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This chapter describes fusion-welding processes, in which two pieces are joined together by the application of heat, which melts and fuses the interface; the operation is sometimes assisted with a filler metal. H f ld, h, A usion-we ing processes are iscussed in t is chapter, beginning with oxyfuel-gas welding, in which acetylene and oxygen provide the energy for
_ _ _ _

30.I 39,2
3-3 36,4

lntroduction Qxyf,,e|_g,s
Welding 866


A''W|di8 P'SSS= Nonconsumable Hectrode 86,

An;-welding pmesses; Consumable Electrode 873 E|ect_desfrA_c


Welding, V

arious arc-we ing processes are t en escri e in W ic eectrica energy and consumable or nonconsumable electrodes are used to produce the weld; specific processes examined include shielded metal arc welding, flux-cored arc Welding, gas tungsten-arc welding, submerged arc welding, and gas metal-arc


.b d

h. h

30.6 30.7 30.8 30.9




g_ _

Welding with high-energy beams is then discussed, in which electron beams or lasers provide highly focused heat sources. The chapter ends with a discussion of the weld joint, including quality, inspection, and testing procedures, along with a discussion of good weld design practices and process selection.
_ _ _ _ _

Electron-beam Welding 88 Laser-beam Welding 880 Cutting 882 The Weld joint, Quality, and Testing 884


glllilctiglgnagg EXAMPLE*





Welding Speed for Different Materials Laser Welding of Razor Blades 88|
Weld Desig" Selection 896





The welding processes described in this chapter involve the partial melting and fusion between two members to be joined. Here, fusion welding is defined as melting together and coalescing materials by means of heat. Filler metals, which are metals added to the weld area during welding, also may be used. Fusion welds made without the use of filler metals are known as autogenous welds. The chapter describes the major classes of fusion-welding processes. It covers the basic principles of each process; the equipment used; the relative advantages, limitations, and capabilities of the process; and the economic considerations affecting process selection (Table 30.l). These processes include the oxyfuel-gas, arc, and high-energy-beam (laser-beam and electron-beam) welding processes, which have important and unique applications in modern manufacturing. The chapter continues with a description of weld-zone features and the variety of discontinuities and defects that can exist in welded joints. The weldability of


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

Typical cost of equipment (S)

General Characteristics uf Fusion-welding Processes

Shielded metal arc Submerged arc Gas metal arc
Gas tungsten Skill level


Manual Automatic
Semiautomatic or automatic Manual or automatic Semiautomatic or automatic Manual Semiautomatic or automatic




Current type


and flexible High deposition Most metals

to 2 to 2

Low (1500-I-)

Most metals

arc Flux-cored arc

Oxyfuel Electron beam, laser beam


deposition Portable
and flexible Most metals

Low to medium Low to high Low to high Low to high High

Flat and


Medium (50004-) Medium (3000+) Medium (50004-) Medium (2000+)

Low (500-+-)
High (100,0001 million)

All All

2 to 2 to




All All

2 to 4

to high


= highest; 5

various ferrous and nonferrous metals and alloys are then reviewed. The chapter ends with a discussion of design guidelines for welding, giving several examples of good weld-design practices. As in all manufacturing processes, the economics of welding is a significant aspect of the overall operation. Welding processes, equipment, and labor costs are discussed in Section 31.8.


Oxyfuel-gas Welding

Oxyfuel-gas welding (OFW) is a general term used to describe any welding process that uses a fuel gas combined with oxygen to produce a flame. The flame is the source of the heat that is used to melt the metals at the joint. The most common gaswelding process uses acetylene; the process is known as ox;/acetylene-gas welding (OAW) and is typically used for structural metal fabrication and repair work. Developed in the early 1900s, OAW utilizes the heat generated by the combustion of acetylene gas (CZHZ) in a mixture with oxygen. The heat is generated in accordance with a pair of chemical reactions. The primary combustion process, which occurs in the inner core of the flame (Fig. 30.1), involves the following reaction:


-> zco

+ H2 + Heat.


This reaction dissociates the acetylene into carbon monoxide and hydrogen and produces about one-third of the total heat generated in the flame. The secondary combustion process is


+ H2 +


-> zcoz

H20 + Heat.


This reaction consists of the further burning of both the hydrogen and the carbon monoxide and produces about two-thirds of the total heat. Note that the reaction also produces water vapor. The temperatures developed in the flame can reach 3300C.

Section 30.2

Oxyfuel gas Welding




Outer envelope (small and narrow)

Acetylene feather

Inner cone 3040 to 3300C

(a) Neutral flame

Outer envelope

Inner cone (pointed)

(b) Oxidizing

Bright lumlnous


inner cone



Carburizing (reduclng) flame

Gas mixture
We|din9 torch


Filler rod




Molten weld metal



FIGURE 30.I Three basic types of oxyacetylene flames used in oxyfuel-gas welding and cutting operations: (a) neutral flame; (b) oxidizing flame; (c) carburizing, or reducing, flame. The gas mixture in (a) is basically equal volumes of oxygen and acetylene. (d) The principle of the oxyfuel-gas welding process.

The proportion of acetylene and oxygen in the gas mixture is an important factor in oxyfuel-gas welding. At a ratio of 1:1 (i.e., when there is no excess oxygen), the flame is considered to be neutral (Fig. 30.1a). With a greater oxygen supply, the flame can be harmful (especially for steels), because it oxidizes the metal. For this reason, a flame with excess oxygen is known as an oxidizing flame (Fig. 3O.1b). Only in the welding of copper and copper-based alloys is an
Flame Types.

oxidizing flame desirable, because in those cases, a thin protective layer of slag (compounds of oxides) forms over the molten metal. If the oxygen is insufficient for full combustion, the flame is known as a reducing, or carburizing, flame (a flame having excess acetylene; Fig. 30.1c). The temperature of a reducing flame is lower; hence, such a flame is suitable for applications requiring low heat, such as brazing, soldering, and flame-hardening operations. Other fuel gases (such as hydrogen and methylacetylene propadiene) also can be used in oxyfuel-gas welding. However, the temperatures developed by these gases are lower than those produced by acetylene. Hence, they are used for welding (a) metals with low melting points (such as lead) and (b) parts that are thin and small. The flame with pure hydrogen gas is colorless; therefore, it is difficult to adjust the flame by eyesight.
Filler Metals. Filler metals are used to supply additional metal to the weld zone during welding. They are available as filler rods or wire (Fig. 3O.1d) and may be bare or coated with flux. The purpose of the flux is to retard oxidation of the surfaces of the parts being welded by generating a gaseous shield around the weld zone. The flux also helps to dissolve and remove oxides and other substances from the weld zone, thus contributing to the formation of a stronger joint. The slag developed (compounds of oxides, fluxes, and electrode-coating materials) protects the molten puddle of metal against oxidation as it cools.

8 8

Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

Welding Practice and Equipment. Oxyfuel-gas welding can be used with most ferrous and nonferrous metals for almost any workpiece thickness, but the relatively low heat input limits the process to thicknesses of less than 6 mm Small joints made by this process may consist of a single-weld bead. Deep-V groove joints are made in multiple passes. Cleaning the surface of each weld bead prior to depositing a second layer is important for joint strength and in avoiding defects (see Section 30.9). Wire brushes (hand or power) may be used for this purpose. The equipment for oxyfuel-gas welding consists basically of a welding torch connected by hoses to high-pressure gas cylinders and equipped with pressure gages and regulators (Fig. 302). The use of safety equipment (such as goggles with shaded lenses, face shields, gloves, and protective clothing) is essential. Proper connection of the hoses to the cylinders is an important factor in safety. Oxygen and acetylene cylinders have different threads, so the hoses cannot be connected to the wrong cylinders. The low equipment cost is an attractive feature of oxyfuel-gas welding. Although it can be mechanized, this operation is essentially manual and, hence,









Enlarged view


: i
HN nn
V T*




_.v._ W1


Torch head



Oxygen Union nut Mixer


Gas regulators



Gas control valves Welding torch
Welding tip


Oxygen cylinder

Combustiblegas cylinder


(a) General view of, and (b) cross section of, a torch used in oxyacetylene welding. The acetylene valve is opened first. The gas is lit with a spark lighter or a pilot light. Then the oxygen valve is opened and the flame adjusted. (c) Basic equipment used in oxyfuel-gas welding. To ensure correct connections, all threads on acetylene fittings are left


handed, whereas those for oxygen are right handed. Oxygen regulators usually are painted green and acetylene regulators red.

Section 30.3
C2H2 + O2 mixture

Arc-welding Processes: Nonconsumable Electrode

Torch withdrawn Torch

Flame heating



'si ;

Clam p




Upsetting force



FIGURE 30.3 Schematic illustration of the pressure-gas welding process: (a) before and (b) after. Note the formation of a flash at the joint; later the flash can be trimmed off.

slow. However, it has the advantages of being portable, versatile, and economical

for simple and low-quantity work.

Pressure-gas Welding. In this method, the welding of two components starts with the heating of the interface by means of a torch using (typically) an oxyacetylene-gas mixture (Fig. 30.3a). After the interface begins to melt, the torch is withdrawn. A force is applied to press the two components together (Fig. 30.3b) and is maintained until the interface solidifies. Note the formation of a flash due to the upsetting of the joined ends of the two components.


Arc-welding Processes: Nonconsumable Electrode

In arc welding, developed in the mid-18005, the heat required is obtained from electrical energy. The process involves either a consumable or a nonconsumable electrode. An AC or a DC power supply produces an arc between the tip of the electrode and the workpiece to be welded. The arc generates temperatures of about 30,000C, which are much higher than those developed in oxyfuel-gas welding. In nonconsurnable-electrode welding processes, the electrode is typically a tungsten electrode (Fig. 30.4). Because of the high temperatures involved, an externally supplied shielding gas is necessary to prevent oxidation of the weld zone. Typically, direct current is used, and its polarity (the direction of current flow) is important. The selection of current levels depends on such factors as the type of electrode, metals to be welded, and depth and width of the weld zone. In straight polarity-also known as direct-current electrode negative (DCEN)the workpiece is positive (anode), and the electrode is negative (cathode). DCEN generally produces welds that are narrow and deep (Fig. 30.5a). In reverse polarity-also known as direct-current electrode positive (DCEP)-the workpiece is negative and the electrode is positive. Weld penetration is less, and the weld zone is shallower and wider (Fig. 30.5 b). Hence, DCEP is preferred for sheet metals and for joints with very wide gaps. ln the AC current method, the arc pulsates rapidly. This method is suitable for welding thick sections and for using large-diameter electrodes at maximum

currents (Fig. 30.5c).


