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Focus on Proper Weld Size When

Developing WPS Parameter Ranges


Thefabricatorandtheerectormustdeterminethemostappropriaterangeoftravelspeedsfor
aparticularapplication,ratherthanrelyingblindlyonpublishedproductcerts.However,
followingthemethodologypresentedherebyRegisGeislerofLincolnElectricprovides
anotherpossibleblueprintonhowthismaybeachieved.
ByRegisGeisler
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October2,2012
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Figure1.Weldingheatinputformulaconvertedtocalculatethetravelspeedfromtheweldingprocedureslisted
inTable1.

Thefabricatorandtheerectormustdeterminethemostappropriaterangeoftravelspeedsfora
particularapplication,ratherthanrelyingblindlyonpublishedproductcerts.However,followingthe
methodologypresentedhereprovidesanotherpossibleblueprintonhowthismaybeachieved.

AstructuralsteelfabricationcompanyispreparingforaprojectthatistobeweldedinaccordancewiththeAmerican
WeldingSocietyD1.8SeismicSupplementandwouldliketousea.045inE71T1gasshieldedfluxcored(FCAW
G)wire.Thisfabricatorhastheluxuryofbeingabletopositionthesteelsothattheycanweldinthedownhand
position.
Theywouldliketouseaparticularmanufacturerswire,butthetravelspeedatwhichthehigh/lowheatinput
envelopetestingwasconductedisnotlistedontheirD1.8certs.Theyneedthistoshowatravelspeedrangeon
theirWeldingProcedureSpecification(WPS).Isthereareasonthatthetravelspeedsarenotlisted?
AlthoughitwouldbemucheasiertotransferthesetravelspeedsdirectlytotheWPS,itwillbeshownshortlythat
thismaynotbesuchagoodidea.Granted,afewstraightforwardandsystematiccalculationsarerequired,butthere
isnoreasontobeintimidatedbynumbersorequationsintheweldingfield.
ThemostrecentD1.8certfortheE71T1electrodeisshownbelowinTable1.Althoughnotdisplayedhere,boththe
highheatinputandlowheatinputdepositsmetthemechanicalpropertyrequirementsofAWSD1.8,includingtensile
strength,yieldstrength,elongationandCharpyVnotchimpacttoughnessat70degF.Ifsodesired,thetravelspeed
couldbeeasilydeterminedbyrearrangingtheweldingheatinputformulapresentedinFigure1.Forillustration
purposes,theresultingtravelspeedsforboththehighheatinputandlowheatinputtestsareshowninFigure2.
Basedonthequestionposedabove,onewouldassumethatitisnowappropriatetousethecalculationsfrom
Figure2,andhencedisplaythetravelspeedrangeontheirWPSas2.9ipmto10.8ipm.Furthermore,afabricator
orerectormayalsowanttoderiveacurrentrangeof160ampsto215ampsfromtheD1.8cert.Wewillnow
discusswhycautionmustbeusedhere.
Ifawelderorweldingoperatorwished(orwasincented)tomaximizehisproductivity,hemaywanttodecreasehis
travelspeed.Thiswouldbelogicalfromtheweldersperspectiveasitwoulddecreasethenumberofpasses
requiredtofillupthejoint.Andtherefore,heassumes,itwouldsavethecompanymoney(ormakehimmoremoney)
ascleaningandsetuptimewouldbereduced.So,accordingtothetravelspeedrangelistedonhisWPS,hecan
useatravelspeedaslowas2.9ipm.
Finally,aslongashestayedwithinthecurrentrangeof160ampsto215ampsandthevoltagerangeof24Vto26V
listedontheWPS,hewouldthenappeartohavesomejustificationforusingthistravelspeed.However,aproblem
ariseswiththislogicwhentheuppermostvaluesof215ampsand26voltsareused.Again,ahigherwirefeed
speedwouldresultinhigherproductivity.
Figure3showstheresultingweldingheatinputinthisscenario.Obviously116kJ/inisfartoohighofaheatinputto
beusedwithacoredwire.Someproblemsthatmayarisebyusinga116kJ/inheatinputincludereductionofthe
CharpyVnotchimpactpropertiesintheweld,softeningofthebasematerialintheheataffectedzone(HAZ),orlack
ofpenetrationand/orfusion(becausethearcisridingonthepuddle).Also,thisheatinputexceedsthemaximum
heatinputoftheenvelopeestablishedontheD1.8cert.
Considertheoppositesituation.Whatifthefastesttravelspeed(10.8ipm)andthelowestcurrent(160amps)and
voltage(24V)settingsareusedduringfabricationorerection?Obviouslythiswillresultinalowerweldingheatinput
thanthe30kJ/invalueshownontheD1.8cert.Butwhyisthisimportant?
Theanswertothisquestionboilsdowntoensuringthattheweldsizeislargeenough(andhencetheweldingheat
inputishighenough)relativetothethicknessoftheplatebeingwelded.Weldsthataretoosmallcancontributeto
HAZorunderbeadcracking.Itwouldthenbeaworthwhileexercisetoseejustexactlyhowlargetheweldswouldbe
withtheseultralowheatinputprocedures.
Theprocessofanalyzingtheweldsizebeginswithdeterminingthedepositionrate.Aquickpeekattheliteratureon
thisE71T1wirerevealsthatatawirefeedspeedof275ipm,adepositionrateof5.5lbperhourisyielded.This,
combinedwiththe10.8ipmtravelspeed,yieldsaweldnuggetof0.102lbperfootasdemonstratedinFigure4.

