hypoeutectoid steels Hypereutectoid steels • Useful for determining heat treatment temperature.
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Phase Diagram – Disadvantages


• Takes into consideration only two elements.
• Does not indicate the structural arrangement
of the phases ie lamellae, globules, films.
• Does not indicate the structural distribution
of the secondary phases ie either distributed
within grains or deposited at grain
boundaries.
• Shows only the equilibrium (slow cooling)
state, not representative of production or
welding.

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2-6
Iron Ores

Magnetite
• Fe3O4.
Steel Manufacture • Greyish black or iron
black colour.
• Magnetic.
• Contains approximately
TWI Training & Examination Services
72% Fe.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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Iron Ores Iron Ores

Siderite
Haematite
• Fe CO3.
• Fe2O3.
• Greenish grey or brown
• Reddish grey or blackish grey colour.
red colour.
• Contains approximately
• Contains approximately 63% Fe.
70% Fe.

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Iron Ores Blast Furnace

Limonite
• Fe3O(OH) - hydrated
iron oxides.
• Yellowish brown colour.
• Contains approximately
48% Fe.

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3-1
Blast Furnace - Input and Output Blast Furnace Reactions

Input: • Coke burns to form carbon monoxide (CO).


• Iron ore. • CO reduces iron ore to molten iron.
• Coke  carbon.
• Limestone decomposes into lime (calcium
• Hot air  oxygen.
oxide).
• Limestone.
• Lime combines with silicon in the gangue to
• Firebrick lining.
form slag (calcium silicate).
Output:
• Pig iron. • Molten pig iron and slag tapped at bottom of
• Slag. furnace.
• Waste gases. • Waste gases emitted from top of the stack.

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Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS)


Pig Iron Properties
Process Stages
Steel scrap
• High carbon content - ~ 4.5%. Molten pig iron
O2

• High level of impurities - S ~ 0.06%, P ~ 1%.


• Low tensile strength.
• Very low ductility, high brittleness.
• High amount of dissolved gases.

Oxygen reacts
Molten steel with dissolved
carbon forming
Pig iron typically converted to steel using basic oxygen CO and CO2
steelmaking (BOS) process.
Transfer ladle
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The Electric Arc Furnace Ingot Solidification


Metal solidifies from outside inwards
Large equiaxed
crystals

Charging Columnar
(scrap, pig crystals
iron) (anisotropy)

Melting Reduction (add alloy


Oxidation (add
(addition of elements and
flux to remove C,
O2/fuel) reducing slag to
P, N) Chill, fine equiaxed crystals
remove O2 and S)
(high plasticity)
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3-2
Ingot Production Continuous Casting

Un-killed steel Semi-killed steel Killed steel


• High amount of • Fewer dissolved • Fully deoxidised by
dissolved gases. gases. additions of Mn, Si
• NOT permitted for • Small additions and Al.
structural of Si and Al. • For concast and
applications. structural
applications.
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Continuous Casting Shape Casting

Advantages Liquid metal fills a cavity within a mould and solidifies into
a useful shape.
• Faster than rolling from
ingots - 300 t steel in
45min compared to
12hours.
• Cheaper - no ingot
moulds, handling, etc.
• No piping problems.
Disadvantages
• Impurities segregate at
the centre of the plate.

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Rolling Rolling Products

Principle of operation - thickness reduction Stages of rolling


through compression. • Primary rolling - large ingots converted to blooms and
slabs (concasting often avoids this step).
• Secondary rolling - blooms and slabs converted to plates,
Input: Output: sheets, profiles etc.
Ingots, Long length – Slab used to make plate, sheet and pipe. Typical cross-
sectional dimensions: 3000 x 200mm.
other products with
rolled uniform cross – Bloom used to make rolled shapes and I-beams. Typical
section cross sectional dimensions: 150 x 150mm.
products
(blooms, slabs, – Billet used to make bars, rods and wire. Typical cross
billets, plates, sectional dimensions: 50 x 50mm up to 120 x 120mm.
etc)

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3-3
Plastic Deformation During Rolling Types of Rolling
Equiaxed Elongated
crystals crystals

Increase in
hardness and Intermediate
tensile strength annealing

Decrease in Rolling below


Degree of plastic deformation ductility recrystallization Cold rolling
temperature
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Types of Rolling Effect of Rolling on Steel Inclusions

Stringers

Spontaneous
recrystallization
Rolling above
recrystallization Hot rolling
temperature

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Overview of Sheet Steel Production Forging Methods


Forging involves the deformation Open die forging
and shaping of metals under
localised compressive forces
Hammer

Closed die forging Anvil

Upper die
Flash

Lower die Gutter

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3-4
Typical forged product Extrusion

Extrusion is used to produce a length of material with


a fixed cross-sectional profile by forcing the material
through a shaped die under high pressure.
Forging lines
Direct extrusion

Die

Ram
Billet

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Drawing

Drawing is a process
in which the cross-
sectional profile of a
wire or pipe is
reduced or altered
by pulling through a
drawing die.

Mandrel

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3-5
Material Properties
• Yield strength and ultimate tensile strength.
• Ductility.
• Notch (impact) toughness.
• Fracture toughness.
Materials Testing
• Hardness.
• Corrosion resistance.
TWI Training & Examination Services • Creep resistance.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course • Fatigue resistance.
• Physical properties (density, thermal
conductivity, etc).

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Tensile Test Stress-Strain Curve


• Performed on parent metal or weld deposit.
• Determine YS, UTS, elongation and RoA.
Parallel length

Gauge length

Radius Diameter of the


reduced section

Gripped end

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Tensile Test - Definitions Tensile Test - Definitions


• Yield strength - the point at • Elongation - the %
which behaviour changes
from elastic to plastic increase in the original
deformation. gauge length.
• Ultimate tensile strength • Reduction of area
(UTS) - stress corresponding (RoA) - maximum
to the maximum force.
change in CSA
• Proof strength - stress at
which a certain non-
occurring during test
proportional extension is expressed as a
achieved (defined for when percentage of the
there is no yield plateau) eg original CSA.
0.2%.

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4-1
Cross Weld Tensile Test Toughness

• Machined across the weld Toughness is the resistance of a material to fracture.


so that parent, HAZ and
weld metal are sampled. Impact toughness tests:
• Weld cap may be ground • Charpy impact test.
off. • Drop-weight nil-ductility test (Pellini).
• Measure UTS and
position of fracture only. Fracture toughness tests:
• 3 areas with dissimilar • CTOD test (crack tip opening displacement).
properties make • R-curve testing (resistance to progressive crack
measurements of yield or extension, implying fracture toughness can change
elongation inaccurate. with crack extension).

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Charpy V-notch Impact Test Specimen Charpy V-notch Impact Test

Specimen Pendulum
(striker)

Specimen
dimensions from
ASTM E23 Anvil
(support)

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Fracture Toughness Testing Fracture Toughness Testing

• Proportional testpiece.
• May be full thickness of material.

• Contains genuine crack.


• Can target specific microstructure eg HAZ.

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4-2
Fracture Toughness Testing Bend Tests

Calculate fracture toughness


from:
• Load at fracture.
• CTOD at fracture

• Bend tests determine the soundness of the


weld zone. Bend testing can also be used to
give an assessment of weld zone ductility.
• There are three ways to perform a bend test,
face bend, root bend or side bend
• Side bend tests are normally carried out on
welds over 12mm in thickness.
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Fatigue Testing Hardness

• Apply a cyclic stress range to a • Hardness is the resistance of a material against


specimen and count the penetration.
number of cycles to failure. • Measured by indentation under constant load
• Similar specimens can be used imposed for a fixed time.
to plot a S-N (stress versus no.
of cycles) curve. • Measure hardness in different areas of a weld.
• Parent metals spend a lot of • Used to assess resistance toward brittle fracture,
lifetime initiating fatigue crack. cold cracking and corrosion sensitivity in H2S.
• Intrusions at weld toes mean
most of life is in propagation for
Hardness tests: • Vickers
welds. • Brinell
• (Rockwell)

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Vickers/Brinell Hardness Test Machine Vickers Hardness Test

d1  d2
d
2

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4-3
Brinell Hardness Test Rockwell Hardness Test

HR = E - e

d d E is a constant, 100 for diamond cone indenter and 130 for steel ball
d 1 2 indenter.
2
e is the permanent increase in penetration depth due to major load.

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Metallographic Examination Metallographic Examination

Stages in metallographic examination:


• Cutting of the specimen - MUST be performed
mechanically, not thermal cutting.
• Mounting of sample in resin or Bakelite.
• Wet grinding using silicon carbide abrasive paper.
• Polishing using diamond pastes spread onto a suitable
cloth mounted onto a buffing wheel.
• Etching - heavy etch for macro, light etch for micro.
• Examination - up to 10X magnification for macro, 100-
1200X magnification for micro.
Macro examination Micro examination

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Metallographic Examination
• Used for detecting weld defects (macro).
• Measuring grain size (micro).
• Point counting the proportion of different constituents.
• Detecting brittle microstructures, precipitates, etc.
• Assessing resistance toward brittle fracture, cold
cracking and corrosion sensitivity.
Information to be supplied on the test report:
• Material type • Location of examined area
• Etching solution • Weld imperfections (macro)
• Magnification • Phase, constituents,
• Grain size precipitates (micro)
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4-4
Heat Treatment
Why?
• Tailor mechanical properties.
• Change microstructure.
Heat Treatment of Steels • Reduce residual stress level.
• Improve machinability.
• Homogenize chemical composition.
TWI Training & Examination Services How?
EWF/IIW Diploma Course • Flame oven.
• Electric oven/electric heating blankets.
• Induction/HF heating elements.
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Heat Treatment Cycle Types of Heat Treatment


What are key parameters? Equilibrium heat treatments (Ferrite and pearlite)
• Homogenizing.
Heating Temperature? Heating rate?
• Full annealing.
• Normalising.
Soaking Time? • Recovery and recrystallisation.
• Stress relieving
Cooling Cooling rate? Non-equilibrium heat treatment (Martensite)
• Quench and tempering.
Reheating?
Heat treatment following welding (PWHT)
• Stress relieving.
Type of heat treatment? What properties do you want? • Tempering.
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Heat Treatments to Produce


Homogenizing
Ferrite and Pearlite (Equilibrium)
oC oC
• Relatively low • High
heating and Hot Working and Homogenizing Temperature in
Acm
cooling rates. austenite
Acm
Austenite • To improve Austenite phase field.
ductility, • Diffusion
A3 Austenite increase Austenite controlled
A3
+
Cementite
toughness, + reduction of
Austenite Austenite Cementite
+ Ferrite reduce residual segregation
+ Ferrite
stresses, (from casting).
Ferrite
Eutectoid A1 and/or improve Eutectoid A1
• Complete
(Pearlite) Ferrite
machinability. (Pearlite) dissolution of
• Adequately precipitates.
Ferrite + cementite Ferrite + cementite
(Fe3C) described by
(Fe3C)
equilibrium
0.008 0.77 2.0 phase diagram. 0.008
0.022 0.77 2.0
Carbon content in weight % 0.022 Carbon content in weight %
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5-1
Annealed and Normalised Steel
Annealing and Normalising
Microstructures
oC
Pearlite

Austenite
Acm
910
Normalising –
Air cool Annealing –
A3
Furnace cool
727
A1
Annealing of hypereutectoid steels is carried out in the
austenite + cementite phase field to spheroidize the
carbides and avoid cementite film formation along the grain
boundaries. Ferrite
0.008 0.77 2.0 Annealed Normalised
0.022 Carbon content in weight %
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Homogenizing/Annealing and Normalizing Recovery and Recrystallisation


Homogenizing • Cold work increase strength and reduce ductility and
• usually carried out in the early stages of steel processing, prior to toughness.
hot forging or rolling;
• Reversed by recovery and recrystallisation:
• Carried out at high temperatures in the austenite phase field;
• To improve chemical composition homogeneity and dissolve
– But if temperature too high excessive grain growth
precipitates. leads to drop in strength and toughness
Full annealing Normalising • Recovery reduces the stored energy in cold-worked or
deformed (rolled) material.
• Soaking temperature a • Full austenitisation.
function of C-content. • Aimed at obtaining a uniform • Dislocations move and align at heat treatment
• Soft microstructure ideal for fine grained structure temperature (recovery).
further mechanical working. (increase in toughness). • New defect-free grains nucleate from grain boundaries
• Slow cooling in the oven • Faster cooling (air cooling). and grow (recrystallisation).
(max: 20°C/h).