Chapter 30

Fusion-Weldin g Processes



Electrical conductor

Gas passage
Filler wire

Molten weld metal

\ &` rn..


Tungsten electrode Shielding gas

._ Sldfd ld 0| He We

~ `

'' ""''







Filler rod



Foot pedal (optional)

FIGURE 30.4 (a) The gas tungsten-arc welding process, formerly known as TIG (for tungsten-inert-gas) welding. (b) Equipment for gas tungsten-arc welding operations.

Heat Transfer in Arc Welding. The heat input in arc Welding


given by the equation


VI e-,








H is the heat input (] or BTU), I is the Weld length, V is the voltage applied, I is the current (amperes), and 1/ is the welding speed. The term e is the efficiency of the process and varies from around 75% for shielded metal-arc welding to 90% for gas metal-arc welding and submerged-arc Welding. The efficiency is an indication that not all of the available energy is beneficially used to melt material, because the heat is conducted through the workpiece, some is lost by radiation, and still more is lost by convection to the surrounding environment. The heat input given by Eq. (30.3) melts a certain volume of material, usually the electrode or filler metal, and can also be expressed as


uV,,, = uAI,



where u is the specific energy required for melting, V," is the volume of material melted, and A is the cross section of the Weld. Some typical values of u are given in Table 30.2. Equations (30.3) and (30.4) allow an expression of the welding speed:


The effect of polarity and current type on weld beads: (a) DC current with straight polarity; (b) DC current with reverse polarity; (c) AC current.

VI eg.


Although these equations have been developed for arc Welding, similar ones can be obtained for other fusion-welding operations as Well, taking into account differences in Weld geometry and process efficiency.

Section 30.3 TABLE 30.2

Arc-welding Processes: Nonconsumable Electrode

Approximate Specific Energies Required to Melt a Unit Volume uf Commonly Welded Metals
Specific energy, u

Material Aluminum and its alloys

Cast irons

2.9 7.8 6.1 4.2 2.9 9.8

Bronze (90Cu-10511)


Stainless steels

9.1-10.3 9.3-9.6


EXAMPLE 30.l Welding Speed for

Different Materials
Therefore, from Eq. (30.5)
_ _Yi __ 0 75 (20l(200l T e uA T ' (2.9)(30)

Consider a situation in which a welding operation is being performed with V == 20 volts, I = 200 A, and the cross-sectional area of the weld bead is 30 mrnz. Estimate the welding speed if the workpiece and electrode are made of (a) aluminum, (b) carbon steel, and (c) titanium. Use an efficiency of 75%.

34 5

mf m S

Snlution For aluminum, we note from Table 30.2 that the specific energy required is u = 2.9 ]/mm3.

Similarly, for carbon steel, u is estimated as 9.7 ]/mm3 (average of extreme values in the table) leading to 1/ = 10.3 mm/s For titanium u 14 3 ]/mrn3, so that 1/ = 7.0 mm/s

Gas Tungsten-arc Welding. In gas tungsten-are welding (GTAW), formerly known as TIG (for tungsten inert gas) welding, the filler metal is supplied from a filler wire (Fig. 30.4a). Because the tungsten electrode is not consumed in this operation, a constant and stable arc gap is maintained at a constant current level. The filler metals are similar to the metals to be welded, and flux is not used. The shielding gas is usually argon or helium (or a mixture of the two). Welding with GTAW may be done without filler metals-for example, in the welding of close-fit

joints. Depending on the metals to be welded, the power supply is either DC at 200 A or AC at 5 00 A (Fig. 30.4b). In general, AC is preferred for aluminum and magnesium, because the cleaning action of AC removes oxides and improves weld quality. Thorium or zirconium may be used in the tungsten electrodes to improve their electron emission characteristics. The power supply ranges from 8 to 20 kW Contamination of the tungsten electrode by the molten metal can be a significant problem, particularly in critical applications, because it can cause discontinuities in the weld. Therefore, contact of the electrode with the molten-metal pool should be avoided. The GTAW process is used for a wide variety of applications and metals, particularly aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and the refractory metals. It is especially suitable for thin metals. The cost of the inert gas makes this process more expensive than SMAW but provides welds of very high quality and surface finish. GTAW is

Chapter 30

Fuslon-Welding Processes

used in a variety of critical applications with a wide range of workpiece thicknesses and shapes. The equipment is portable.

Plasma-arc Welding. In plasma-arc welding (PAW), developed in the 1960s, a concentrated plasma arc is produced and directed towards the weld area. The arc is stable and reaches temperatures as high as 33,000C. A plasma is an ionized hot gas composed of nearly equal numbers of electrons and ions. The plasma is initiated between the tungsten electrode and the orifice by a low-current pilot arc. What makes plasma-arc welding unlike other processes is that the plasma arc is concentrated because it is forced through a relatively small orifice. Operating currents usually are below 100 A, but they can be higher for special applications. When a filler metal is used, it is fed into the arc, as is done in GTAW. Arc and weld-zone shielding is supplied by means of an outer-shielding ring and the use of gases such as argon, helium, or mixtures. There are two methods of plasma-arc welding:

In the transferred-arc method (Fig. 30.6a), the workpiece being welded is part of the electrical circuit. The arc transfers from the electrode to the workpiecehence the term transferred. In the nontransferred method (Fig. 30.6b), the arc occurs between the electrode and the nozzle, and the heat is carried to the workpiece by the plasma gas. This thermal-transfer mechanism is similar to that for an oxyfuel flame (see Section 30.2).

Compared with other arc-welding processes, plasma-arc welding has better arc stability, less thermal distortion, and higher energy concentration, thus permitting deeper and narrower welds. In addition, higher welding speeds, from 120 to 1000 mm/min, can be achieved. A variety of metals can be welded with part thicknesses generally less than 6 mm. The high heat concentration can penetrate completely through the joint (known as the keyhole technique), with thicknesses as much as 20 mm for some titanium and aluminum alloys. In the keyhole technique, the force of the plasma arc displaces the molten metal and produces a hole at the leading edge of the weld pool. Plasma-arc welding (rather than the GTAW process) often is used for butt and lap joints because of its higher energy concentration, better arc stability, and higher welding speeds. Proper training and skill are essential for operators who use this





Plasma gas
Shielding gas


,. l=wa






Two types of plasma-arc welding processes: (a) transferred and (b) nontransferred. Deep and narrow welds can be made by these processes at high welding speeds.

Section 30.4

Arc-welding Processes: Consumable Electrode

equipment. Safety considerations include protection against glare, spatter, and noise from the plasma arc.

Atomic-hydrogen Welding. In atomic-hydrogen welding (AHW), an arc is generated between two tungsten electrodes in a shielding atmosphere of hydrogen gas. The arc is maintained independently of the workpiece or parts being welded. The hydrogen gas normally is diatomic (HZ), but where the temperatures are over 6,000C near the arc, the hydrogen breaks down into its atomic form, simultaneously absorbing a large amount of heat from the arc. When the hydrogen strikes the cold surface of the workpieces to be joined, it recombines into its diatomic form and rapidly releases the stored heat. The energy in AHW can be varied easily by changing the distance between the arc stream and the workpiece surface. This process is being replaced by shielded metal-arc welding, mainly because of the availability of inexpensive inert


Arc-welding Processes: Consumable Electrode

There are several consumable-electrode arc-welding processes.

30.4.l Shielded Metal-arc Welding

Shielded metal-arc welding (SMAW) is one of the oldest, simplest, and most versatile joining processes. About 5 0% of all industrial and maintenance welding currently is performed by this process. The electric arc is generated by touching the tip of a coated electrode against the workpiece and withdrawing it quickly to a distance sufficient to maintain the arc (Fig. 30.7a). The electrodes are in the shapes of thin, long rods (hence, this process also is known as stick welding) that are held manually. The heat generated melts a portion of the electrode tip, its coating, and the base metal in the immediate arc area. The molten metal consists of a mixture of the base metal (the workpiece), the electrode metal, and substances from the coating on the electrode; this mixture forms the weld when it solidifies. The electrode coating deoxidizes the weld area and provides a shielding gas to protect it from oxygen in the environment. A bare section at the end of the electrode is clamped to one terminal of the power source, while the other terminal is connected to the workpiece being welded (Fig. 30.7b). The current, which may be DC or AC, usually ranges from 50 to 300 A.
Welding machine AC or DC power source and controls

Solidified S189





Elect d






iff /y,/




Coating Electrode

er ..





Weld metal

FIGURE 30.7 Schematic illustration of the shielded metal-arc welding process. About 50% of all large-scale industrial-welding operations use this process.


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

A deep weld showing the buildup sequence of eight individual weld beads.


For sheet-metal welding, DC is preferred because of the steady arc it produces. Power requirements generally are less than 10 kW. The SMAW process has the advantages of being relatively simple, versatile, and requiring a smaller variety of electrodes. The equipment consists of a power supply, cables, and an electrode holder. The SMAW process commonly is used in general construction, shipbuilding, pipelines, and maintenance work. It is especially useful for work in remote areas where a portable fuel-powered generator can be used as the power supply. SMAW is best suited for workpiece thicknesses of 3 to 19 mm, although this range can be extended easily by skilled operators using multiple-pass techniques (Fig. 30.8). The multiple-pass approach requires that the slag be removed after each weld bead. Unless removed completely, the solidified slag can cause severe corrosion of the weld area and lead to failure of the weld, but it also prevents the fusion of weld layers and, therefore, compromises the weld strength. Before another weld is applied, the slag should be removed completely-for example, by wire brushing or weld chipping. Consequently, both labor costs and material costs are high.