Itbehoovesusatthispointtoharkenbacktoanearliercolumn(PreCalculatingWireFeedSpeed,TravelSpeed
andVoltage,WeldingTips,NovemberDecember2010)wheremycolleagueKevinBeardsleydiscussedpre
calculatingatravelspeedwhenthedepositionrateanddesiredweldsizeareknown.ItcanbeseenfromTable2
(excerptedfromthatcolumn)thataweldthatweighs0.102lbperfootisequivalenttoafilletweldwithlessthana
inlegsize.
Moreover,letsassumethatyouareweldingonmildsteelplatewithathicknessofin.AccordingtoTable5.8in
theAWSD1.12010StructuralWeldingCodeSteel,theminimumfilletweldlegsizerequiredisin.Evenifyou
arenotmakingfilletwelds,butrathercompletejointpenetration(CJP)groovewelds,theconceptisstillthesame
theweldnuggetshouldbeequivalenttothatofainfilletweldinordertoensureacoolingratethatissufficiently
slowtopreventunderbeadcrackingorotherwelddefectssuchaslackoffusion.Therefore,accordingtoTable2,a
infilletweldwithaflatface(and10percentoverweldedasiscustomaryinshoppractice)willhaveaweldnugget
of0.128lbperfoot.
So,ifwedecidethatweactuallylikehowtheE71T1electrodeperformsat275ipmwirefeedspeed,160ampsand
24V,whatisthelimitonhowfastwecantravelandstillhaveaweldpasslargerthananequivalentinfillet?Thisis
amatterofsimplyrearrangingtheformulashowninFigure4.Inordertoensurethattheequivalentofaminimum
infilletweldisdeposited,thetravelspeedcanbenofasterthanthe8.6ipmasshowninFigure5.Comparethis
resultwiththe10.8ipmthatwasextractedfromtheD1.8certificationtesting.
Nowthatwehavedeterminedanupperlimitontravelspeed,whatisthethoughtprocessforthelowerlimitontravel
speed?Howslowistooslow?Mentionedabovewastheunacceptablescenariowhereaheatinputof116kJ/inwas
obtainedwhenthehighestcurrentandvoltagesettingsandtheslowesttravelspeedwereutilizedbasedonthe
rangesextracteddirectlyfromtheD1.8certs.
Forguidanceonthelargestweldthatcanbemade,onemaylooktotheAWSD1.1code,whichneverrequiresa
singlepassfilletweldlegsizegreaterthan5/16in.Fromapracticalstandpoint,itisquitedifficulttodeposit(witha
singleelectrode)asinglepassfilletweldinthedownhandpositiongreaterthan5/16inwithoutencounteringdefects
suchastrappedslag,overlap,orlackofpenetrationand/orfusion(becausethearcisridingonthepuddle).Based
onthis,wewillbegintheminimumtravelspeedcalculationwitha5/16infilletweldasthetarget.Onceagain
referringtoTable2above,aflat5/16infilletweldwillrequireaweldnuggetof0.201lbperfoot.
Also,aweldermayprefertoweldithotusingthe325ipmwirefeedspeed(whichtranslatestoadepositionrateof
6.5lbperhour)and26VsettinglistedontheD1.8cert.Inordertoensurethattheequivalentofamaximum5/16in
filletweldisdeposited,thetravelspeedcanbenoslowerthanthe6.5ipmasshowninFigure6.Comparethis
resultwiththe2.9ipmthatwasextractedfromtheD1.8certificationtesting.
Wehaveachievedourultimategoalofconstructingaconservativetravelspeedrangeof6.5ipmto8.6ipmthat
increasesthechancesofdepositingasoundweld.Therangeof2.9ipmto10.8ipmthatcouldbeextractedfromthe
D1.8certsmaymisappliedinaworstcasescenario.Thisistheprimaryreasonthatthetravelspeedsarenotlisted
onthismanufacturersD1.8certs.
Intheend,itisuptothefabricatorandtheerectortodeterminethemostappropriaterangeoftravelspeedsfora
particularapplication,ratherthanrelyingblindlyonpublishedproductcerts.Followingthemethodologypresented
aboveprovidesonepossibleblueprintonhowthismaybeachieved.

RegisGeisler
RegisGeislerIIIisaregisteredProfessionalEngineer,SpecialsCertificationEngineer
andAWSCertifiedWeldingInspectorwhohasworkedthelastelevenyearsatThe
LincolnElectricCompany,22800SaintClairAvenue,Cleveland,OH441178542,216
4818100,Fax:2164861751,www.lincolnelectric.com.Forquestionsorcomments
onthiscolumn,contactRegisatregis_geisler@lincolnelectric.com.