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Recovery and Recrystallisation Non Equilibrium Heat Treatment - Quenching

oC

Austenite
Acm
910

A3
Annealing
727
A1

0.008 0.83 2.0


0.05
Carbon content in weight %

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5-2
Non Equilibrium Heat Treatment - Quenching Tempering
• Subcritical (Below A1) heat treatment to tailor
• Heating to annealing heat treatment temperature
hardness/strength of martensite.
range.
• Performed after quenching to reduce the brittleness.
• Fast cooling to increase hardness: • Ductility and toughness are improved.
– Brine (Water and salt) • Removes stresses due to quenching.
Increased quench severity
– Water
– Oil
• Ductility and toughness are drastically reduced.

Hardness
• Usually followed by tempering.

As- 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 oC

quenched
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Tempering Heat Treatments Following Welding

Stress relief
• Carried out at lower temperature below A1 to reduce
residual stresses.

Tempering
• Carried out at higher temperature below A1. Not only
relieves stresses, but also softens the hard HAZ
microstructure.

Low C steel (0.12C) After tempering at 700°C for 30


Austenitised, 900°C for 30 minutes; minutes and air cooled.
Water quenched. 245Hv
380Hv
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Stress Relief and PWHT PWHT Recommendations

oC
• No phase transformation
• Provide adequate support (low YS at high
• Slow heating and cooling temperature).
(max: 50°C/h). • Control heating rate to avoid uneven thermal
Austenite
910 Acm • Soaking time 1hr/inch of
thickest section. expansions.
A3
A1 • Usual temperature for • Control soak time to equalise temperatures.
727 PWHT (C-Mn steel) –
550-650°C. • Control temperature gradients - NO direct flame
Tempering
600 • Stress Relief carried out impingement.
after cold work or
500
Stress Relief
welding, at lower • Control cooling rate to avoid new residual stress.
0.022 0.77 2.0
temperatures. • For specific PWHT applications see standards
Carbon content in
weight %
ASME VIII, ASME B31.3, ASME B31.8.
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5-3
Iron and Carbon
• Pure iron is not a
structural material.
• Small additions of carbon
Fe–C Steels greatly affect mechanical
properties.
• Steels are ferrous alloys
containing up to 2%
TWI Training & Examination Services carbon.
• Above 2% carbon usually
IIW/EWF Diploma Course
only cast iron.

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Steels - Terminology Steels Terminology – Other Alloys


Carbon steels HSLA
• Plain C steels • Low C.
– Up to 1% Mn. • Micro-alloyed with Nb, V, Ti for grain refinement and
– Specified based on properties and max C content. precipitation hardening.
• C-Mn steels
• Strengths up to 560MPa (80ksi).
– Similar to plain C steels but with Mn contents of between 1 and TMCP
1.65 weight %. • ThermoMechanically Controlled Processed.
Alloy steels • HSLA is TMCP.
• Variant of TMCP is Accelerated Controlled Cooling (ACC) to
• Metastable martensite microstructures to meet strength and
describe steels rapidly cooled following hot rolling.
toughness requirements.
• Microstructures of ACC steels are acicular ferrite and bainite.
• Alloys specified based on element additions to increase
• Strengths up to 560MPa (80ksi).
hardenability to achieve designated strength, ductility and
toughness. • Special processing (Martensite also in microstructure)
strengths up to 825MPa (120ksi) are possible.
• Total alloying content <5%.
Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012 Copyright © TWI Ltd 2012

Steels Terminology – Other Alloys Weldability: Carbon Equivalent


Others Carbon equivalent is used to rank steels according to their
weldability, with reference to the resistance to fabrication
• Austempered, Martempered, maraging, creep resistant,
DP, TRIP, TWIP and ballistic hydrogen cracking:

C > ~0.11C
Mn Cr  Mo  V Ni  Cu CEIIW ≤ 0.4
CEIIW  C    Good weldability
6 5 15
CEIIW ≥ 0.5
C < ~0.11C Poor weldability
Si Mn  Cu  Cr Ni Mo V
p cm  C       5B
30 20 60 15 10
Alloying additions less of an issue at lower C levels
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6-1
TTT and CCT Diagrams TTT and CCT Diagrams
TTT = Time Temperature CCT = Continuous Cooling 900
Advantages:
Transformation diagram Transformation diagram Ac3 • Include effects of all
Start
Ac1 alloying elements
Austenite phase field Austenite phase field 700 Ferrite
• Show transformations that
Temperature (0C)

Pearlite

Temperature (0C)
Finish occur under non-equilibrium
Phase transformations measured Bainite conditions
under continuous cooling conditions 500

Disadvantages:
Ms
• Are specific to one alloy
300
Phase transformations measured Martensite composition.
under isothermal hold conditions Ferrite and
Most applicable to welding Mf Bainite Ferrite and
Time (s) Time (s) 100
Martensite Pearlite

Show transformation products of austenite under non-equilibrium conditions Time

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CE and CCT Diagrams Weldability of C-Mn Steels: CE<0.4


900
• Low susceptibility to hydrogen-assisted cracking.
Ac3 Start • Preheat generally not required.
Ac1
700 Ferrite
Pearlite
• Low hardenability means weld and HAZ
Finish
hardened zones not severely hard, even if rapidly
500
Bainite
cooled.
>CE
Ms
• Easily welded with arc, gas or resistance welding
300
processes.
Martensite
• Use low-alloy filler metal matching parent metal
Mf
100
mechanical properties.

Time

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Weldability of C-Mn Steels: 0.4<CE<0.5 Weldability of C-Mn Steels: CE>0.5

• Weldability is still good when using low hydrogen • Risk of formation of hard martensite in the HAZ.
welding process or consumables. • Weld metal and HAZ are susceptible to
• Some risk of hydrogen-assisted cracking due to hydrogen-assisted cracking and low toughness.
increased hardenability, especially thicker • Low hydrogen welding processes must be used.
sections. • Preheat at 150-250°C, depending upon carbon
• For thickness >25mm preheat at 40-75°C. content, maintain interpass temperature >150°C.
• Maintain interpass temperature >100°C. • Slow cool and PWHT.
• PWHT thick sections or if high joint restraint.

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6-2
Interpass Temperature Summary of Heating Requirements
• A temperature, specified as minimum and/or maximum
for the deposited weld metal and adjacent base metal
before the next pass is started. Carbon Preheat Interpass PWHT
equivalent temperature (oC) temperature (oC) temperature (oC)
• Steels which require preheat, must be kept above
minimum interpass temperature between the weld
passes. CE ≤ 0.4 Not required Not specified Not required

• Heat input is often adequate to maintain the interpass 0.4 ≤ CE ≤ 0.5 40-75°C 100-200°C 525-650°C
temperature, depending on plate thickness. (thick section) (thick section)

• Maximum interpass temperatures are imposed to limit CE ≥ 0.5 150-200°C 150-300°C 550-650°C
grain coarsening, or to ensure transformation from
austenite between passes.

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6-3
Micro-alloy(HSLA) Steels
• Micro-alloy/high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels have
high strength (up to 700MPa) with <0.12% carbon.
• Good weldability from low carbon equivalent.
Fine-Grained • High toughness.
• Obtain strength and toughness from fine grain structure.
Micro-Alloyed Steels
• Use micro-alloying.
• And/or thermo-mechanically controlled processing
TWI Training & Examination Services (TMCP) or quenching and tempering (QT).
EWF/IIW Diploma Course • Used for structural applications, pressure vessels,
pipelines.

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Grain Size Measurement Micro-alloyed Steels

ASTM E 112 Coarse grains Fine grains • Usually alloyed with V and Nb (max. 0.10%) and Ti
(up to 0.025%).
Increase in 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 • Nb controls recrystallisation during rolling.
grain size
• Additional precipitation hardening effect from Nb and
V.
• Fine grains and precipitates give high strength and
toughness.
• Ni, Mo for higher strength or thicker sections.
• Low C content gives excellent weldability.
• Heat input & preheat limited to avoid grain growth.

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TMCP Steels TMCP Steels - Manufacturing


• Thermo-mechanically controlled processed (TMCP) steels
– high strength and toughness with low carbon content.
• Manufactured by:
– Rough rolling – Fairly high temperature deformation of
austenite gives rapid recrystallisation and fine austenite grains.
– Finish rolling – Lower temperature rolling below region of rapid
recrystallisation. Deformation bands act as sites for
subsequent austenite transformation.
– Accelerated cooling – Typically between 5-15°C/second
between 800-500°C, followed by air cooling from 500°C.
Strengthening from refinement of ferrite grains and enhanced
precipitation hardening in micro-alloyed steels.

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7-1
Weldability and Application of HSLA Steels Steel Grades
Advantages Pipe line steels
• Low carbon/IIW CE means lower danger of cold cracking • API 5L/ISO 3183 eg X52, X60, X65, X70, X80
and little or no preheat required. • 52 is the yield strength in ksi.
• Compared with carbon steels, thinner sections are Structural steel (buildings, bridges)
required to carry same load. • EN 10025, EN 10113, EN 10137 eg S355N,
Disadvantages S550A.
• Narrow range of heat input to prevent grain growth so • S means structural steel, 355 is yield strength in
accurate setting of parameters essential. MPa, N, M or A is delivery condition (normalised,
• Use overmatched filler metal so risk of weld metal cold TMCP or annealed).
cracking.
• Risk of lower strength and toughness on fusion line.
• PWHT temperature limited.
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Steel Grades
Pressure vessel steels
• EN 10028, EN 10149, EN 10225, EN 10210 (replace
BS4360:1990).
• eg P355N, P means for pressure purposes.
Thermomechanically rolled steels
• EN 10025-4.
Quenched and tempered steels
• EN 10025-6:2004+A1:2009, DefStan 02-736 Part 1
[Q1(N)], ASTM A514, A517.
• Used for submarine hull construction, earth moving
equipment, cranes and offshore oil and gas wells.

