Prediction of microstructure evolution of heat-affected zone in gas metal arc welding of steels
MetadataShow full item record
The heat-affected zone (HAZ) is the most common region of weld failures. The weld failures are directly related to the microstructure. Microstructure control of the HAZ is crucial to weld quality and prevention of weld failures. However, publications on modeling the development of the HAZ are relatively limited. Moreover, no efforts have been made to predict the HAZ microstructures in real-time. The primary goal of this research is to present a methodology to enable real-time predictions of microstructure evolution in the HAZ and its mechanical properties. This goal was achieved by an approach based on materials science principles and real-time sensing techniques. In this study, the entire welding process was divided into a series of sub-processes. Real-time multiple measurements from multiple sensors were incorporated into the sub-processes. This resulted in an integrated welding system upon which the predictions for the final HAZ microstructure are based. As part of the integrated system, the microstructural model was used to predict the TTT curves, volume fractions of the decomposition products, and hardness numbers of the heat-affected zones of steel alloys. Actual welds were performed under two different sets of conditions, and the resulting experimental data were compared with predictions made using the microstructural model. The predicted and experimental microstructure and hardness are found to be in good agreement, indicating that the microstructural model can be used in real applications. This research can act as an important component of future research to enable physics-based flexible control of welding.