30.4.2 Submerged-arc Welding

In submerged-arc welding (SAW), the weld arc is shielded by a granular flux consisting of lime, silica, manganese oxide, calcium fluoride, and other compounds. The flux is fed into the weld zone from a hopper by gravity flow through a nozzle (Fig. 30.9). The thick layer of flux completely covers the molten metal. It prevents spatter and sparks and suppresses the intense ultraviolet radiation and fumes characteristic of the SMAW process. The flux also acts as a thermal insulator by promoting deep penetration of heat into the workpiece. The unused flux can be recovered (using a recovery tube), treated, and reused. The consumable electrode is a coil of bare round wire 1.5 to 10 mm in diameter; it is fed automatically through a tube (welding gun). Electric currents typically range from 300 to 2000 A. The power supplies usually are connected to standard single- or three-phase power lines with a primary rating up to 440 V Because the flux is gravity fed, the SAW process is limited largely to welds in a flat or horizontal position having a backup piece. Circular welds can be made on pipes and cylinders-provided that they are rotated during welding. As Fig. 30.9 shows, the unfused flux can be recovered, treated, and reused. SAW is automated

Electrode-wire reel

Voltage and current control


recovery tube Wire-feed motor Electrode cable Wolkplece

Weld backing



Voltage-pickup leads (optional)


Schematic illustration of the submerged-arc welding process and equipment. The unfused flux is recovered and reused.

Section 30.4

Arc-welding Processes: Consumable Electrode

and is used to weld a variety of carbon and alloy steel and stainless-steel sheets or plates at speeds as high as 5 m/min. The quality of the Weld is very high-With good toughness, ductility, and uniformity of properties. The SAW process provides very high welding productivity, depositing 4 to 10 times the amount of Weld metal per hour as the SMAW process. Typical applications include thick-plate Welding for shipbuilding and for pressure vessels.

30.4.3 Gas Metal-arc Welding

In gas metal-arc welding (GMAW), developed in the 19505 and formerly called metal inert-gas (MIG) welding, the Weld area is shielded by an effectively inert atmosphere of argon, helium, carbon dioxide, or various other gas mixtures (Fig. 30.10a). The consumable bare Wire is fed automatically through a nozzle into the Weld arc by a Wire-feed drive motor (Fig. 30.10b). In addition to using inert shielding gases, deoxidizers usually are present in the electrode metal itself in order to prevent oxidation of the molten-weld puddle. Multiple-weld layers can be deposited at the joint. Metal can be transferred by three methods in the GMAW process:
l. In spray transfer, small, molten metal droplets from the electrode are transferred to the Weld area at a rate of several hundred droplets per second. The

Solid wire electrode

Shieming gas

Current conductor



Shielding gas

in ,lf i




Wire guide and



contact tube
g; N

solidified weld meiai

Molten weld metal



Feed control Control system


Gas our Gun control




Shielding-gas source


Wire-feed drive motor

N E 1-:: f


Voltage control
Welding machine


Contactor control

Power supply

FIGURE 30.I0 (a) Schematic illustration of the gas metal-arc Welding process, formerly known as MIG (for metal inert-gas) Welding. (b) Basic equipment used in gas metal-arc

Welding operations.


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

transfer is spatter free and very stable. High DC currents and voltages and large-diameter electrodes are used with argon or an argon-rich gas mixture as the shielding gas. The average current required in this process can be reduced with the use of a pulsed arc, which superimposes high-amplitude pulses onto a low, steady current. The process can be used in all welding positions. 2. In globular transfer, carbon-dioxide-rich gases are utilized, and globules are propelled by the forces of the electric-arc transfer of the metal, resulting in considerable spatter. High Welding currents are used, making it possible for greater Weld penetration and higher welding speed than are achieved in spray transfer. Heavier sections commonly are joined by this method. 3. In short circuiting, the metal is transferred in individual droplets (more than 50 per second) as the electrode tip touches the molten Weld metal and shortcircuits. Low currents and voltages are utilized with carbon-dioxide-rich gases and electrodes made of small-diameter Wire. The power required is about 2 kW
The temperatures generated in GMAW are relatively low; consequently, this method is suitable only for thin sheets and sections of less than 6 mm; otherwise incomplete fusion may occur. The operation, which is easy to perform, is commonly used for welding ferrous metals in thin sections. Pulsed-arc systems are used for thin ferrous and nonferrous metals. The GMAW process is suitable for Welding most ferrous and nonferrous metals is used extensively in the metal-fabrication industry. Because of the relatively and simple nature of the process, the training of operators is easy. The process is versatile, rapid, and economical, and Welding productivity is double that of the SMAW process. The GMAW process can be automated easily and lends itself readily to robotics and to flexible manufacturing systems (see Chapters 37 and 39).

30.4.4 Flux-cored Arc Welding

The flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) process, illustrated in Fig. 30.11, gas metal-arc Welding, except that the electrode is tubular in shape and
is is

similar to filled with


Current-carrying guide tube

composed of vaporized and slag-forming compounds protects metal transfer through arc
Arc shield

insulated extension tip

Solidified slag
Molten slag

Molten weld metal

Powdered metal, vapor- or gas-forming materials, deoxidizers and scavengers


Solidified weld metal

Base metal
Metal droplets covered with thin slag coating forming

molten puddle

FIGURE 30.1 Schematic illustration of the flux-cored arc-welding process. This operation is similar to gas metal-arc welding, shown in Fig. 30.10.

Section 30.4

Arc-welding Processes: Consumable Electrode


flux (hence the term flux-cored). Cored electrodes produce a more stable arc, improve weld contour, and produce better mechanical properties of the weld metal. The flux in these electrodes is much more flexible than the brittle coating used on SMAW electrodes, so the tubular electrode can be provided in long coiled lengths. The electrodes are usually 0.5 to 4 mm in diameter, and the power required is about 20 kW. Self~shielded cored electrodes also are available. They do not require any external shielding gas, because they contain emissive fluxes that shield the weld area against the surrounding atmosphere. Small-diameter electrodes have made the welding of thinner materials not only possible, but often preferable. Also, small-diameter electrodes make it relatively easy to weld parts in different positions, and the flux chemistry permits the welding of many metals. The FCAW process combines the versatility of SMAW with the continuous and automatic electrode-feeding feature of GMAW The process is economical and versatile, so it is used for welding a variety of joints, mainly on steels, stainless steels, and nickel alloys. The higher weld-metal deposition rate of the FCAW process (compared with that of GMAW) has led to its use in the joining of sections of all thicknesses. The use of tubular electrodes with very small diameters has extended the use of this process to workpieces of smaller section size. A major advantage of FCAW is the ease with which specific weld-metal chemistries can be developed. By adding alloying elements to the flux core, virtually any alloy composition can be produced. The process is easy to automate and is readily adaptable to flexible manufacturing systems and robotics.

30.4.5 Electrogas Welding

Electrogas welding (EGW) is used primarily for welding the edges of sections vertically and in one pass with the pieces placed edge to edge (butt joint). It is classified as a machine-welding process, because it requires special equipment (Fig. 3012). The weld metal is deposited into a weld cavity between the two pieces to be joined. The space is enclosed by two water-cooled copper dams (shoes) to prevent the molten slag from running off; mechanical drives move the shoes upward. Circumferential welds (such as those on pipes) also are possible, with the workpiece rotating.

Drive rolls

Electrode conduit

Welding wire

Welding gun

Water out
Welding wire
Fixed shoe

Gas -> Water out



Gas box

Water Primary shielding gas

FIGURE 30.l2


le mg gas

Moveable shoe Weld metal

Schematic illustration of the electrogas-welding process.

Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

Single or multiple electrodes are fed through a conduit, and a continuous arc is maintained by flux-cored electrodes at up to 750 A or solid electrodes at 400 A. Power requirements are about 20 kW Shielding is done by means of an inert gas, such as carbon dioxide, argon, or helium-depending on the type of material being Welded. The gas may be provided either from an external source, from a flux-cored electrode, or from both. The equipment for electrogas Welding is reliable and training for operators is relatively simple. Weld thickness ranges from 12 to 75 mm on steels, titanium, and aluminum alloys. Typical applications are in the construction of bridges, pressure vessels, thick-Walled and large-diameter pipes, storage tanks, and ships.

30.4.6 Electroslag Welding

Electroslag welding (ESW) and its applications are similar to electrogas welding (Fig. 30.13). The main difference is that the arc is started between the electrode tip and the bottom of the part to be vvelded. Flux is added, which then melts by the heat of the arc. After the molten slag reaches the tip of the electrode, the arc is extinguished. Heat is produced continuously by the electrical resistance of the molten slag. Because the arc is extinguished, ESW is not strictly an arc-welding process. Single or multiple solid as Well as flux-cored electrodes may be used. The guide may be nonconsumable (conventional method) or consumable. Electroslag Welding is capable of Welding plates with thicknesses ranging from 50 mm to more than 900 mm, and Welding is done in one pass. The current required is about 600 A at 40 to 50 \L although higher currents are used for thick plates. The travel speed of the weld is in the range from 12 to 36 mm/min. Weld quality is good. This process is used for large structural-steel sections, such as heavy machinery, bridges, oil rigs, ships, and nuclear-reactor vessels.
Power source
Control panel

Electrode lead

3i "'

Wire reel

Wire-feed drive


*Oscillation (optional)

Consumable guide tube

Workpiece (QVOUHG) lead


Molten slag Molten weld pool

4- Water
\Water out

Retaining shoe


30.|3 Equipment used for electroslag-Welding operations.

Section 30.5

Electrodes for Arc Weld|ng



Electrodes for Arc Welding

Electrodes for consumable arc-welding processes are classified according to the following properties:

Strength of the deposited weld metal Current (Ac or Dc) Type of coating.

Electrodes are identified by numbers and letters (Table 30.3)-or by color code if the numbers and letters are too small to imprint. Typical coated-electrode dimensions are in the range from 150 to 460 mm in length and 1.5 to 8 mm in diameter. Specifications for electrodes and filler metals (including dimensional tolerances, quality control procedures, and processes) are published by the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Some specifications appear in the Aerospace Materials Specifications (AMS) by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Electrodes are sold by weight and are available in a wide variety of sizes and specifications. Criteria for selection and recommendations for electrodes for a particular metal and its application can be found in supplier literature and in the various handbooks and references listed at the end of this chapter.