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7-2
Structure of the Weld

Structure of The Welded Joint

TWI Training & Examination Services Welds contain three


EWF/IIW Diploma Course regions; parent metal,
HAZ and weld metal.

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Heat Input Heat Effects in Welding

Heat input = volts x amps x thermal efficiency (beware units) • Expansion and contraction → residual stresses.
travel speed • Changes in chemical composition by diffusion and dilution
affect mechanical properties.
High heat input welds:
• Cooling from melting temperature down to room
• Single pass welds.
temperature → HAZ.
• Large weld bead.
• High dilution.
• Slow cooling → grain growth in HAZ → low toughness.
• Deep narrow arc weld may lead to solidification cracking.
Low heat input welds:
• Multi pass welds.
• Smaller weld bead.
• Fast cooling = risk of hard brittle zones in HAZ.
• Control heat input or use preheat.
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Cooling Time Between 800-500°C Formation of Molten Pool

• Important because it covers the temperature at


which austenite transforms during cooling.
• Influenced by the heat input and the heat sink
(thickness and initial temperature).
• Characterises the microstructures formed in the
weld and HAZ.

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8-1
Stages in Weld Pool Solidification Dilution

Square butt Single bevel V groove with backing


(two runs high (multi-run strip (used for metal
dilution). medium dilution) testing, low dilution)

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Solidification of Weld Metal Typical MMA Weld Metal

SEM picture of a weld showing dendritic growth


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Pro-eutectoid Ferrite Solidification of Weld Metal

Note that:
• Columnar grains follow the heat dissipation path.
• Solidification starts from fusion line towards centre of
weld.

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8-2
HAZ Regions Grain Coarsened HAZ

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Grain Coarsened HAZ Grain Refined HAZ

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Intercritical HAZ Subcritical HAZ

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8-3
Multi-run HAZ Microstructure Multi-pass HAZ Regions

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Refined HAZ Multi-pass Refining Effect

Effect of larger MMA


weld bead on multi-
pass refinement (due
to higher heat input
from larger electrode
diameter).

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Multi- vs Single-pass Welding


• Reheat thermal cycle of subsequent passes re-
austenitises/refines parts of microstructure in the
previous weld bead  improved toughness.
• Tempering effect of subsequent runs  reduced
residual stresses.
• Low heat input per pass  limited grain growth.
• Less dilution  better control of weld composition.
• Preheat effect  reduced hydrogen level.
• BUT, lower productivity from larger number of
passes.

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8-4
Hydrogen (Cold) Cracking

Cracking Mechanisms

TWI Training and Examination Services


EWF/IIW Diploma Course HAZ hydrogen cracking Weld metal hydrogen
cracking

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Factors for Cold Cracking Sources of Hydrogen


• Welding consumables:
• Presence of hydrogen. – Flux coated rods (MMA).
• Susceptible – Flux shielding (SAW).
microstructure/high – Shielding gases.
hardness • Rust, grease, dirt or oil surface
>350HV (C-Mn steel low H contamination.
consumable).
• Atmosphere - particularly in warm and humid
• High tensile stress
conditions.
>0.5 YS. • Hydrogen in weld metal measured in
• Low temperature millilitres of dissolved hydrogen per 100g of
~<150°C. weld metal (ml H/100g).

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Microstructure Temperature Effect on Cold Cracking

Hard microstructures at greater risk. • Hydrogen (cold) cracking occurs if hydrogen is still
• Some factors affecting microstructure hardness: present once material has cooled to <300°C and more
– Fast cooling = Hard microstructure. likely, <150°C.
• Low heat input gives fast cooling. • Hydrogen cracking can be avoided by keeping material
• Preheat slows cooling rate. warm for sufficient time to allow hydrogen to diffuse out.
• Thicker section = Faster cooling. • Preheat slows cooling – enhances diffusion.
• Maintain interpass temperature and then post heat before
• Higher carbon, higher alloy steels at greater risk: joint allowed to cool.
Mn Cr  Mo  V Ni  Cu
• Hydrogen cracking can also take time to occur.
CEIIW  C    C≥0.18 – Welds often left to cool for 24 or 48 hours before inspection is
6 5 15 carried out, so that any hydrogen cracking will be detected.
Si Mn  Cu  Cr Ni Mo V
pcm C      5B C<0.18
30 20 60 15 10
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9-1
Cold Cracking Avoidance Benefits of PWHT
• Reduce weld metal hydrogen by proper selection of Hard microstructures at greater risk
welding process/consumable.
• If hard microstructures cannot be avoided during
• Use dry shielding gases. welding, PWHT is necessary.
• Clean joint from rust, grease and solvents. • PWHT directly following welding and joint not allowed
• Apply preheat. to cool.
• Maintain a specific interpass temperature. • Reduces microstructure hardness.
• Reduces residual stress.
• Apply post heat on completion of welding.
• Allows H to diffuse out.
• Control heat input.
• Use multi-run instead of single-run technique.
• Use a temper bead or hot pass technique.
Note: Some alloys become stronger during PWHT, while others lose
• Reduce residual stress, blend weld profile. toughness.
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Location of Hydrogen Cracks Summary - Cold Cracking


Carbon steels High plate Low amperage, Contaminated, Rich hydrogen
thickness high travel speed dirty surface filler
HSLA steels
Low heat No preheat,
High
input low interpass Hydrogen
CE
contamination
Fast cooling rate

Hydrogen
Poor joint design
diffusion
Hard, brittle and/or fit-up
martensitic
structure High stress Hydrogen trapped in
martensite lattice
Parent IIW CE > Weld IIW Weld IIW CE >> parent IIW CE
CE cracking mainly in HAZ Cracking may occur in weld metal COLD CRACKING
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Solidification Cracking Solidification Cracking and Composition

• Weld metal composition influence on susceptibility to


cracking (Unit of Cracking Susceptibility).

UCS= 230C + 190S +75P +45Nb -12.3Si - 5.4Mn -1

UCS<10 less susceptible, UCS>30 more susceptible


• Higher C increases solidification temperature range.
• Sulphur forms low melting point eutectic with Fe.
• Manganese addition improves resistance to hot cracking.
– MnS less of a problem than FeS

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9-2
Solidification Range Solidification Cracking and Joint Design (Fillet)

°C

>C Liquid (L)


1538
L
1495
Delta ferrite ()
L+
+
1394

Austenite ()

0.25 0.5 %C

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Solidification Cracking and Joint Design (Fillet) Solidification Cracking and Travel Speed

Depth to width ratio of weld bead affects


solidification pattern and hence cracking
susceptibility.
• W > d gives tendency for surface
cracks.
• W < d gives tendency for centreline
cracking.
• W/d ~3/2 promotes sound welds. CAUTION: speed = productivity = cracking risk

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Solidification Cracking and Dilution Solidification Cracking: Austenitic Alloys


• Filler metals often formulated to resist hot cracking. Austenitic solidification greatly
increases risk of solidification
• Avoidance of high dilution welding conditions or joint cracking:
geometries associated with high dilution, is advisable. • S and P have very low
solubility in austenite.
• S and P form low melting point
eutectics with Fe, Cr and Ni.
Ferrite plus austenite
solidification and low S and P
content greatly reduce
susceptibility:
• S and P have greater solubility
in ferrite.
• Grain refinement from duplex
solidification.

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9-3
Summary - Solidification Cracking Causes Summary - Solidification Cracking Avoidance
High thermal Poor weld profile Reduce Add Mn Reduce heat
stress Sulphur forms a (deep, narrow) restraint input to avoid
eutectic at grain coarse grains
Excessive boundaries Decrease Mn forms inclusions
travel speed travel speed Improve joint fit-
Poor joint fit-up with sulphur before Fe
up
(wide gap) can react (higher
High dilution temperature reaction)
Reduced grain Reduce heat Reduce dilution
Primarily Poor weld bead input to lower (e.g. avoid rutile
boundary shape (concave)
austenitic cohesion dilution electrodes)
solidification
Coarse grain Low S steel
Wide freezing structure Change joint Increased hot
range design ductility Reduce C%

HOT CRACKING AVOID HOT CRACKING IN STEEL


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Liquation Cracking Liquation Cracking Mechanism


• Liquation cracking occurs at high temperature,
due to shrinkage strains.
• Forms between grains near the fusion line.
• Caused by:
– High level of impurities in weld/parent metal.
– Poor cleanliness on joint prep.
– High level of restraint.
• Can occur in steels. • Phase 1 - as a result of heat cycle, liquid films of (Fe + FeS)
• Prevalent in Al alloys, Ni eutectic appear near fusion line.
• Phase 2 - during cooling, liquid films of (Fe + FeS) eutectic
alloys and stainless steels. are subjected to tension leading to cracking.
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Lamellar Tearing Segregation

Rolling direction

Causes of lamellar tearing:


• high level of through-thickness strain.
• weld orientation (fillet and tee butt welds).
• material susceptibility (contains elongated inclusions).

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9-4
Reduction of Area in Short Transverse
Reheat Cracking
Direction (for 12.5-50mm Thick Plates)
A low value of the
short transverse
reduction of area
gives a high lamellar
tearing risk.
See:
BS EN 1011-2:
2001, Annex F and
T. G. Davey, The
Welding Institute
Research Bulletin,
1979, 20(6), 169-
171.

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Reheat Cracking Avoiding Reheat Cracking


• Intergranular cracking in creep resistant alloys containing • Careful control of steel composition
>2 of: Cr, Mo, Nb or V.
• Usually occurs in the coarse grained HAZ , but can occur • ∆G = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V – 2.
in (2.25%Cr-1%Mo-0.25%V) weld metal. – ∆G < 0
• Reheating (PWHT, service), causes dissolved • ∆G1 = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V + 10C – 2.
precipitates to form and grow which strengthens the grain – ∆G1 < 2
and lowers creep ductility of the grain boundary. • PSR = Cr + Cu + 2Mo + 10V + 7Nb + 5Ti – 2.
• Reheat cracking along grain boundary forms at 350- – PSR < 0
550°C. • K = Pb + Bi + 0.03Sb (ppm).
• Can occur either during PWHT or prolonged service in – K < 1.5 (for weld metal)
350-600°C temperature range.

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Avoiding Reheat Cracking

• Careful control of steel composition (%V < 0.1).


• Use optimum heat treatment procedures (ie the exact
soaking time, temperature and heating/cooling rate);
temper at 650-700°C followed by rapid cooling to
redistribute impurities inside the grains.
• Reduce residual stress (preheat); reduce stress
concentration by grinding the toes; avoid backing strips
and partial penetration welds; sharp notch defects not
allowed.
• Low heat input and multi-pass welding to reduce grain
growth.

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9-5
Definition

The deterioration of a metal due to chemical or (very often)


electrochemical reactions with its environment.
Common types of
corrosion
Corrosion

TWI Training & Examination Services General Galvanic Crevice


EWF/IIW Diploma Course corrosion corrosion corrosion
Stress
Intergranular Pitting corrosion
corrosion corrosion cracking
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Reactions During Corrosion REDOX

For example rusting of iron or steel. • Oxidation is electron loss.


• Reduction is electron gain.
Iron + water + oxygen Rust
• Corrosion is a balance of reduction and oxidation –
Fe + H2O + O2 Fe(OH)2 REDOX.
• REDOX potential is a measure of the affinity of a
• Chemical or electrochemical reaction of iron with substance for electrons compared with that of hydrogen.
oxygen and water = exchange of electrons. • REDOX potential of Hydrogen (H) is set at 0 volts.
• Iron is said to be oxidised. • Substances capable of reducing have negative potentials.
• Substances capable of oxidising have positive potentials.
• Water and oxygen are said to be reduced.

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Galvanic Series Types of Corrosion 1 - Galvanic Corrosion


Relative potentials in seawater: Practical implications of the galvanic series:
• Platinum. • The more anodic metal (more negative REDOX
More positive REDOX
• Gold. potential) will corrode.
potential
• 316 Stainless steel. • The farther apart the two metals, the faster will be the
• Titanium. Least active, increasingly corrosion rate.
• Nickel. inert  cathodic
• Electrically insulate dissimilar metals and/or eliminate
• Copper. the electrolyte to protect against corrosion.
• Tin.
• Mild steel. More negative REDOX
potential
• Cadmium.
• Zinc. Most active  anodic
• Magnesium.
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10-1
Types of Corrosion 2 – Types of Corrosion 3 –
General Corrosion Intergranular Corrosion

• Corrosion attack proceeds uniformly over the entire • Corrosive attack is localised at and adjacent to grain boundaries.
surface. • Occurs in stainless steel due to chromium (Cr) carbide precipitation
(sensitisation); for welded stabilised grades (eg 321, 347) can take the
• Uniform loss of wall thickness (mm/year). form of knife line corrosion in the HAZ.
• Eg steel in seawater, stainless steels in acidic or strong • Resistance against this type of corrosion is improved by lowering the
alkaline solutions. C content, controlling the welding procedure or by addition of Ti or Nb
(stabilisation).
• Corrosion allowance (mm) may be specified in design.
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Types of Corrosion 4 – Types of Corrosion 5 –


Pitting Corrosion Crevice Corrosion

• Highly destructive non-uniform attack due to localised breakdown of • Attack occurs in narrow crevices filled with liquid and where the
passivity (the pit becomes the anode whilst the surface becomes the O2 level is very low (differential aeration).
cathode = effect of differential aeration).
• Results in holes in the metal.
• Eg gasket surfaces or under bolt/rivet heads, weld toes .
• In stainless steel occurs most commonly in chloride-containing • Under-deposit corrosion = when corrosion occurs under non-
environments or oxidising salts. metallic deposits or coatings on the metal surface.
• Resistance against this type of corrosion is improved by increasing Cr • Materials resistant to pitting corrosion are also resistant to
and Mo content; N has also a favourable influence. crevice corrosion.
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Types of Corrosion 6 –
SCC Main Contributing Factors
Stress Corrosion Cracking
Material employed Environment,
(microstructure) temperature and
exposure time

SCC
• Occurs when metal subjected to tensile stress and exposed to a
corrosive environment  material can remain unattacked while fine
branched cracks progress through it (cracking can be either
intergranular or transgranular).
• In austenitic stainless steels occurs in chloride or halide containing
Level and
solutions; risk increases with increasing salt concentration, tensile distribution of
stress and service temperature (seldom found below about 60°C). tensile stresses

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10-2
Common Corrosion Protection Techniques Pickling and Passivation

Coatings: A very thin layer of chromium oxide naturally grows on the


• Paints, plating, weld cladding, anodising, metal spraying. surface of stainless steels = passive layer.
Inhibitors:
• Add suitable chemicals to control the environment. 1. Pickling involves applying highly corrosive acids to a
metal or alloy to remove areas of lowered corrosion
Cathodic protection: resistance eg weld oxide.
• Impressed current or sacrificial anodes (eg galvanised 2. Passivation involves immersion in nitric acid to regrow
steel). the passive layer by oxidation.
Anodic protection:
• Passivating stainless steel. • The passive state has a higher redox potential than the
active state (active state is when corrosion is occurring).

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Corrosion Testing
Ranking tests:
• Relative corrosion resistance of materials in an
environment
• ASTM G48 etc.
Electrochemical tests:
• Critical Pitting or Crevice Temperature
• Pitting Potential
• ASTM G150 etc.
Don’t necessarily represent service conditions; as-
received or as-welded metal, environment, temperature.

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10-3
Summary

• What makes stainless steel stainless?


• Crystallographic structures.
• Elements contained in stainless steels.
Welding of Stainless Steels
• Five types of stainless steel.
• Mechanical properties.
TWI Training & Examination Services • Potential issues with welding stainless steels.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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What Makes Stainless Steel Stainless? What Makes Stainless Steel Stainless?

• European definition: A steel that contains at least Passive layer, explanation:


10.5% chromium.
• Metal in air produces metal oxide = chromium
• Chromium = essential element to give corrosion
resistance.
oxide (in the case of stainless steels).
• Very thin (approximately10nm).
• The passive layer (protective film):
• Stable and not porous=protect from further
Self forming/repairing oxidation.
Passive film Surface damage passive film • Affected by chemical environment and
temperature.
• No stainless steel resists all environments.

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Why Use Stainless Steel? Crystallographic Structures

• Excellent corrosion resistance. • Depending on chemical composition, 3 possible major


• Excellent formability. phases: austenite, ferrite and martensite.
• Very good weldability. • Phase = specific atomic arrangement.
• Non-magnetic (austenitic) or magnetic (ferritic). • Ferrite: body centred cubic (bcc).
• Oxidation resistance up to 1150ºC.
• High temperature strength.
• Austenitics: good impact toughness at temperatures as
low as -273ºC.
• Wear resistant if work hardened. Iron atoms
• Ease of cleaning, hygienic.
• Wide range of surface finishes.
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11-1
Crystallographic Structures The Elements Contained in Stainless Steel
• Austenite: face centred cubic (fcc). Ferrite stabilisers:
• Iron (Fe).
• Chromium (Cr): corrosion resistance.
• Molybdenum (Mo): pitting and crevice resistance.
• Tungsten (W): pitting and crevice resistance.
• Titanium (Ti): Intergranular corrosion resistance in weld
HAZs.
• Niobium (Nb): Intergranular corrosion resistance in weld
• Martensite: body centred tetragonal (bct). HAZs.
• Each phase has specific properties. • Vanadium (V): creep resistance.
• Silicon (Si): high temperature oxidation resistance.
• Properties of the steel dependent on the phase(s) it
contains.
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The Elements Contained in Stainless Steel The Elements Contained in Stainless Steel

Austenite stabilisers: • Chemical composition used to predict the phases


• Carbon (C): adds strength, but reduces the in the steel.
weldability.
• Nickel (Ni): ductility, toughness, resistance to stress • Creq = %Cr + %Mo + 1.5x%Si + 0.5x%Nb.
corrosion cracking. • Nieq= %Ni + 30x%C + 0.5x%Mn.
• Manganese (Mn): strength. • Creq and Nieq are plotted on the Schaeffler
• Nitrogen (N): resistance to pitting and crevice diagram to predict the microstructure formed from
corrosion, strength. rapid cooling from liquid metal, such as in a weld-
Neutral: pool.
• Sulphur (S): machinability.

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The Schaeffler Diagram Five Types of Stainless Steel

• Austenitic stainless steels.


• Ferritic stainless steels.
• Duplex stainless steels.
• Martensitic stainless steels.
• Precipitation hardened stainless steels.

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11-2
Five types of Stainless Steels- Five types of Stainless Steels-
Austenitic Grades Austenitic Grades
• Most commonly used grades. Pros (continued):
• Composition: 18-27%Cr and 8-22% Ni. • Can be surface hardened.
• Exceptional corrosion resistance, because highly
• AISI grades: 304, 316, 321, 347, 308 and 309. alloyed.
• Pros: Cons:
– Formable: excellent for stretch forming because very • Very susceptible to price variations, because rich
ductile. in nickel.
– Weldable: even thick sections. • Very expensive, because highly alloyed.
– Good fracture toughness, even at low temperature. • Low thermal conductivity.
– Non-magnetic. • High thermal expansion.
– Can be strengthened by cold work. • Difficult to machine, because tend to harden
when cold worked.
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Five types of Stainless Steels- Five types of Stainless Steels-


Austenitic Grades Ferritic Grades
• Welding austenitic stainless steels. Typically contain: 13-30%Cr.
– Hot cracking: cracking due to the formation of low Pros:
melting point interdendritic films in the weld metal. • Formable.
– Formation of delta ferrite in the weld: • Cheaper than austenitic grades.
• Helps reduce the risk of hot cracking. • Price more stable than austenitic grades.
• Risk of precipitation of sigma phase. • Similar thermal properties to carbon steels.
• Virtually all welding processes: MMA, TIG, MAG, Cons:
FCAW and SAW. • Not weldable in thick sections.
• Rutile electrodes can be used. • Not as stretch formable as the austenitic grades.
• Low heat inputs. • Not heat treatable.
• Poor toughness at low temperature.

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Five types of Stainless Steels- Five types of Stainless Steels-


Ferritic Grades Duplex Grades
• Typically 50% ferrite and 50% austenite.
Welding ferritic stainless steels:
• Typically contain: 20-25% Cr, 3-8% Ni, 0.1-4% Mo
• Main problem = grain growth at high
and 0.05-0.4% N.
temperature.
• Pros:
• Loss of fracture toughness. – High strength (higher than austenitic grades).
• Crack sensitivity during welding. – Moderate toughness at low temperature.
• Poor weldability, maximum 3-5mm thick – Weldable in thick sections.
sections. – Exceptional corrosion resistance, including stress
• Low heat input. corrosion cracking and pitting.
• Austenitic fillers (for better toughness). – Less susceptible to price variation than austenitic.
– Can be cold worked.

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11-3
Five types of Stainless Steels-
Five types of Stainless Steels- Duplex Grades
Duplex Grades
Cons: Welding duplex grades:
• Not as easily weldable as the austenitic. • Filler metals have higher Ni content than the
• Not easily formed. parent metals.
• More difficult to machine than austenitic.
• Become brittle when exposed to temperatures
above 475ºC.
• Suffer from sigma phase precipitation at
temperatures above 540ºC.

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Five types of Stainless Steels- Five types of Stainless Steels-


Martensitic Grades Martensitic Grades
• Typically contain 11.5-18%Cr and 0.03-0.3%C. Cons:
• Martensite obtained by quenching. • Not readily weldable, except for low C grades.
• Pros: • Poor toughness at low temperature.
– Heat treatable. • Process route more complex than for austenitic.
– High strength. • Limited corrosion resistance.
– Moderate toughness at room temperature. Welding martensitic stainless steels:
– Good high temperature strength (up to 500ºC). • Cold cracking: embrittlement due to martensitic
– Not susceptible to price variations, because low structure.
Ni. • Preheat at 200-300ºC.
• Post weld heat treatment at 650-750ºC.