TABLE 30.3

Designations for Mild-steel Coated Electrodes

The prefix E designates arc welding electrode. The first two digits of four-digit numbers and the first three digits of five-digit numbers indicate minimum tensile strength:



60,000 psi 70,000 110,000

The next-to-last digit indicates position:


All positions Flat position and horizontal fillets

The last two digits together indicate the type of covering and the current to be used. The suffix (Example: EXXXX-A1) indicates the approximate alloy in the weld deposit:

-A1 -B1 -B2 -B3 -B4 -B5 -C1

-C3 -D1


and D2

0.5% Mo 0.5% Cr, 0.5% Mo 1.25% Cr, 0.5% Mo 2.25% Cr, 1% M0 2% Cr, 0.5% M0 0.5% Cr, 1% Mo 2.5% Ni 3.25% Ni 1% Ni, 0.35% Mo, 0.15% Cr 0.25-0.45% Mo, 1.75% Mn 0.5% min. Ni, 0.3% min. Cr, 0.2% min. Mo, 0.1% min. \L 1% min. Mn (only one element required)

Note: Multiply pounds per square in. (psi) by 6.9

10'3 to obtain megapascals (MPa).

8 0

Chapter 30

Fus|on-Welding Processes

Electrode Coatings. Electrodes are coated with claylike materials that include silicate binders and powdered materials, such as oxides, carbonates, fluorides, metal alloys, cotton cellulose, and wood flour. The coating, which is brittle and takes part in complex interactions during welding, has the following basic functions:

Stabilize the arc. Generate gases to act as a shield against the surrounding atmosphere; the gases produced are carbon dioxide, water vapor, and small amounts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Control the rate at which the electrode melts. Act as a flux to protect the weld against the formation of oxides, nitrides, and other inclusions and, with the resulting slag, to protect the molten-weld pool. Add alloying elements to the weld zone to enhance the properties of the jointamong these elements are deoxidizers to prevent the weld from becoming brittle.

The deposited electrode coating or slag must be removed after each pass in order to ensure a good weld; a wire brush (manual or power) can be used for this purpose. Bare electrodes and wires made of stainless steels and aluminum alloys also are available. They are used as filler metals in various welding operations.


Electron-beam Welding

In electron-beam welding (EBW), developed in the 1960s, heat is generated by highvelocity narrow-beam electrons. The kinetic energy of the electrons is converted into heat as they strike the workpiece. The process requires special equipment to focus the beam on the workpiece, typically in a vacuum. The higher the vacuum, the more the beam penetrates, and the greater is the depth-to-width ratio; thus, the methods are called EBW-HV (for high vacuum) and EBW-MV (for medium vacuum); some materials also may also be welded by EBW-NV (for no vacuum). Almost any metal can be welded by EBW, and workpiece thicknesses can range from foil to plate. Capacities of electron guns range up to 100 kW The intense energy also is capable of producing holes in the workpiece (see keyhole technique, Section 30.3). Generally, no shielding gas, flux, or filler metal is required. The EBW process has the capability of making high-quality welds that are almost parallel sided, are deep and narrow, and have small heat-affected zones (see Section 30.9). Depth-to-width ratios range between 10 and 30. The sizes of welds made by EBW are much smaller than those of welds made by conventional processes. With the use of automation and servo controls, parameters can be controlled accurately at welding speeds as high as 12 m/min. Almost any metal can be butt or lap welded with this process at thicknesses up to 150 mm. Distortion and shrinkage in the weld area are minimal. The weld quality is good and of very high purity. Typical applications include the welding of aircraft, missile, nuclear, and electronic components, as well as gears and shafts for the automotive industry. Electron-beam welding equipment generates X-rays; hence, proper monitoring and periodic maintenance are essential.


Laser-beam Welding

Laser-beam welding (LBW) utilizes a high-power laser beam as the source of heat, to produce a fusion weld. Because the beam can be focused onto a very small area,

Section 30.7 it has high energy density and deep-penetrating capabil-

Laser-beam Welding


The beam can be directed, shaped, and focused precisely on the workpiece. Consequently, this process is suitable particularly for welding deep and narrow joints (Fig. 30.14) with depth-to-width ratios typically ranging from 4 to 10. Laser-beam welding has become extremely popular and is used in most industries. In the automotive industry, welding transmission components are the most widespread application. Among numerous other applications is the welding of thin parts for electronic components. The laser beam may be pulsed (in milliseconds) with power levels up to 100 kW for applications such as the spot welding of thin materials. Continuous multi-kW (H) (D) laser systems are used for deep welds on thick sections. Laser-beam welding produces welds of good qualFIGURE 30.I4 Comparison of the sizes of weld beads: ity with minimum shrinkage or distortion. Laser welds (a) laser-beam or electron-beam welding and (b) tungstenhave good strength and generally are ductile and free of arc welding. Source: Courtesy of American Welding Society. porosity. The process can be automated to be used on a variety of materials with thicknesses up to 25 mm; it is particularly effective on thin workpieces. As described in Section 16.2.2, tailor-welded sheet-metal blanks are joined principally by laser-beam welding using robotics for precise control of the beam path. Typical metals and alloys welded include aluminum, titanium, ferrous metals, copper, superalloys, and the refractory metals. Welding speeds range from 2.5 m/min to as high as 80 m/min for thin metals. Because of the nature of the process, welding can be done in otherwise inaccessible locations. As in other and similar automated welding systems, the operator skill required is minimal. Safety is particularly important in laser-beam welding due to the extreme hazards to the eye as well as the skin; solid-state (YAG) lasers also are dangerous. (See Table 27.2 on types of lasers.) The major advantages of LBW over EBW are the following:

vacuum is not required, and the beam can be transmitted through air. Laser beams can be shaped, manipulated, and focused optically (by means of fiber optics), so the process can be automated easily. The beams do not generate X-rays. The quality of the weld is better than in EBW; the weld has less tendency toward incomplete fusion, spatter, and porosity; and there is less distortion.

EXAMPLE 30.2 Laser Welding


of Razor Blades
provides very flexible beam manipulation and can target exact locations along the length of the blade. With a set of these machines, production is at a rate of 3 million welds per hour, with accurate and consistent weld quality.
Source: Courtesy of Lumonics Corporation, Industrial Products Division.

close-up of the Gillette Sensorm razor cartridge is shown in Fig. 30.15. Each of the two narrow, highstrength blades has 13 pinpoint welds-11 of which can be seen (as darker spots, about 0.5 mm in diameter) on each blade in the photograph. You can inspect the welds on actual blades with a magnifying glass or a microscope. The welds are made with an Nd:YAG laser equipped with fiber-optic delivery. This equipment

Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

FIGURE 30.15 Detail of Gillette Sensor razor cartridge, showing laser spot welds.



In addition to being cut by mechanical means, material can be cut into various contours with the use of a heat source that melts and removes a narrow zone in the workpiece. The sources of heat can be torches, electric arcs, or lasers.

Ox;/fuel-gas cutting (OFC) is similar to oxyfuel welding, but the heat source is now used to remove a narrow zone from a metal plate or sheet (Fig. 30.16a). This process is suitable particularly for steels. The basic reactions with

Oxyfuel-gas Cutting.
steel are

Fe + O

l> FeO

+ Heat, + Heat,

(30.6) (30.7)




-> Fe3O4

4Fe +


2 Fe2O3 +



The greatest heat is generated by the second reaction, and it can produce a temperature rise to about 870C. However, this temperature is not sufficiently high to cut steels; therefore, the workpiece is preheated with fuel gas, and oxygen is introduced later (see the nozzle cross section in Fig. 30.16a). The higher the carbon content of the steel, the higher is the preheating temperature required. Cutting takes place mainly by the oxidation (burning) of the steel; some melting also takes place. Cast irons and steel castings also can be cut by this method. The process generates a kerf similar to that produced by sawing with a saw blade or by wire electricaldischarge machining (see Fig. 2712).

Section 30





Preheat flames


Workpiece Drag lines

_>| (__



Slag (iron and

rroh oxrde)



30.l6 (a) Flame cutting of a steel plate with an oxyacetylene torch, and section of the torch nozzle. (b) Cross section of a flame-cut plate, showing drag lines.


The maximum thickness that can be cut by OFC depends mainly on the gases used. With oxyacetylene gas, the maximum thickness is about 300 mm; with oxyhydrogen, it is about 600 mm. Kerf widths range from about 1.5 to 10 mm, with reasonably good control of tolerances. The flame leaves drag lines on the cut surface (Fig. 30.l6b), resulting in a rougher surface than that produced by processes such as sawing, blanking, or other operations that use mechanical cutting tools. Distortion caused by uneven temperature distribution can be a problem in OFC. Although long used for salvage and repair work, OFC can be used in manufacturing as well. Torches may be guided along specified paths either manually, mechanically, or automatically by machines using programmable controllers and robots. Underwater cutting is done with specially designed torches that produce a blanket of compressed air between the flame and the surrounding water.
Arc Cutting. Arc-cutting processes are based on the same principles as arc-welding processes. A variety of materials can be cut at high speeds by arc cutting. As in welding, these processes also leave a heat-affected zone that needs to be taken into account, particularly in critical applications. In air carbon-arc cutting (CAC-A), a carbon electrode is used and the molten metal is blown away by a high-velocity air jet; thus, the metal being cut doesnt have to oxidize. This process is used especially for gouging and scarfing (removal of metal from a surface). However, the process is noisy, and the molten metal can be blown substantial distances and cause safety hazards. Plasma-arc cutting (PAC) produces the highest temperatures. It is used for the rapid cutting of nonferrous and stainless-steel plates. The cutting productivity of this process is higher than that of oxyfuel-gas methods. PAC produces a good surface finish and narrow kerfs, and is the most popular cutting process utilizing programmable controllers employed in manufacturing today. Electron beams and lasers also are used for very accurately cutting a wide variety of metals, as was described in Sections 27.6 and 27.7. The surface finish is better than that of other thermal cutting processes, and the kerf is narrower.


The Weld joint, Quality, and Testing


Three distinct zones can be identified in a typical weld joint, as shown in Fig. 30.171
I. Base

2. Heat-affected zone

Weld metal.

The metallurgy and properties of the second and third zones depend strongly on the type of metals joined, the particular joining process, the filler metals used (if any), and welding process variables. A joint produced without a filler metal is called autogenous, and its weld zone is composed of the resolidified base metal. A joint made with a filler metal has a central zone called the weld metal and is composed of a mixture of the base and the filler metals.