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Five types of Stainless Steels-


Mechanical Properties
Precipitation Hardened Grades
Three types: martensitic, semi-austenitic and Values given in a certificate:
austenitic. • Room temperature tensile properties:
Pros:
• Very high strength. – 0.2% proof stress (what gives the material
• Better toughness and corrosion resistance than permanent deformation): Rp0.2 or σ0.2, MPa.
martensitic. – Ultimate tensile strength (what breaks the
Cons: material): σUTS or RM, MPa.
• Quite expensive and complex manufacturing – Elongation: El, %.
route.
• Not easily weldable. • Hardness: Vickers HV, Brinell HB or
• Not formable. Rockwell HR.
• Service limited to below 310ºC. – Impact toughness, Joules (J).
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11-4
Mechanical Properties-Stress-Strain Curve Mechanical Properties-Toughness/Strength

Stronger Example of a glass bottle:


• Very difficult to pull it apart: that is strength.
• Very easily broken with a sharp blow: that’s (very
poor) toughness.
Toughness of stainless steels vs temperature:
• Austenitics: toughness decreases steadily with
temperature.
• Ferritics, duplex and martensitic: ductile to brittle
transition temperature (DBTT) = sudden drop of the
toughness in a narrow range of temperature.
More ductile
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Mechanical Properties- Potential Problems with


Toughness vs Temperature Welding Stainless Steels
• Duplex and ferritics: high temperature grain
coarsening.
• Martensitic and PH: cold cracking.
• Austenitics: hot cracking (solidification cracking).
• Ferritics, duplex and austenitic welds that contain
some ferrite: sigma phase embrittlement at elevated
temperature.
• Austenitics: Weld decay (sensitisation).
• All: heat tint/weld oxide leads to lowered corrosion
DBTT resistance so use backing and shielding gas.

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Potential Problems with Potential Problems with


Welding Stainless Steels- Weld Decay Welding Stainless Steels- Weld Decay
• Also called sensitisation or inter-crystalline corrosion.
• Susceptible temperature range: approx. 500-850°C so no
preheat/PWHT.
• Carbon diffuses to grain boundary and combines with Cr
to form carbides.
• Leaves a Cr-depleted layer along grain boundary which is
susceptible to corrosion.
• Corrosion or cracking along grain boundaries in HAZ.
• Avoid by using low carbon grades, eg 304L.
• Or add elements to combine with carbon eg 321 (contains
Ti), or 347 (contains Nb).

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11-5
Potential Problems with Welding Stainless Potential Problems with Welding Stainless
Steels- Sigma Phase Embrittlement Steels- Sigma Phase Embrittlement
• Sigma () phase is a high chromium brittle inter-metallic
phase.
• Precipitates between about 500 and 1000ºC depending
on steel composition.
• Forms more readily in ferrite than in austenite.
• Affects toughness and corrosion resistance.
Sigma phase
• Grades containing Mo require less time for  phase
precipitation.
• Avoid by using no preheat or PWHT and low interpass
temperature.

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11-6
Why do we need Overlays and Coatings?

• Surfaces often need to resist wear, corrosion, or heat


degradation.
• Materials that resist these surface degradation
mechanisms are usually unable to provide the required
Surfacing bulk strength and toughness.
• They are often also too expensive to be used for the entire
component.
• Using them for the entire part can also be costly or
TWI Training & Examination Services impractical from a manufacturing point of view.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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Why do we need Overlays and Coatings? Types of Weld Surfacing

• Hence overlays and coatings are used to achieve the Build-up and repair:
required surface properties, whilst maintaining the • Worn or damaged surfaces can be replaced by building up the
surface with a weld metal which approximates the composition and/or
strength and toughness of the base material at a mechanical properties of the parent metal, in order to restore the
reasonable overall manufactured cost. original component dimensions.
• There is a wide variety of surfacing techniques available, Hardfacing:
ranging in thickness from 5μm (0.005mm) to about 5mm • A softer material is given a wear, abrasion or erosion resistant
or more. surface using a hardfacing alloy with high wear resistance, such as
high-carbon CoCr alloys (eg Stellite®), tungsten carbide, Cr-Mo
• This course focuses on weld overlays and also touches on steels, or martensitic steels.
the welding of galvanised steel components. Cladding:
• Cladding provides a corrosion or oxidation resistant surface on a less
corrosion resistant material. An example is the deposition of a
stainless steel (309, 316) or nickel-based layer (625, 825) on a
carbon steel base.

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Welding Before or After Galvanising Clad Pipes


Before:
• Use a filler metal that matches the silicon content of the base steel.
The Si content of a steel has a dramatic effect on the thickness of the
galvanised zinc layer.
• If, for example, the weld filler metal has a higher Si content than the
steel, the galvanised assembly will have a visibly thicker Zn coating on
the weld area.
• Hot dip galvanising of welded structures can cause Liquid Metal
Embrittlement of the structure at areas of stress concentration, such as
dramatic section changes or badly prepared weld finishes.
After:
• Care is required when welding galvanised steels. Zn vapour may
cause porosity in the welds with high speed welding processes such
as GMAW or laser.
• Breathing in of metal oxides such as zinc and copper can lead to an
acute flu-like illness called metal fume fever. Read the MSDS and use
breathing apparatus.
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12-1
Cladding Methods – Overview Clad Steel Features

Cladding Parent plate


Methods
T
(10-20%)T
Cladding
Fusion Laser Solid State
Welding Welding Welding
• Corrosion/abrasion resistance provided by the cladding.
• Mechanical strength provided by the parent plate.
Roll • Lower cost compared to alloyed plate.
Explosive bonding Mechanical
Arc welding ESW
cladding (metallurgical cladding
cladding) Full thickness
T < 10 mm
Required alloy plate
material
MMA GTAW GMAW SAW FCAW PTAW
thickness (T)
T > 10 mm Clad steel plate
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Arc Welding Surfacing Techniques I Arc Welding Surfacing Techniques I


Manual metal arc (MMA): Gas metal arc welding (GMAW); submerged arc welding
• MMA is a common hardfacing process, and uses coated (SAW):
electrodes. Due to its low cost and the ease of transporting the • Consumable hardfacing wire (which can be a cored wire)
equipment, this flexible process is ideally suited to repair work. is fed continuously from a spool through the welding torch
Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW): into the arc, where it is melted and transferred to the work-
• In GTAW welding (TIG welding) the hardfacing material is fed in piece. SAW can also use a flat strip consumable.
(usually by hand) in the form of a rod. Hot wire TIG can increase
deposition rates to match those of the GMAW/MAG process but
with a GTAW quality deposit.
• Advantages of the GTAW process include simple manual
operation and good control of the welding arc. The process can
also be mechanised, in which case a manipulator is used to
move the work-piece in relation to the welding torch and the
hardfacing rod or wire.
• Welding rods used for GTAW Welding can also be used for
hardfacing with the oxy-acetylene welding process.
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Arc Welding Surfacing Techniques II Strip Cladding (SAW and ESW)


Plasma transferred arc welding • Similar to conventional welding, but using strip instead of wire filler
(PTAW): metal. Strip widths commonly 15-240mm; thickness 0.5mm.
• The PTAW process is easily
• Deposition rate (for 60mm strip) up to 36kg/hr for ESW and 20kg/hr
automated, providing a high degree
of reproducibility of the weld for SAW.
overlays. • Used for relatively large and thick components; eg internal surfaces
• Because of the highly concentrated of pressure vessels and large diameter pipe; reclamation of steel
heat source, this has high deposit mill rolls.
rates and can achieve a very low • Therefore: need manipulation to enable welding in the flat position.
level of dilution in the overlay. • ESW: Reduced dilution:  single layer cladding possible (SAW may
• Because the hardfacing materials are need two layers).
in powder form, it is possible to • Very slow cooling rates produces a coarse grained HAZ 
produce overlays from many different The PTAW Process
(Image © Deloro Stellite Inc., used with hydrogen cracking is not a problem but there is a risk of underclad
materials (and combinations of permission) (reheat) cracking.
materials) with a wide range of
hardness and other properties. • Flux must be electrically conductive in ESW.

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12-2
Submerged Arc Strip Cladding (SAW) Submerged Arc Strip Cladding
Range of application including weld hard facing and corrosion
resistant alloy cladding.

Courtesy of ESAB AB Courtesy of ESAB AB

Courtesy of ESAB AB Courtesy of ESAB AB


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Electroslag Strip Cladding (ESW) Laser Weld Deposition


Laser weld deposition:
• Workpiece heated with a laser beam.
• Powder hardfacing material fed into the laser beam and melted.
Advantages:
• Narrow heat-affected zone.
• Fast cooling rate.
• Low heat input.
• … therefore;
An almost stress free overlay.
A significantly finer microstructure.
A higher hardness (usually).
A word of caution:
• Usually, the fast cooling leads to a higher hardness; but in some
hardfacing alloys that rely on time-dependent carbide growth during
solidification for their wear properties, it can lead to unexpectedly poor
wear resistance.
Courtesy of ESAB AB

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Explosive Cladding Explosive Cladding


Advantages:
• Solid state welding.
• Ability to join a wide variety of dissimilar metals.
• Parent plate is stationary.
• Can join components of a wide range of sizes.
Disadvantages:
• Geometric configuration must allow a uniform
progression of the detonation front.
• Limited to flat plate, cylindrical and conical structures.
• There are some safety issues (use of explosives).

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12-3
Roll Bonding (Metallurgical Cladding) Mechanical Cladding

Metallurgically clad (roll bonded) pipes: • Mechanically clad pipes.


• Are manufactured by hot rolling the plates of the different – Prepared pipe package.
materials together to produce a metallurgical bond – Corrosion-resistant liner inside the low-alloy steel pipe.
between them. – Expanded by high internal pressure inside a special
• The advantages compared with overlay welding are that tool.
there is no dilution from the base material. • The spring-back effect of the ferritic outer pipe is
The advantages compared with explosive cladding are: greater than that of the inner pipe, when the pressure
• Higher bonding quality. is released.
• Reduction of weld length due to larger dimensions. • This results in residual compressive stress on the
inner pipe of ca. 50-100MPa, which provides a
• Use of thinner clad material is possible.
homogenous contact.

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Weld Dilution Welding Clad Steel Plate

Base metal dilutes the weld metal: Some weldability problems for clad steels are:
• 40-50% adjacent to the fusion line. • Maintaining the continuity (ie corrosion resistance) of
• Drops to around 5-25% in subsequent passes. the cladding.
– Depends on weld method, technique, parameters.
• Difficulties with dissimilar metal welding.
– For example, for thin as-machined deposits, PTAW can
provide lower dilution than GTAW. • Mismatch of the bore diameters.
• NDT and access restrictions.
Disadvantages:
• Thermal fatigue.
• Affects the corrosion resistance, hardness and wear
resistance of the deposit.
 Can use nickel alloy (alloy 625) to weld clad steel.
• Most standards and specifications specify the acceptable
dilution level at the as-machined weld overlay thickness.  Or use a buttering layer (eg 309 SS) between clad layer
and carbon steels.