Solidification of the Weld Metal. After the application of heat and the introduction of the filler metal (if any) into the weld zone, the weld joint is allowed to cool to ambient temperature. The solidijqcation process is similar to that in casting and begins with the formation of columnar (dendritic) grains. (See Fig. 10.3.) These grains are relatively long and form parallel to the heat flow. Because metals are much better heat conductors than the surrounding air, the grains lie parallel to the plane of the two components being welded (Fig. 30.18a). In contrast, the grains in a shallow weld are shown in Figs. 30.18b and c. Grain structure and grain size depend on the specific metal alloy, the particular welding process employed, and the type of filler metal. Because it began in a molten state, the weld metal basically has a cast structure, and since it has cooled slowly, it has coarse grains. Consequently, this structure generally has low strength, toughness, and ductility. However, the proper selection of filler-metal composition or of heat treatments following welding can improve the mechanical properties of
the joint. The resulting structure depends on the particular alloy, its composition, and the thermal cycling to which the joint is subjected. For example, cooling rates may be controlled and reduced by pre/venting the general weld area prior to welding. Preheating is important, particularly for metals havOriginal Fusion zone Heat-affected ing high thermal conductivity, such as aluminum and structure (weld metal) zone copper. Without preheating, the heat produced during welding dissipates rapidly through the rest of the parts being joined.

Heat-affected Zone.

The heat-affected zone (HAZ)

temperature of base metal

is within the base metal itself. It has a microstructure different from that of the base metal prior to welding, because it has been temporarily subjected to elevated temperatures during welding. The portions of the base metal that are far enough away from the heat source do not undergo any microstructural changes during welding because of the far lower temperature to which they are subjected. The properties and microstructure of the HAZ depend on (a) the rate of heat input and cooling and (b) the temperature to which this zone was raised. In addition to metallurgical factors (such as the original grain size, grain orientation, and degree of prior cold

Tmpe ture G fa Q



13| O

gm 2.
'Lu Q.

lo IJ

Section 30.9

The Weldjoint Quality and Testmg








0.1 mm

Melt zone

0.43 mm
Heat-affected zone


Grain structure in (a) a deep weld and (b) a shallow weld. Note that the grains in the solidified weld metal are perpendicular to their interface with the base metal. (c) Weld bead on a cold-rolled nickel strip produced by a laser beam. (d) Microhardness (HV) profile across a weld bead.
FIGURE 30.18

work), physical properties (such as the specific heat and thermal conductivity of the metals) influence the size and characteristics of the HAZ. The strength and hardness of the HAZ (Fig. 3O.18d) depend partly on how the original strength and hardness of the base metal was developed prior to the welding. As was described in Chapters 2 and 4, they may have been developed by (a) cold working, (b) solid-solution strengthening, (c) precipitation hardening, or (d) various heat treatments. The effects of these strengthening methods are complex, and the simplest to analyze are those in a base metal that has been cold worked, such as by cold rolling or cold forging. The heat applied during welding recrystallizes the elongated grains of the coldworked base metal. On the one hand, grains that are away from the weld metal will recrystallize into fine, equiaxed grains. On the other hand, grains close to the weld metal have been subjected to elevated temperatures for a longer time. Consequently, the grains will grow in size (grain growth), and this region will be softer and have lower strength. Such a joint will be weakest at its HAZ. The effects of heat on the HAZ for joints made from dissimilar metals and for alloys strengthened by other methods are so complex as to be beyond the scope of this book. Details can be found in the more advanced references listed in the bibliography at the end of this chapter.

30.9.l Weld Quality

attendant microstructural changes, discontinuities. Welding discontinuities also can a welded joint may develop various application of proper welding technologies be caused by an inadequate or careless
As a result of a history of thermal cycling and its


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

or by poor operator training. The major discontinuities that affect weld quality are

described here.


Porosity in welds may be caused by

Gases released during melting of the weld area, but trapped during solidification.

Chemical reactions during welding. Contaminants.

Most welded joints contain some porosity, which is generally in the shape of spheres or of elongated pockets. (See also Section 10.6.1.) The distribution of porosity in the weld zone may be random, or the porosity may be concentrated in a certain region in the zone. Porosity in welds can be reduced by the following practices:


Proper selection of electrodes and filler metals. Improved welding techniques, such as preheating the weld area or increasing the rate of heat input. Proper cleaning and the prevention of contaminants from entering the weld
zone. Reduced welding speeds to allow time for gas to escape.

Slag lnclusions. Slug inclusions are compounds such as oxides, fluxes, and electrodecoating materials that are trapped in the weld zone. If shielding gases are not effective during welding, contamination from the environment also may contribute to such inclusions. Welding conditions are important as well: With control of welding process parameters, the molten slag will float to the surface of the molten weld metal and thus will not become entrapped. Slag inclusions can be prevented by the following practices:

Cleaning the weld-bead surface by means of a wire brush (hand or power) or a chipper before the next layer is deposited. Providing sufficient shielding gas. Redesigning the joint to permit sufficient space for proper manipulation of the puddle of molten weld metal.

Incomplete Fusion and Penetration. Incomplete fusion produces poor weld beads, such as those shown in Fig. 30.19. A better weld can be obtained by the use of the
following practices:

Raising the temperature of the base metal. Cleaning the weld area before welding.







nigggn e


Base meta'


Incomplete fusion



Examples of various discontinuities in fusion welds.

Section 30.9

The Weld joint. Quality, and Testing

BHS9 meta'


Incomplete penetration

Good weld
Lack of




FIGURE 30.20

Examples of various defects in fusion Welds.


Modifying the joint design and changing the type of electrode used. Providing sufficient shielding gas.

Incomplete penetration occurs when the depth of the welded joint is insufficient. Penetration can be improved by the following practices:

Increasing the heat input. Reducing the travel speed during the Welding. Modifying the joint design. Ensuring that the surfaces to be joined fit each other properly.

Weld Profile. Weld profile is important not only because of its effects on the strength and appearance of the Weld, but also because it can indicate incomplete fusion or the presence of slag inclusions in multiple-layer welds.

Underfilling results When the joint is not filled with the proper amount of weld metal (Fig. 30.20a). Undercutting results from the melting away of the base metal and the consequent generation of a groove in the shape of a sharp recess or notch (Fig. 3O.20b). If it is deep or sharp, an undercut can act as a stress raiser and can reduce the fatigue strength of the joint; in such cases, it may lead to premature failure. Overlap is a surface discontinuity (Fig. 30.20b) usually caused by poor Welding practice or by the selection of improper materials. A good Weld is shown in
Fig. 3o.20_

Cracks. Cracks may occur in various locations and directions in the Weld area. Typical types of cracks are longitudinal, transverse, crater, underbead, and toe cracks

Cracks generally result from a combination of the follovving factors:

Temperature gradients that cause thermal stresses in the Weld zone. Variations in the composition of the Weld zone that cause different rates of contraction during cooling. Embrittlement of grain boundaries (Section 1.5.2), caused by the segregation of such elements as sulfur to the grain boundaries and occurring when the solid-liquid boundary moves when the Weld metal begins to solidify.


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

Toe Crack


We Id






Longitudinal Crack

Base meta'





Toe crack

FIGURE 30.21

Types of cracks developed in welded joints. The cracks are caused by thermal stresses, similar to the development of hot tears in castings, as shown in Fig. 10.12.

Hydrogen embrittlement (Section 2.10.2). Inability of the weld metal to contract during cooling (Fig. 3022). This is a situation similar to hot tears that develop in castings (Fig 10.12) and is related to excessive restraint of the workpiece during the welding operation.

Cracks also are classified as hot cracks, which occur while the joint is still at elevated temperatures, and cold cracks, which develop after the weld metal has solidified. The basic crack-prevention measures in welding are the following:

Modify the joint design to minimize stresses developed from shrinkage during cooling. Change the parameters, procedures, and sequence of the welding operation. Preheat the components to be welded. Avoid rapid cooling of the welded components.

"GURE 3-22

Crack in

Weld bead- The Ve Welded components were not al-

lowed to contract freely after the weld was completed. Source: Courtesy of Packer Engineering.

Lamellar Tears. In describing the anisotropy of plastically deformed metals in Section 1.5, it was stated that the workpiece is weaker when tested in its thickness di~ rection because of the alignment of nonmetallic impurities and inclusions (stringers). This condition is particularly evident in rolled plates and in structural shapes. In welding such components, lamellar tears may develop because of shrinkage of the restrained components of the structure during cooling. Such tears can be avoided by providing for shrinkage of the members or by modifying the joint design to make the weld bead penetrate the weaker component more deeply.

Surface Damage. Some of the metal may spatter during welding and be deposited as small droplets on adjacent surfaces. In arc-welding processes, the electrode inadvertently may touch the parts being welded at places other than the weld zone. (Such encounters are called arc strikes.) The surface discontinuities thereby produced may be objectionable for reasons of appearance or of subsequent use of the welded part. If severe, these discontinuities adversely may affect the properties of the welded structure, particularly for notch-sensitive metals. Using proper welding techniques and procedures is important in avoiding surface damage.

Section 30.9

The Weldjoint, Quality, and Testing


Transverse shrinkage

: l





Angular distortion




Distortion of parts after welding. Distortion is caused by differential thermal expansion and contraction of different regions of the welded assembly.
FIGURE 30.23

Residual Stresses. Because of localized heating and cooling during welding, the expansion and contraction of the weld area causes residual stresses in the workpiece. (See also Section 2.11.) Residual stresses can lead to the following defects:


Distortion, warping, and buckling of the welded parts (Fig. 30.23). Stress-corrosion cracking (Section 2.10.2). Further distortion if a portion of the welded structure is subsequently removed, such as by machining or sawing. Reduced fatigue life of the welded structure.

The type and distribution of residual stresses in welds is described Residual stress best by reference to Fig. 30.24a. When two plates are being welded, a long, Compressive Tensile narrow zone is subjected to elevated temperatures, while the plates, as a whole, are essentially at ambient temperature. After the weld is completed and as time elapses, the heat from the weld zone dissipates laterally into the plates, while the weld area cools. Thus, the plates begin to expand longitudinally, while the welded length begins to contract (Fig. 30.23). If the plate is not constrained, it will warp, as shown in Fig. 30.23a. However, if the plate is not free to warp, it will develop residual stresses that typically are distributed throughout the material, such as the stresses shown in Fig. 30.24. Note that the magnitude of the compressive residual stresses in the plates diminishes to zero at a point far away from the weld (bl area. Because no external forces are acting on the welded plates, the tensile and compressive forces represented by these residual stresses must balance FIGURE 30.24 Residual stresses deeach other. veloped in (a) a straight-butt joint. Events leading to the distortion of a welded structure are shown in Note that the residual stresses shown Fig. 30.25 Before welding, the structure is stress free, as shown in in (b) must be balanced internally. (See Fig. 30.25 a. The shape may be fairly rigid, and fixturing also may be presalso Fig. 2.29.) ent to support the structure. When the weld bead is placed, the molten metal fills the gap between the surfaces to be joined, and flows outward to form the weld bead. At this point, the weld is not under any stress. Afterward, the weld bead solidifies, and both the weld bead and the surrounding material cool to room temperature. As these materials cool, they tend to contract, but are constrained by the bulk of the weldment. The result is that the weldment distorts (Fig. 30.25c) and residual stresses develop. The residual-stress distribution shown in Fig. 30.25 places the weld and the HAZ in a state of residual tension, which is harmful from a fatigue standpoint.