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Welding Clad Steel Plates – Single Sided Welding Clad Steel Plate
Weld metal - 309
type stainless steel Butt welding if both sides accessible - six stage process.
or Inconel
Weld metal
(carbon steel)

Stainless steel
No root face on
cladding - 304
carbon steel Cladding
(316) type
Step 1 - Faces bevelled
Step 3 - Welded from C steel side only
min. 1.6 mm
Step 1 - Faces bevelled
from carbon steel side Step 3 - Weld from
carbon steel side

2.5-3.2 mm No gap
Step 2 - Fit-up
Step 2 - Fit-up

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12-4
Welding Clad Steel Plate Welding Clad Steel Plate
Step 4 - Root gouge Butt weld from both sides – alternative method.
Gouge from
stainless steel side

Step 6 - Protective plate welded No root face on


on (optional) carbon steel Cladding 2.5-3.2 mm
Step 5 - Weld from stainless steel side
Step 1 - Faces bevelled Step 2 - Fit-up
Root run - 309 Fill runs - 308 Stainless steel Stainless steel
(309Mo) type (316) type Weld metal - 309 Weld metal - matches
protective plate fillet weld type or Inconel
stainless steel stainless steel stainless steel

Step 3 – Weld from C steel side Step 4 – Clean root and weld from SS side

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Welding Clad Steel Pipe – Single Sided

Cladding 2.5-3.2 mm
Step 1 - Faces bevelled and carbon Step 2 - Fit-up
plate cut back to expose cladding
3rd run - extra Fill runs -
Weld metal - 309
Root run - 308 low carbon carbon
type or Inconel
or 316 type steel filler steel filler
2nd run -
309 type
or Inconel

Root run - 308


or 316 type
Step 3a - Welded with stainless
steel/Ni base filler only Step 3b - Welded with stainless + C steel filler

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12-5
What is Creep?
• Slow, time dependent deformation of a material under a
constant load.
• Extent of the deformation a function of:
– Temperature.
Creep-Resistant Steels – Time.
– Stress.
• Threshold temperature, for a given material, below which
creep is not of concern.
TWI Training & Examination Services • For most metals, creep occurs at around 0.3-0.4 melting
EWF/IIW Diploma Course point.
– High temperature problem.
• Creep failure occurs by void formation, developing into
intergranular cracks.
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High Temperature Steel selection Creep Fracture Micrograph

For long duration, high temperature service, also need


to consider.
• Oxidation and corrosion resistance.
• Microstructural stability (carbide precipitation, sigma
phase formation (in stainless steels).
• Temper embrittlement.

Creep crack surfaces are generally heavily oxidised


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Creep Curve Creep Test


Creep occurs in three stages, primary (initiation), secondary Apply
(steady state) and tertiary (accelerating). constant
Strain () load
Primary Secondary (steady- Tertiary
creep state) creep creep Fracture

High
temperature
Measure
strain

0 Time (hr)

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13-1
Use of Creep Data Creep-Related Terms

• Design life >20 years. • Creep rate: Slope of time/strain curve (rate of
• Creep data generally <11 years (100,000 hours). deformation).
• Extrapolated data generally unreliable. • Creep strain: Time-dependent strain at elevated
• Instead, test using equivalents of time at temperature, temperature.
eg Sherby-Dorn, Larson-Miller or Manson Haferd • Creep stress: Stress produced by a constant load
parameters. which leads to creep.
• Creep strength: The stress to cause a given creep
strain, in a given time, in a given environment.

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Creep-Resistant Materials Creep-Resistant Materials

• Low alloyed ferritic steels.


Requirements for
• ½Mo steel.
materials used at
• ½Cr ½Mo ¼V steel.
elevated temperatures
• 1Cr ½Mo steel.
• 2¼ Cr 1Mo (V) steel.
Retention of strength Resistance to Microstructural • 5Cr 1Mo steel.
at working oxidation and stability • 9Cr 1Mo steel.
temperatures scaling • 9Cr 1Mo (mod) steel.
Also used for very high temperature (>800°C) service:
• Austenitic stainless steels (304H, 347H).
Alloy with Cr Alloy with Mo, • Nickel base alloys (Ni-Cr Inconels, Ni-Cr-Fe Incoloys).
V, W, Nb, B • Refractory metals (Tungsten, zirconium, hafnium etc).

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Creep Temperature Limits Creep-Resistant Steels Features


Steel type Oxidation resistance Creep limit
• Greater tensile and creep strength at elevated
temperatures compared with carbon steels.
C-Mn steel 500°C 425°C
0.5Cr 0.5Mo 550°C 510°C
• Increased hardenability due to Mo and Cr alloying.
1Cr 0.5Mo 565°C 560°C • Cr improves resistance to oxidation.
2.25Cr 1Mo 580°C 595°C • Depending upon Cr content, structure can be pearlitic,
bainitic or martensitic.
9Cr 1Mo 600°C 600°C
• Mo stabilises Cr carbides and increases strength at
9Cr 1Mo (mod) 625°C 625°C
elevated temperatures; also impedes carbide coalescence
at elevated temperatures.
What is high temperature for one material may not
be high for another. • V and Nb harden by forming fine scale nitrides.

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13-2
Welding Creep-Resistant Steels Welding Creep-Resistant Steels
Main problems: Recommendations:
• HAZ cold cracking - use low hydrogen consumables.
• Apply preheat (guidance given in codes); as Cr content
• Loss of toughness in GCHAZ. increases, preheat temperature increases.
• Reheat cracking.
• Use low hydrogen welding process and consumables.
• As alloy element content increases, hardenability increases,
weldability decreases. • PWHT is normally essential, as Cr content increases,
• Loss of creep strength in HAZ (Type IV cracking). PWHT soaking temperature increases.
Welding processes: • Reduce restraint, and clean thoroughly weld joint area, in
• Common welding processes: MMA, TIG, MAG, FCAW and order to avoid hot cracking; avoid deep narrow profile
SAW. weld runs.
• Near matching filler materials are generally used to provide
proper service performance characteristics.

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Reheat Cracking Avoiding Reheat Cracking

• Careful control of parent steel and welding consumable


composition.
• Use optimum heat treatment procedures, ie exact soaking
time, temperature and heating/cooling rate.
• Reduce residual stress; reduce stress concentration by
grinding toes; avoiding backing strips and partial
penetration welds; sharp notch defects not allowed.
• Intergranular cracking in CGHAZ at elevated
temperature. • Low heat input and multi run welds to reduce grain growth
– but risk of cold cracking.
• Occurs in steels alloyed with 2 or more of Cr, Mo, V, Nb.
• Either after PWHT or prolonged service at 350-600°C.
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Reheat Cracking Sensitivity to Reheat Cracking

Influence of weld position on reheat cracking sensitivity ∆G = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V – 2


∆G < 0 implies the material is not susceptible

∆G1 = Cr + 3.3Mo + 8.1V + 10C – 2


∆G1< 2 implies the material is not susceptible

PSR = Cr + Cu + 2Mo + 10V +7Nb + 5Ti – 2


PSR < 0 less susceptible to reheat cracking

K = Pb + Bi + 0.03Sb (ppm)
K < 1.5 to achieve freedom from reheat cracking
Flat position - high degree of Horizontal position - low
HAZ refinement. degree of HAZ refinement.
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13-3
Sensitivity to Reheat Cracking –
Temper Embrittlement
Alloy Composition
• Reduction in notch toughness when steel heated 375-
Increased sensitivity to reheat cracking 575oC.
• Segregation of impurities (P, Sb, Si and As) to grain
boundaries.
5Cr 1Mo 2.25Cr 1Mo 0.5Mo B 0.5Cr 0.5Mo 0.25V
• Assess by ductile-brittle transition temperature before
and after heat treatment eg step cooling heat treatment
assessment in ASTM A387

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Temper Embrittlement Creep Cracking


• Remove temper embrittlement by heating above 600oC
and rapidly cooling to below 300oC. • Oxidised crack
• Mitigate by controlling composition: • Surrounded by
X = (10P + 55Sb + 4Sn + As)/100 in ppm applicable to voids .
weld metal.
J = (Mn + Si)(P + Sn) x 104 in wt% applicable to weld
metal and parent metal.
X<20 or J<180 means low risk.
• Crack formed by
linking of voids

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Type IV Cracking Creep – Type IV

• Accelerated rate of void formation in the grain • Fine-grained


refined/intercritical regions of the HAZ. weld HAZ
• Over-tempering compared to the parent steel, leading to
• Precipitation
coarsening of carbides, which subsequently provide
sites for void nucleation. hardened
• The type IV region is held between the stronger parent steels (eg
material and coarse-grained HAZ regions, resulting in CrMoV).
concentration of damage and premature failure. 80MPa, 630°C, 2436 hours

• Reduced creep life.


• Allow for by reducing design stress.

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13-4
Creep Damage Assessment Damage Levels

• Risk-based inspection. Estimate


Damage of
• NDT – voids initially too small to be detected. level
Observed damage
elapsed
life, %
• Replication to assess microstructure. A Absence of lenticular creep voids 0
• On-site hardness techniques potentially B Voids widely distributed, but not aligned 30
useful if have initial measurements for C Voids aligned, but not linked 50

comparison. D Microcracks resulting from the interlinking of 75


aligned voids. The microcracks do not reach the
mid-wall thickness. They occupy limited sectors of
the weldment.
E Cracks that approximate or exceed the depth of 100
2/3 of the wall thickness. The cracks occupy a
major part of the perimeter of the welded joint.

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13-5
Cryogenic Steels

• Cryogenic steels are used for low temperature


applications.
• Often critical components.
Cryogenic Steels • Require low temperature fracture toughness.
– From composition and microstructure.
• Need good weldability.
TWI Training & Examination Services
• Selection of composition depends upon the
EWF/IIW Diploma Course
lower temperature limit.

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Cryogenic Steels Application of Cryogenic Steels


Fine grain Liquefaction Recommended
Gas temperature (°C) material
Al-killed steels • Can be used down to -60°C.
• Low IIW CE; can be normalised, QT or Propane (LPG) -45.5°C Fine grain Al-killed
steel
TMCP.
Fine grain Al-killed steel
• Small additions of Al and Ti. Propylene -47.7°C or 2.3% Ni steel
Steels for
cryogenic • Four classes depending on the Ni CO2 -78.5°C 3.5% Ni steel
applications content: Ethane -88.4°C
– Ni = 2.3%  minimum Tservice = -60°C.
Ethylene (LEG) -103.8°C 5-9% Ni steel
– Ni = 3.5%  minimum Tservice = -104°C.
– Ni = 5%  minimum Tservice = -130°C. Methane (LNG) -163°C
– Ni = 9%  minimum Tservice = -196°C. O2 -182.9°C
Ni-alloyed
cryogenic Ar -185.9°C
steels N2 -195.8°C Austenitic SS
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9% Ni Steels Features Effect of Ni on the TTT diagram

• Very good toughness down to -196°C. Temperature • Ni increases hardenability


• Lower thermal expansion compared with austenitic stainless
 martensite formation.
steels and Al alloys. • Ni lowers martensite start
• Lower thermal conductivity compared with Al alloys. and finish (MS and MF)
Ni addition points  increases the
• High melting point and high strength at elevated temperature
provide structural integrity under fire conditions – but not ductility.
intended for creep service.
• Ni is the main alloying element.
• Low C content (less than 0.15%).
• Double normalised and tempered ASTM A353.
• Quenched and tempered ASTM A553. Ni addition
Time
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14-1
Effect of Ni on Phases in Steel The Impact Toughness Transition Curve
Transition curve features:
• Refines ferrite grain
Energy Upper shelf
size. (J) Low impact energy
→ brittle failure
• Fine distribution of
Improves
carbides.
toughness at low
• Favours bainitic and temperatures.
martensitic structures.
High impact energy →
• Increases resistance to ductile failure
cleavage fracture in
ferrite. Lower shelf

Temperature
(ºC)
Transition range
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Effect of Ni on Steel Transition Curve Welding Cryogenic Steels - General


Energy
(J) Applicable processes:
– MMA, TIG, MAG, FCAW and SAW.
Weldability issues:
– Sensitive to hot cracking  limit C, P and S content;
cleanliness; reduce residual stress.
Carbon – Change from pearlitic to martensitic structure as Ni content
Nickel steels
additions increases. Apply preheat and PWHT to avoid cold cracking
(except 9% Ni).
– Use low heat input processes in order to preserve the fine
grain structure (<4.5kJ/mm); in QT grades, use pulsed
Temperature (ºC) welding to avoid softening effect.