Chapter 30

Fusron-Welding Processes

Rgid frame

Hot zone (expanded)

No Snape



on rac |on






, sss


ss s




(residual) tensile





FIGURE 30.25

Distortion of

welded structure. Source: After ].A. Schey.

Many welded structures will use cold-worked materials (such as extruded or rollformed shapes), and these are relatively strong and fatigue resistant. The weld itself may have porosity (see Fig. 3O.20b), which can act as a stress riser and aid fatiguecrack growth, or there could be other cracks that can grow in fatigue. In general, the HAZ is less fatigue resistant than the base metal. Thus, the residual stresses developed can be very harmful, and it is not unusual to further treat welds in highly stressed or fatigue-susceptible applications. In complex welded structures, residual-stress distributions are three dimensional and, consequently, difficult to analyze. The previous discussion involved two plates that were not restrained from movement. In other words, the plates were not an integral part of a larger structure. If, however, they are restrained, reaction stresses will be generated, because the plates are not free to expand or contract. This situation arises particularly in structures with high stiffness.

Stress Relieving of Welds. The problems caused by residual stresses (such as distortion, buckling, and cracking) can be reduced by preheating the base metal or the parts to be welded. Preheating reduces distortion by reducing the cooling rate and the level of thermal stresses developed (by lowering the elastic modulus). This technique also reduces shrinkage and possible cracking of the joint. For optimum results, preheating temperatures and cooling rates must be controlled carefully in order to maintain acceptable strength and toughness in the welded structure. The workpieces may be heated in several ways, including (a) in a furnace, (b) electrically (resistively or inductively), or (c) by radiant lamps or a hot-air blast for thin sections. The temperature and time required for stress relieving depend on the type of material and on the magnitude of the residual stresses developed. Other methods of stress relieving include peening, hammering, or surface rolling of the weld-bead area. These techniques induce compressive residual stresses, which, in turn, lower or eliminate tensile residual stresses in the weld. For multilayer welds, the first and last layers should not be peened, in order to protect them against possible peening damage. Residual stresses can also be relieved or reduced by plastically deforming the structure by a small amount. For instance, this technique can be used in welded pressure vessels by pressurizing the vessels internally (proof stressing). In order to reduce the possibility of sudden fracture under high internal pressure, the weld must be made properly and must be free of notches and discontinuities, which could act as points of stress concentration. In addition to being preheated for stress relieving, welds may be heat treated by various other techniques in order to modify other properties. These techniques

Section 30.9

The Weldjoint Quality and Testing

include the annealing, normalizing, quenching, and tempering of steels and the solution treatment and aging of various alloys as described in Chapter 4.

30.9.2 Weldability
The u/eldability of a metal is usually defined as its capacity to be Welded into a specific structure that has certain properties and characteristics and will satisfactorily meet service requirements. Weldability involves a large number of variables; hence, generalizations are difficult. As noted previously, the material characteristics (such as alloying elements, impurities, inclusions, grain structure, and processing history) of both the base metal and the filler metal are important. For example, the Weldability of steels decreases with increasing carbon content because of martensite formation (vvhich is hard and brittle) and thus reduces the strength of the Weld. Coated steel sheets present various challenges in welding, depending on the type and thickness of the coating. Because of the effects of melting and solidification and of the associated microstructural changes, a thorough knowledge of the phase diagram and the response of the metal or alloy to sustained elevated temperatures is essential. Also influencing Weldability are mechanical and physical properties: strength, toughness, ductility, notch sensitivity, elastic modulus, specific heat, melting point, thermal expansion, surface-tension characteristics of the molten metal, and corrosion resistance. The preparation of surfaces for Welding is important, as are the nature and properties of surface-oxide films and of adsorbed gases. The particular Welding process employed significantly affects the temperatures developed and their distribution in the Weld zone. Other factors that affect Weldability are shielding gases, fluxes, moisture content of the coatings on electrodes, Welding speed, Welding position, cooling rate, and level of preheating, as Well as such postvvelding techniques as stress relieving and heat treating.

Weldability of Ferrous Materials:

Plain-carbon steels: Weldability is excellent for lovv-carbon steels, fair to good for medium-carbon steels, poor for high-carbon steels. Lou/-alloy steels: Weldability is similar to that of medium-carbon steels.
High-alloy steels: \X/eldability generally is good under well-controlled conditions. Stainless steels: These generally are weldable by various processes. Cast irons: These generally are weldable, although their vveldability varies greatly.

Weldability of Nonferrous Materials:

Aluminum alloys: These are weldable at a high rate of heat input. An inert shielding gas and lack of moisture are important. Aluminum alloys containing zinc or copper generally are considered unvveldable. Copper alloys: Depending on composition, these generally are weldable at a high rate of heat input. An inert shielding gas and lack of moisture are important. Magnesium alloys: These are weldable With the use of a protective shielding gas and fluxes. Nickel alloys: Weldability is similar to that of stainless steels. The lack of sulfur is undesirable. Titanium alloys: These are weldable with the proper use of shielding gases. Tantalum: Weldability is similar to that of titanium.

Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

' '

Tungsten: Weldable under well-controlled conditions. Molybdenum: Weldability is similar to that of tungsten. Niobium (colurnbiufn): Possesses good Weldability.

30.9.3 Testing of Welds

As in all manufacturing processes, the quality of a Welded joint is established by test-

ing. Several standardized tests and test procedures have been established. They are available from many organizations, such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American Welding Society (AWS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and various federal agencies. Welded joints may be tested either destructiz/ely or nondestructn/ely. (See also Sections 36.10 and 36.11.) Each technique has certain capabilities and limitations, as Well as sensitivity, reliability, and requirements for special equipment and operator skill.

Destructive Testing Techniques:

Tension test: Longitudinal and transverse tension tests are performed on specimens removed from actual welded joints and from the Weld-metal area. Stress-strain curves are then obtained by the procedures described in Section 2.2. These curves indicate the yield strength, Y, ultimate tensile strength, UTS, and ductility of the Welded joint (elongation and reduction of area) in different locations and directions. Tension-shear test: The specimens in the tension-shear test (Figs. 3O.26a and b) are prepared to simulate conditions to which actual Welded joints are subjected. These specimens are subjected to tension so that the shear strength of the weld metal and the location of fracture can be determined.

/Lo gitudinal


nom bend

I i


tension shear



Face bend



Transverse tension shear


Side bend




FIGURE 30.26 (a) Specimens for longitudinal tension-shear testing and for transfer tensionshear testing. (b) Wraparound bend-test method. (c) Three-point transverse bending of Welded specimens.

Section 30.10

joint Design and Process Selection

Bend test: Several bend tests have been developed to determine the ductility and strength of welded joints. In one common test, the welded specimen is bent around a fixture (wraparound bend test, Fig. 30.26c). In another test, the specimens are tested in three-point transverse bending (Fig. 30.26d; see also Fig. 2.11a). These tests help to determine the relative ductility and strength of welded joints. Fracture toughness test: Fracture toughness tests commonly utilize the impacttesting techniques described in Section 2.9. Charpy V-notch specimens are first prepared and then tested for toughness. Another toughness test is the dropweight test, in which the energy is supplied by a falling weight. Corrosion and creep tests: In addition to undergoing mechanical tests, welded joints also may be tested for their resistance to corrosion and creep. Because of the difference in the composition and microstructure of the materials in the weld zone, preferential corrosion may take place in the zone. Creep tests are important in determining the behavior of welded joints and structures subjected to elevated temperatures.

Nondestructive Testing Techniques. Welded structures often have to be tested nondestructively, particularly for critical applications in which weld failure can be catastrophic, such as in pressure vessels, load-bearing structural members, and power plants. Nondestructive testing techniques for welded joints generally consist of the following methods (these tests are described in Section 36.10):


Radiographic (X-rays) Magnetic-particle Liquid-penetrant Ultrasonic.

Testing for hardness distribution in the weld zone also may be a useful indicator of weld strength and microstructural changes.


joint Design and Process Selection

In describing individual welding processes, several examples were given concerning the types of welds and joints produced and their applications in numerous consumer and industrial products of various designs. Typical types of joints produced by welding, together with their terminology, are shown in Fig. 30.27. Standardized symbols commonly used in engineering drawings to describe the types of welds are shown in Fig. 30.28. These symbols identify the type of weld, the groove design, the weld size and length, the welding process, the sequence of operations, and other necessary

information. The general design guidelines for welding may be summarized as follows, with some examples given in Fig. 30.29 (various other types of joint design will be given in Chapters 31 and 32):

Product design should minimize the number of welds because, unless automated, welding can be costly. Weld location should be selected so as to avoid excessive stresses or stress concentrations in the welded structure and for appearance. Weld location should be selected so as not to interfere with any subsequent processing of the joined components or with their intended use.

Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

(a) Single

square-groove weld


Single V-groove weld

(c) Double V-groove weld


Single-flare V-groove weld

Single V-groove weld (with backing)

(e) Single-flare bevel-groove weld



(g) Double-flare bevel-groove weld


Double-flare V-groove weld

Butt joint


Corner joint

(k) joint


L p joint


dge joint

FIGURE 30.21

Examples of welded joints and their terminology.

Components should fit properly prior to Welding. The method used to prepare edges, such as sawing, machining, or shearing, also can affect weld quality. The need for edge preparation should be avoided or minimized. Weld-bead size should be as small as possible, While maintaining the strength of the joint, to conserve Weld metal and for better appearance.

Welding Process Selection. In addition to taking into account the process characteristics, capabilities, and material considerations described thus far in this chapter, the selection of a weld joint and an appropriate welding process involve the following considerations (see also Chapters 31 and 32).

Configuration of the parts or structure to be joined, joint design, thickness and size of the components, and number of joints required. The methods used in manufacturing the components to be joined. Types of materials involved, which may be metallic or nonmetallic. Location, accessibility, and ease of joining. Application and service requirements, such a type of loading, any stresses generated, and the environment. Effects of distortion, warping, discoloration of appearance, and service.




Q I; U
Finish symbol

" e


' G












Comm" SVmb| Root Opening, depth

of fmmg

Groove angle or included angle of countersink for plug welds

Length of weld

f0|' P|UQ and Slot welds


Effecmfe throat Depth of preparation

or size



Reference line
Specification, process or other reference

Q E ;?}L
(E) "5 Q/


Pitch (center-to-center spacing) of welds in inches Fieid We|d Symb0|

Weld-all-around symbol

(omitted when
is not



5 Q



Basic weld symbol or detail reference

FIGURE 30.28

Arrow connects reference line to arrow side of joint. Use break as at A or B to signify that arrow is pointing to the grooved member in bevel or J-grooved joints.

Standard identification and symbols for welds.







Cut not







Surface to be machined



FIGURE 30.29

Sorne design guidelines for welds. Source: After ].G. Bralla.


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

Costs involved in edge preparation, joining, and postprocessing (including machining, grinding, and finishing operations). Costs of equipment, materials, labor and skills required, and the joining operation.

Table V1.1 gave the various characteristics of individual welding processescharacteristics that would serve as an additional guide to process selection. Refering to this table, note that no single process has a high rating in all categories. For example,


Arc welding, bolts, and riveting have high strength and reliability, but generally are not suitable for joining small parts. Resistance welding has strength and applications for both small and large parts. However, it is not easy to inspect visually for reliability, and resistance welding has lower tolerances and reliability than other processes. Fasteners are useful for large parts and can be easy to inspect visually, but they

are costly and do not have much design variability. Adhesive bonding has high design variability. However, it has relatively low strength and is difficult to visually inspect for joint integrity.

EXAMPLE 30.3 Weld Design Selection

Three different types of weld designs are shown in Fig. 30.30. In Fig. 30.3Oa, the two vertical joints can be welded either externally or internally. Note that full-length external welding will take considerable time and will require more weld material than the alternative design, which consists of intermittent internal welds. Moreover, by the alternative method, the appearance of the structure is improved and dis~ tortion is reduced. In Fig. 30.30b, it can be shown that the design on the right can carry three times the moment M of

the one on the left. Note that both designs require the same amount of weld metal and Welding time. In Fig. 30.30c, the weld on the left requires about twice the amount of weld material than does the design on the right. Note that because more material must be machined, the design on the left will require more time for edge preparation, and more base metal will be wasted as a result.









Moment: M

,i~ '_i'






Base metal

Single V-groove

Double V-groove

FIGURE 30.30

Examples of weld designs used in Example 30.3.

Key Terms


Oxyfuel-gas, arc, and high-energy-beam Welding are among the most commonly used joining operations. Gas Welding uses chemical energy; to supply the necessary heat, arc and high-energy-beam welding use electrical energy instead.
In all of these processes, heat is used to bring the joint being Welded to a liquid state. Shielding gases are used to protect the molten-Weld pool and the Weld area against oxidation. Filler rods may or may not be used in oxyfuel-gas and arc Welding to fill the weld area.

The selection of a welding process for a particular operation depends on the workpiece material, its thickness and size, its shape complexity, the type of joint, the strength required, and the change in product appearance caused by Welding. A variety of Welding equipment is available-much of which is novv robotics and computer controlled with programmable features. The cutting of metals also can be done by processes whose principles are based on oxyfuel-gas and arc Welding. The cutting of steels occurs mainly through oxidation (burning). The highest temperatures for cutting are obtained by plasma-arc cutting. The metallurgy of the welded joint is an important aspect of all welding processes, because it determines the strength and toughness of the joint. The Welded joint consists of solidified metal and a heat-affected zone; each has a Wide variation in microstructure and properties, depending on the metals joined and on the filler metals. The metallurgy of the Welded joint is an important aspect of all welding processes, because it determines the strength and toughness of the joint. The Welded joint consists of solidified metal and a heat-affected zone; each has a Wide variation in microstructure and properties, depending on the metals joined and on the filler metals. Discontinuities such as porosity, inclusions, incomplete vvelds, tears, surface damage, and cracks can develop in the weld zone. Residual stresses and relieving them also are important considerations in Welding. The weldability of metals and alloys depends greatly on their composition, the type of Welding operation and process parameters employed, and the control of welding parameters. General guidelines are available to help in the initial selection of suitable and economical Welding methods for a particular application.

Arc cutting Arc welding

Atomic-hydrogen welding Base metal Carburizing flame Coated electrode Consumable electrode Discontinuities Drag lines Electrode Electrogas welding

Electron-beam welding Electroslag welding Filler metal Flux Flux-cored arc welding Fusion welding Gas metal-arc welding Gas tungsten-arc welding Heat-affected zone Inclusions joining

Kerf Keyhole technique Laser-beam welding

Reducing flame Residual stresses Shielded metal-arc welding

Slag Stick welding

Neutral flame Nonconsumable electrode Oxidizing flame Oxyfuel-gas cutting Oxyfuel-gas welding Plasma-arc welding Polarity Porosity

Submerged-arc welding Tears Weld profile Weld metal Weldability Welding gun


Chapter 30

Fusion-Welding Processes

ASM Handbook, Vol. 6: Welding, Brazing, and Soldering, ASM International, 1993. Bowditch, WA., and Bowditch, K.E., Welding Technology

Fundamentals, Goodheart-Willcox, 1997.

Cary, H.B., and Helzer, S., Modern Welding Technology, 6th ed., Prentice Hall, 2004. Croft, D., Heat Treatment of Welded Structures, Woodhead

Publishing, 1996. Davies, A.C., The Science and Practice of Welding, 10th ed. (2 vols.), Cambridge University Press, 1993. Duley, WW, Laser Welding, Wiley, 1999. Evans, G.M., and Bailey, N., Metallurgy of Basic Weld Metal, Woodhead Publishing, 1997. Hicks, ].G., Welded _Ioint Design, 2nd ed., Abington, 1997. Houldcroft, P.T., Welding and Cutting: A Guide to Fusion Welding and Associated Cutting Processes, Industrial Press, 2001. Jeffus, L.F., Welding: Principles and Applications, 6th ed., Delmar Publishers, 2007.

Kou, S., Welding Metallurgy, 2nd ed., Wiley, 2003. Lippold, ].C., and Kotecki, D.]., Welding Metallurgy and Weldability of Stainless Steels, Wiley, 2005. Minnick, WH., Gas Metal Arc Welding Handbook, GoodheartWilleox, 2000. Mouser, ].D., Welding Codes, Standards, and Specifications, McGraw-Hill, 1997. Schultz, H., Electron Beam Welding, Woodhead Publishing, 1994. Steen, WM., Laser Material Processing, 3rd ed., Springer, 2003. Welding Handbook, 9th ed. (3 vols.), American Welding Society, 2007. Welding Inspection Handbook, American Welding Society, 2000. Weman, K., Welding Process Handbook, CRC Press, 2003.


Describe fusion as


relates to welding operations.

30.8. 30.9.



the purpose of flux? Why is


not needed in

30.2. Explain the features of neutralizing, reducing, and oxidizing flames. Why is a reducing flame so called? 30.3. Explain the basic principles of arc-welding processes. 30.4. Why is shielded metal-arc welding a commonly used process? Why is it also called stick welding? 30.5. Describe the functions and characteristics of electrodes. What functions do coatings have? How are electrodes classified? 30.6. What are the similarities and differences between consumable and nonconsumable electrodes? 30.7. Explain how cutting takes place when an oxyfuel-gas torch is used. How is underwater cutting done?

gas tungsten-arc welding?

What is meant by weld quality? Discuss the factors that influence it. 30.10. How is Weldability defined?
Why are welding electrodes generally coated? 30.12. Describe the common types of discontinuities in welded joints.

What types of destructive tests are performed on welded joints?


30.14. Explain the reasons that so many different welding processes have been developed over the years. 30.19. Could you use oxyfuel-gas cutting for a stack of sheet metals? (Note: For stack cutting, see Fig. 24.25e.) Explain. 30.20. What are the advantages of electron-beam and laserbeam welding compared with arc welding?

Explain why some joints may have to be preheated prior to welding. 30.16. Describe the role of filler metals in welding. 30.17. What is the effect of the thermal conductivity of the workpiece on kerf width in oxyfuel-gas cutting? Explain. 30.18. Describe the differences between oxyfuel-gas cutting of ferrous and of nonferrous alloys. Which properties are


Describe the methods by which discontinuities in welding can be avoided. 30.22. Explain the significance of the stiffness of the components being welded on both weld quality and part shape. 30.23. Comment on the factors that influence the size of the two weld beads shown in Fig. 30.14.

Synthesis, Design, and Projects


Which of the processes described in this chapter are not portable? Can they be made so? Explain. 30.25. Describe your observations concerning the contents of Table 30.1. 30.26. What determines whether a certain welding process can be used for workpieces in horizontal, vertical, or upsidedown positions-or, for that matter, in any position? (See Table 30.1.) Explain and give examples of appropriate applications. 30.27. Comment on the factors involved in electrode selection in arc-welding processes. 30.28. In Table 30.1, the column on the distortion of welded components is ordered from lowest distortion to highest.

Explain why the degree of distortion varies among different welding processes. 30.29. Explain the significance of residual stresses in welded structures. 30.30. Rank the processes described in this chapter in terms of (a) cost and (b) weld quality. 30.31. Must the filler metal be made of the same composition as the base metal that is to be welded? Explain. 30.32. Describe your observations concerning Fig. 30.18. 30.33. If the materials to be welded are preheated, is the likelihood for porosity increased or decreased? Explain.

30.34. Plot the hardness in Fig. 30.18d as a function of the distance from the top surface, and discuss your observations. |]30.35. A welding operation will take place on carbon steel. The desired welding speed is around 20 mm/s. If an arcwelding power supply is used with a voltage of 12 \L what current is needed if the weld width is to be 5 mm?

30.36. In Fig. 30.24b, assume that most of the top portion of the top piece is cut horizontally with a sharp saw. The residual stresses will now be disturbed and the part will change its shape, as was described in Section 2.11. For this case, how do you think the part will distort: curved downward or upward? Explain. (See also Fig. 2.30d.)