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Welding 1 - 3.5% Ni Steels Welding 5 - 6% Ni Steels

• Ferrite + pearlite structure. • Ferrite + pearlite/martensite structure (QT steel) 


• Apply preheat (~150-250°C). reduced toughness in the HAZ due to increase in grain
• Avoid cold cracking; exact value depends on thickness, size (layer heated to >850°C)  low hydrogen process
restraint and hydrogen potential (use basic filler essential.
materials). • Use low heat input processes in order to preserve the
• Interpass temperature: max. 350°C for 2.3% Ni; max. fine grain structure (< 4.5kJ/mm); pulsed welding
250°C for 3.5% Ni. beneficial.
• PWHT at 580-620°C may be used. • Interpass temperature max. 250°C; PWHT at 650°C
followed by rapid cooling.
• Near matching filler materials available; Inconel type
(Ni-Cr-Fe) filler can be used for 3.5% Ni. • Filler materials are Ni-based eg Inconel 82, Inconel 625.
• Other weldability issues similar to 9% Ni steel.

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14-2
Welding 9% Ni Steels Welding 9% Ni Steels

• Require very low S content (<0.006%) to avoid • Filler materials are only Ni-based: AWS A5.11 ENiCrMo-6 (EN
liquation cracking  no lamellar tearing. ISO 14172 E Ni 6620) or ENiCrMo-3 (E Ni 6625)  under-
• Not sensitive to stress corrosion cracking. matching, high viscosity (sluggish).
• Cleanliness very important to avoid hot cracking.
• Ductile martensitic structure (max. 400HV) + 5%
retained austenite (QT steels)  no danger of cold • Fully austenitic stainless steel filler prohibited due to higher
coefficient of thermal expansion than parent metal and brittle
cracking  no preheat required for thickness up to
martensite formation near fusion line.
50mm.
• Smooth blending between weld face and parent metal is
• Use low heat input to avoid loss of toughness in the required to avoid stress concentration.
high temperature HAZ.
• Strongly ferro-magnetic (and also may have residual
• Interpass temperature 250°C; PWHT not normally magnetism)  arc blow is a common problem; AC current and
required. demagnetisation before welding may be required.

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14-3
Aluminium and Its Alloys
Characteristics:
• Light weight.
• Good strength to weight properties.
• Forms a large range of alloys with other elements.
Aluminium and Light Alloys • Alloying elements increase strength.
• High thermal and electrical conductivity.
Types:
TWI Training & Examination Services • Cast alloys.
• Wrought alloys.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course – Heat treatable - strengthened by heat treatment.
– Non-heat treatable - strengthened by alloying or work
hardening.

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Alloy Designations and Applications Alloy Designations


For temper designation, a specific letter suffix indicates the
Alloy type Applications
alloy condition.
1xxx: (99% pure Al) Electrical and chemical industry
2xxx: Al-Cu Aircraft industry F - As fabricated - no control on mechanical properties.
3xxx: Al-Mn Heat exchangers, chemical equipment
O - Annealed, soft.
4xxx: Al-Si Castings
H - Strain hardened.
5xxx:Al-Mg Marine alloy, cryogenics, general engineering T - Heat treated to produce stable tempers.

6xxx: Al-Mg-Si Extrusions


7xxx: Al-Zn Aircraft structural components and high-strength
applications

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Alloy Designation Welding of Aluminium Alloys

Some examples: • Welding of Al alloys – not like steel welding.


• 1100-O 99min Al+0.12Cu, annealed. • Some special considerations.
– Aluminium oxide surface film.
• 2024-T3 Al-4.4Cu-1.5Mg-0.6Mn, heat treated. • Adheres strongly to surface.
• 5052-H34 Al-2.5Mg-0.25Cr, half hard. • Protects from environmental attack.
• 3003-H14 Al-1.2Mn, half hard. • Can prevent fusion and lead to porosity in weld metal.
– High thermal conductivity.
• Wide HAZ  loss of joint strength.
half hard = partially cold-worked – High thermal expansion.
• Weld distortion.
– Low melting temperature (660oC).

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15-1
Porosity in Aluminium Alloys Problems in Welding

Porosity is caused by: Effect of oxide film.


• Rejection of dissolved gases (soluble in liquid, insoluble • Entrapped films may reduce ductility of the weld.
in solid). • Lack of fusion.
• Most important is hydrogen. Removal of Al2O3 layer.
Sources of hydrogen: • Mechanical removal – eg abrasives, burr.
• Chemical removal.
Welding consumables Shielding gases Parent metal − Cleaning solutions – etching solutions eg alkali.
− Flux cleaning – use of welding fluxes.
Filler wires Impurity within Oxide film on the
contaminated with metal surface
• Cathodic cleaning.
gases, moisture in
grease, moisture in plastic carrier pipes absorbs moisture, – Blasts away the oxide coating – half cycle of the AC
electrode coating grease etc current in TIG welding or positive electrode welding.

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Solidification Cracking Causes of Solidification Cracking

• Centreline cracking in Composition of the weld metal (alloy composition,


weld cap or root. not just impurities).
• Other names are: • Consider susceptible composition range.
– Hot tearing. • Alloy ranking in terms of hot cracking susceptibility.
– Hot cracking. • Dilution of parent metal with filler.
– Centre-line cracking. Thermal and mechanical effects.
– Hot fissuring. • Initiates at trailing edge of weld pool due to high shrinkage
– Hot shortness. and thermal stresses.
• Joint geometry and restraint.

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Hot Cracking Alloy Ranking Filler Metals for Aluminium Alloys

Peak susceptibility to hot • When selecting the filler metal, consider:


tears – Sensitivity to weld cracking (with parent dilution).
High strength – Tensile or shear strength of the weld and ductility.
due to thin liquid Back filling of hot
Total crack length

films tears due to large – Service temperature and corrosion resistance.


quantity of
– Colour match between the weld and the base alloy
eutectic
after anodising.
• 4XXX filler to weld 1XXX, 3XXX, 6XXX, Al-Si
castings.
• 5XXX filler to weld 5XXX, 6XXX, 7XXX, Al-Mg
castings.
Wt % solute

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15-2
Some Filler Metals used Welding Processes
Parent metal Filler metal(s) Heat Applications
treatable? • Arc welding processes.
1xxx 1080A No Chemical plant, architecture (4047A
1200 prevents weld metal cracking where – TIG for thinner sections.
4043A there is high dilution)
4047A – MIG for heavier and thicker sections – faster
3xxx 3103 No Buildings, heat exchangers than TIG.
4043A
4047A • Gas welding with neutral flame.
5xxx 5554 No Marine, automotive
5154A • Laser welding.
5356
5556A • Friction stir welding.
6xxx 4043A No Structural, automotive
5356
7xxx 5556A No Aerospace, defence

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Titanium Alloys-phases Titanium Alloys- Families


• Depending on temperature and chemical composition, two Four families of alloys:
possible phases: alpha and beta.
• Commercially pure.
• Alpha phase: Titanium atoms
• Alpha alloys.
– Hexagonal close packed (hcp).
– Pure titanium state at room temperature. • Near-alpha alloys.
• Beta phase: • Beta alloys.
– Body centred cubic (bcc). Titanium atoms
– Pure titanium state at 883ºC Titanium alloys have:
and above. • Excellent strength to weight ratio.
• Exceptional corrosion resistance.
BUT
• They are very expensive.
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Titanium Alloys Welding of Titanium Alloys


• High strength (as strong as steel). TIG is most commonly used, but also plasma.
• Corrosion resistant. • Adequate gas shielding is required to protect hot weld and
• Light weight (45% lighter than steel). HAZ from atmospheric contamination.
• Use for service from -160-600°C. • Use matching filler.
• Commercially pure Ti and α alloys. Also laser, E-beam, resistance welding.
– Corrosion resistance, low temperature properties. Welding Problems:
• α-β alloys, two phase structure. • Contamination due to atmospheric oxygen and
– Medium to high strength, weldability sensitive to the moisture, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen may result in
ratio of α / β. weld embrittlement.
• β alloys. • Porosity from dissolved hydrogen from contaminants
– Highest strength, toughness from grain refinement. on parent and filler metal surfaces.

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15-3
Magnesium Alloys Magnesium Alloys

• Mg is the structural metal with the highest specific Weldability:


strength. • Remove surface oxide by milling/pickling before welding.
• Less dense than Al (approximately 2/3). • 10% Al improves weldability by grain refinement.
• Alloying elements such as Al, Mn, Zn, Zr may result • High Zn alloys are prone to hot cracking, Mg-Zn alloys are
not recommended for welding.
in strengths equal to that of mild steel.
• PWHT may be required to prevent stress corrosion
• Heat treatment and work hardening (as Al).
cracking of welds in salt spray environment.
• High thermal conductivity. Welding processes:
• Low melting point. • Mainly TIG (using AC current).
• High thermal expansion coefficient. • Resistance welding processes.
• Oxyfuel gas welding process.
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Applications of Light Alloys

Alloy Applications
Mg-6Zn-3Al Sand castings requiring
good room temperature
strength
Die casting-automotive
applications
99% Ti Chemical and marine uses

Ti-6Al-4V Strong alloy commonly used


in aerospace applications

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15-4
Arc Weldability of Dissimilar Metals

General arc
weldability problems

Joining Dissimilar Materials Differences between Metallurgical


physical properties incompatibility
eg melting point, eg undesirable
TWI Training & Examination Services thermal conductivity, microstructures due to
expansion coefficient. mixing parent metals.
EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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Considerations for Dissimilar Welds Types of Dissimilar Weld


Obtaining adequate fusion:
• Difference in melting points. • Between two different ferritic steels.
• Difference in thermal conductivity. • Between a ferritic steel and a stainless steel.
• Risk of lack of fusion flaws. • Between two different stainless steels.
Different thermal expansion coefficients: • Other types of joint:
• May cause distortion. – Two non-ferrous metals.
Metallurgical compatibility: – Steel and a non-ferrous metal.
• Dilution.
• Poor mechanical or corrosion resistance.
• Risks of cracking.
• Selection of filler metal/buttering.
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Welding two Dissimilar Ferritic Steels Welding Ferritic to Stainless Steel


• Preheat only if necessary; keep interpass temperature below
• Filler material will normally match weakest 150°C; avoid PWHT; avoid high dilution, select filler metal
parent material strength. carefully.
• Carbon diffusion to higher Cr-containing side when exposed to
• Preheat, interpass and PWHT soaking elevated temperature.
temperature must match requirements for – Carbon depleted zone in the ferritic steel HAZ.
highest alloy material. – Carbide enriched area in the high Cr weld metal  weld
decay.
• Use only basic (low hydrogen) filler materials.
• Martensite formation at the ferritic steel fusion line  risk of
• Clean joint preparation surfaces thoroughly. hydrogen cracking.
• Risk of hot cracking in the (austenitic) weld metal from poor
mixing.
• Difficulties with NDT.
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16-1
Welding Other Alloys

• Cast iron.
• Nickel alloys.

Welding Other Alloys • Copper alloys.

TWI Training & Examination Services


EWF/IIW Diploma Course

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Cast Iron Composition Ranges

Chemical composition: Cast iron main features: 5


%C+1/3Si = 4.3
• Iron with… • Relative cheap. 4.5
Spheroidal irons

• C (2-7%). • Easy to cast. 3.5


C Content, %

Grey irons
• Si (1-3%). • Readily machined.
3

2.5

• Mn (up to 1%).
White irons
• Often poor weldability. 2
Malleable irons
1.5

1
%C+1/6Si=2.0
Steels
0.5

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5

Si Content, %

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Types of Cast Iron Grey Cast Iron

Cast iron • Moderate strength (up to Graphite flakes


275 MPa).
• Excellent machinability.
• Poor ductility and
Grey Nodular Malleable White toughness.
• Can be welded with Ni-Fe
consumables, or Ni
Can be Weldable Can be Unweldable
consumables if the
impurity content is low.
welded welded
Pearlite, ferrite or pearlite-
ferrite matrix
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17-1
Nodular Cast Iron White Cast Iron
• Also called spheroidal Spheroidal graphite White cast iron
graphite (SG) or ductile iron.
• Due to rapid cooling, carbon forms Fe3C.
• Obtained by adding Mg or • Very brittle, with poor ductility.
Ce to grey cast iron.
• Highest hardness, good wear resistance.
• Good machinability. • Unweldable.
• Highest strength and
ductility of the cast irons.
• Readily welded with most
consumables.
Pearlite, ferrite or pearlite-
ferrite matrix
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Malleable Cast Irons Malleable Cast Irons

• Produced by heat treatment of white cast iron (annealing


above 870°C for more than 60h).
• Whiteheart produced in an oxidising atmosphere
(decarburised surface layer).
• Blackheart produced in a neutral or reducing
atmosphere.
• Irregular shape graphite rosettes precipitate and grow
into a ferrite or pearlitic matrix.
• Good ductility.
• Can be welded, whiteheart easily if the penetration is low
and blackheart more easily than grey irons.

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Braze Welding (aka Bronze Welding) Welding Cast Irons

• Parent metal not melted – avoids disadvantages • Welding is a fast cooling process.
of fusion welding. – HAZ microstructures are modified and can be hard and
• Joint does not pick up impurities (P, S) from the brittle (similar to white cast iron).
casting. • High preheat, slow cooling needed to avoid hard
• Soft braze metal controls joint strength and HAZs and subsequent cracking.
service temperature (up to ~260°C). • Cold welding possible, but not with matching
• Poor colour match. composition consumables, Ni-based
consumables may be used.
• Hard to inspect joint for defects.

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17-2
Welding Processes for Cast Iron Welding Processes for Cast Iron
MMA Oxy-fuel welding
• Higher heat input  lower preheat required. • Low heat input  requires a higher preheat.
• Deeper penetration, greater dilution. • Low dilution, wide HAZ, slow cooling  softer
• Wide range of consumables. microstructure.
• Used on weld repair jobs. • Slightly reducing flame.
MIG/FCAW • Consumable has slightly higher C and Si than parent to
• Mainly dip transfer. give matching strength weld deposit.
• Achieve high deposition rates.
• Solid wires are Ni, Monel (70Ni-30Cu) or Cu alloys.
• Cored wires are Ni-Fe or Ni-Fe-Mn.

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Cast Iron Electrodes Ni Based Electrodes

• Flux coating improves arc stability, reduces • Includes Ni, Ni-Fe, Monel, Ni-Fe-Mg types.
porosity and adds alloying elements. • Widely used to weld cast irons.
• Matching weld deposit (nodular graphite • No preheat required.
structure).
• Sensitive to hot cracking (especially high Ni
• High preheat and slow cooling needed to electrodes) so dilution of the casting into the
encourage graphite formation rather than weld pool needs to be limited.
carbides.
• Welds have generally higher strength and more
• Good colour match with the original casting. ductility than cast iron, but viscous weld metal -
wider bevel angle needed.

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Other Electrodes Nickel Properties

• FCC crystalline structure.


Mild steel electrodes:
• Melting temperature = 1455°C.
• Generally result in too hard a deposit, arising
• Thermal expansion approximately equal to that of carbon
from carbon pick-up from the casting.
steels.
• Can be used to weld on the decarburised • Outstanding corrosion resistance at temperatures from -
surface of whiteheart malleable irons. 200°C to over 1090°C.
Copper based electrodes: • Suitable for extreme temperature applications.
• Largely replaced by Ni-based electrodes. • No phase transformation  grain size can be refined only
• Mainly used for bearing surfaces where anti- by cold work followed by annealing.
seizing is important.

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17-3
Typical Ni Alloys (Precipitation Hardened and
Typical Ni Alloys (Solid Solution)
Oxide Dispersion-Strengthened)
Adding Cr , Co, Cu, Fe, Mo, W, Nb and V in Ni PPT hardened
Alloy 400 - Ni + 31.5%Cu • Contain Al and Ti, precipitation of the gamma prime or gamma
• Highly corrosion resistant in sea water, H2SO4 and HF double prime phase.
acids. • Alloy X-750 , Ni-Cr-Fe-Ti-Al, postweld heat treatment cracking.
• Alloy 718(N07718) –Ni-Fe-Cr-Mo-Ti-Nb for gas turbines.
Alloy 600 - Ni + 15.5%Cr + 8%Fe
• Waspaloy (Ni + 19.5%Cr, 13.5%Co, 4.3%Mo, 3%Ti, 1.4%Al,
• Resists oxidising and reducing environments and severe 2%Fe) also used for gas turbines.
corrosion at temperature.
AIloy 625 - Ni + 21.5%Cr, 2.5%Fe, 9%Mo, 3.6%(Nb +Ta) OD strengthened
• Excellent strength and toughness from cryogenic to high • Fine insoluble oxide particles added in the master alloy by
temperature; oxidation, corrosion and fatigue resistant. mechanical alloying.
AIloy 825 - Ni + 30%Fe, 21.5%Cr, 3%Mo, 2.25%Cu • Typically mechanically alloying by adding Y2O3 and/or ZrO2.
• Excellent corrosion and pitting resistance and service in • MA6000 Ni-Cr-Al-Ti-W-Mo-Ta-Y2O3.
reducing acids and oxidising chemicals. • MA754 Ni-Cr-Al+Ti(min)-Y2O3.

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Welding Nickel Alloys Ni Weldability Problems


Welding processes available for Ni alloys: Solidification cracking
• Arc welding processes: MMA, TIG and MIG. • Due to S (even in very small quantities), Pb, B, P or Bi.
SAW only for solid solution strengthened alloys, not ppt • Mn and Nb additions in filler metals combine with S.
hardened. • Reduce welding speed to improve depth-to-width ratio.
• Power beam welding (EBW, LBW), resistance welding.
• Reduce the grain size to avoid hot cracking.
When welding nickel alloys:
Porosity
• Consider the alloy to be welded (solution or ppt hardened).
• Due to contamination with O2, N2, or H2.
• What is the welding position, service conditions and
environment? • Preheat >20°C to prevent moisture; careful cleaning.
• Preheat at 20°C to avoid porosity, cleanliness important. • Using shielding gases and/or additions of Al, Ti.
• Shielding gases: Ar, He or Ar-He mixtures. – Al and Ti can form small islands/slag spots so interpass
• Use matching filler metal with added de-oxidisers. cleaning is critical.
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Ni Weldability Problems

Oxide inclusions
• Oxides have much higher melting temperatures than
the base metal  oxides trapped in the weld pool
form inclusions.
• Surface oxide must be removed by machining or
Copper and Copper Alloys
grinding; wire brush only polishes the oxide.

Lack of sidewall fusion/poor blending


• Molten weld metal is very viscous  increase bevel
angle; accurate weld metal placement is required.

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17-4
Copper Properties Copper Welding

• FCC crystalline structure. • Copper is a very effective heat sink.


• Melting temperature = 1083°C. – High heat input, interpass, preheat (for >5mm
thickness).
• Outstanding thermal and electrical conductivity.
– Electron beam welding is useful for very thick
• Extremely tough but very ductile. sections.
• Thermal expansion coefficient 1.3 times than that • TIG and MIG are preferred welding processes.
of steel.
• Inert gas (Ar or Ar-He) shielding gases are
• Good atmospheric oxidation and corrosion used.
resistance.

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Copper - Weldability Problems Welding Copper Alloys - Brasses

Brasses (Cu-Zn) and nickel silvers (Cu-Zn-Ni)


• Obtaining fusion, especially in thick sections
because of high thermal conductivity. Low Zn (<20% Zn)
• Weldability varies with grade, tough pitch being Brasses
less weldable than PDO or oxygen-free.
High Zn (30-40% Zn)
• Porosity if cleaning or shielding inadequate.
• Zn volatility is the main problem  use Zn-free filler to
avoid porosity.
• TIG and MIG are preferred welding processes.
• Ar and Ar-He shielding gases are used.

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Welding Copper Alloys - Bronzes Welding Copper Alloys – Al Bronze


• 1-10%Sn + up to 0.4% P. • Contain 5-10% Al + small
Phosphor Single phase Fe addition.
• Normally welded with matching alloys
bronze consumables. • Can be susceptible to hot
Aluminium cracking.
Bronze bronze types
types • Contain 12% Al + 5%Fe +
• Tin bronze + <5%Zn + <5%Pb. Two phase Ni and Mn.
Gunmetal • Alloys with high Pb content alloys
• Easier to weld.
considered not weldable due to
hot cracking risk. • Need to disrupt Al2O3 film → TIG and MIG preferred.
• TIG welding - use AC, or DC with He shielding gas.
• Contain 3% Si + 1%Mn.
Silicon • Cleaning is essential to avoid porosity.
• Easiest of the bronzes to
bronze • Preheat not normally required.
weld.
• Matching filler materials to maintain corrosion resistance.
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17-5
Welding Copper Nickel Alloys

• Cupronickels contain 5-30%Ni.


• Weldable using TIG, MIG and (to a lesser extent) MMA.
• Thermal conductivity similar to C steels  no preheat.
• Matching filler can be used, although a 70%Cu-30%Ni is
an alternative universal cupronickel filler.
• Filler materials contain 0.2-0.5%Ti to avoid porosity.
• Ar shielding normally used and Ar backing recommended
(especially in pipe welding) to prevent root oxidation.

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17-6