30.37. Comment on workpiece size and shape limitations for each of the processes described in this chapter. 30.38. Review the types of welded joints shown in Fig. 30.27 and give an application for each. 30.39. Comment on the design guidelines given in various sections of this chapter. 30.40. You are asked to inspect a welded structure for a critical engineering application. Describe the procedure that you would follow in order to determine the safety of the

list the benefits and drawbacks of that particular joining operation for this application. 30.47. Inspect various parts and components in (a) an automobile, (b) a major appliance, and (c) kitchen utensils, and explain which, if any, of the processes described in this chapter has been used in joining them.

structure. 30.4I. Discuss the need for, and the role of, work-holding devices in the welding operations described in this chapter. 30.42. Make a list of welding processes that are suitable for producing (a) butt joints, where the weld is in the form of a line or line segment, (b) spot welds, and (c) both butt joints and spot welds. Comment on your observations. 30.43. Explain the factors that contribute to the differences in properties across a welded joint. 30.44. Explain why preheating the components to be welded is effective in reducing the likelihood of developing cracks. 30.45. Review the poor and good joint designs shown in Fig. 30.29, and explain why they are labeled so. 30.46. In building large ships, there is a need to weld thick and large sections of steel together to form a hull. Consider each of the welding operations discussed in this chapter, and

Comment on whether there are common factors that affect the weldability, castability, formability, and machinability of metals, as described in various chapter of this book. Explain with appropriate examples.
30.48. 30.49. If you find a flaw in a welded joint during inspection, how would you go about determining whether or not the flaw is significant? 30.50. Lattice booms for cranes are constructed from extruded cross sections (see Fig. 15 .2) that are welded together. Any warpage that causes such a boom to deviate from straightness will severely reduce its lifting capacity. Conduct a literature search on the approaches used to minimize distortion due to welding and how to correct it, specifically in the construction of lattice booms.
A common practice in repairing expensive broken or worn parts (such as may occur when a fragment is broken from a forging) is to fill the area with layers of weld beads and then to machine the part back to its original dimensions. Make a list of the precautions that you would suggest to someone who uses this approach.

30.5 I.

Solid-State Welding Processes

This chapter describes an important family of joining processes in which the workpieces do not undergo a phase change and no filler metal is used; if heat is used, it is not externally applied, but instead is generated internally-for example, with friction. The chapter begins with a discussion of cold welding, followed by ultrasonic welding and the various forms of friction-welding processes. Resistance welding is then described, followed by explosion welding and diffusion bonding; these three processes have unique capabilities and applications suitable for a wide variety of materials and can be automated for large-scale

production. The chapter also examines special capabilities of diffusion bonding combined with superplastic forming. Finally, economic considerations in welding are discussed.





This chapter describes solid-state welding processes, in which joining takes place without fusion at the interface of the two parts to be welded. Unlike the situation with the fusion-welding processes described in Chapter 30, in solid-state welding no liquid or molten phase is present in the joint. The principle of solid-state welding is demonstrated best with the following example: If two clean surfaces are brought into close contact with each other under sufficient pressure, they form bonds and produce a joint. To form a strong bond, it is essential that the interface be free of oxide films, residues, metalworking fluids, other contaminants, and even adsorbed layers of gas. Solid-state bonding involves one or more of the following phenomena: Diffusion: The transfer of atoms across an interface; thus, applying external heat improves the strength of the bond between the two surfaces being joined, as occurs in diffusion bonding. Heat may be generated internally by friction (as utilized in friction welding), through electrical-resistance heating (as in resistance-welding processes, such as spot welding), and externally by induction heating (as in butt-welding tubes). Pressure: The higher the pressure, the stronger is the interface (as in roll bonding and explosion welding), where plastic deformation also occurs. Pressure


0un u w
ww um

T T' 'I' T) 0 ER CH PT -5 N -'sa w 3|




Wh' 551 WU" "'

""'U|""W""' E-E-u:.;_`~mFor--9g=,;><~=-oo?,



~ ,_

ow..~,,.og5',,,... OU;-,,,g~_~1".',_.

:lf < o _.3 r: :io

crusn --mm -r :..m-\: --

Section 31.2

Cold Welding and Roll Bonding


and resistance heating may be combined, as in flash welding, stud welding, and resistance projection welding. Relative interfacial movements: When movements of the contacting surfaces (faying surfaces) occur (as in ultrasonic welding), even very small amplitudes will disturb the mating surfaces, break up any oxide films, and generate new, clean surfaces-thus improving the strength of the bond.

Most of the joining processes outlined here are now automated by robotics, vision systems, sensors, and adaptive and computer controls (see Part IX) for cost reduction, consistency, reliability of weld quality, and higher productivity. The costs involved in the joining process are outlined in Section 31.8.


Cold Welding and Roll Bonding

In cold welding (CW), pressure is applied to the workpieces through dies or rolls. Because of the plastic deformation involved, it is necessary that at least one (but preferably both) of the mating parts be ductile. Prior to welding, the interface is degreased, wire brushed, and wiped to remove oxide smudges. Cold welding can be used to join small workpieces made of soft, ductile metals. Applications include wire stock and electrical connections. During the joining of two dissimilar metals that are mutually soluble, brittle intermetallic compounds may form (Section 4.2.2); these will produce a weak and brittle joint. An example occurs in the bonding of aluminum and steel, where a brittle intermetallic compound is formed at the interface. The best bond strength is

obtained with two similar materials.

Roll Bonding. The pressure required for welding can be applied through a pair of rolls (Fig. 31.1); this process is called roll bonding or roll welding (ROW). Developed in the 1960s, roll bonding is used for manufacturing some U.S. coins (see Example 31.1). The process can be carried out at elevated temperatures (loot roll bonding). Surface preparation is important for interfacial strength. Cladding metal Typical examples are the cladding of (a) pure aluminum over precipitation-hardened aluminum-alloy sheet (Alclad) and (b) stainBase metal less steel over mild steel (for corrosion resistance). A common application of roll bonding is the production of bimetallic strips for Rolls thermostats and similar controls using two layers of materials with different thermal-expansion coefficients. Bonding in only selected regions in the interface can be achieved by depositing a parting agent, FIGURE 3| Schematic illustration of the such as graphite or ceramic, called stop-off (see Section 31.7). roll bonding, or cladding, process.


3l.l Roll Bonding of the U.S. Quarter

thickness of 82%. Because volume constancy is maintained in plastic deformation, there is a major increase in the surface area between the layers, and it causes the generation of clean interfacial surfaces. This extension in surface area under the high pressure of the rolls, combined with the solid solubility of nickel in copper (see Section 4.2..1), produces a strong bond.

The technique used for manufacturing composite U.S. quarters is the roll bonding of two outer layers of 75% Cu-25% Ni (cupronickel), where each layer is 1.2 mm thick, with an inner layer of pure copper 5.1 mm thick. To obtain good bond strength, the faying surfaces are cleaned chemically and wire brushed. First, the strips are rolled to a thickness of 2.29 mm; a second rolling operation reduces the thickness to 1.36 mm. The strips thus undergo a total reduction in

Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes


Ultrasonic Welding

In ultrasonic welding (USW), the faying surfaces of the two components are subjected to a static normal force and oscillating shearing (tangential) stresses. The shearing stresses are applied by the tip of a transducer (Fig. 31.2a), which is similar to that used for ultrasonic machining. (See Fig. 26.24a.) The frequency of oscillation is generally in the range from 10 to 75 kHz, although a lower or higher frequency can be employed. Proper coupling between the transducer and the tip (called-by analogy with electrode-a sonotrode, from the word sonic) is important for efficient

operation. The shearing stresses cause plastic deformation at the interface of the two components, breaking up oxide films and contaminants and thus allowing good contact and producing a strong solid-state bond. The temperature generated in the weld zone is usually in the range from one-third to one-half of the melting point (absolute scale) of the metals joined. Consequently, neither melting nor fusion takes place. In certain situations, however, the temperature generated can be sufficiently high to cause metallurgical changes in the weld zone. Also, the mechanism responsible for the joining of tloerrnoplastics by ultrasonic welding is different from that for metals, and melting does take place at the interface, because plastics have much lower melting temperatures. (See Table 7.2.) The ultrasonic-welding process is versatile and reliable. It can be used with a wide variety of metallic and nonmetallic materials, including dissimilar metals (biinetallic strips). It is used extensively for the joining of plastics, for packaging with foils, and (in the automotive and consumer electronics industries) for the lap welding of sheet, foil, and thin wire. The welding tip can be replaced with rotating disks (Fig. 31.2b) for the seam welding of structures in which one component is sheet, foil, or polymer-woven material (a process similar to resistance searn welding, Section 31.5.2). Moderate skill is required to operate the equipment.





oc polarization



Coupling System










<Di;ction of

power Suppw




FIGURE 3l.2 (a) Components of an ultrasonic-welding machine for making lap welds. The lateral vibrations of the tool tip cause plastic deformation and bonding at the interface of the workpieces. (b) Ultrasonic seam welding using a roller as the sonotrode.

Section 31 4

Friction Welding


Friction Welding

In the joining processes described thus far, the energy required for welding (typically chemical, electrical, or ultrasonic energy) is supplied from external sources. In friction welding (FRW), the heat required for welding is generated through (as the name implies) friction at the interface of the two components being joined. You can demonstrate the significant rise in temperature caused by friction by rubbing your hands together or by sliding down a rope rapidly. In friction welding, developed in the 1940s, one of the workpiece components remains stationary while the other is placed in a chuck or collet and rotated at a high constant speed. The two members to be joined are then brought into contact under an axial force (Fig. 31.3). The surface speed of the rotating parts may be as high as 900 m/min. After sufficient contact is established, the rotating member is brought to a quick stop (so that the weld is not destroyed by shearing) while the axial force is increased. Oxides and other contaminants at the interface are removed by the radially outward movement of the hot metal at the interface. The rotating member must be clamped securely to the chuck or collet to resist both torque and axial forces without slipping. The pressure at the interface and the resulting friction produce sufficient heat for a strong joint to form. The weld zone usually is confined to a narrow region; its size depends on the

following parameters:

Amount of heat generated. Thermal conductivity of the materials. Mechanical properties of the materials being joined at elevated temperatures.

The shape of the welded joint depends on the rotational speed and on the axial pressure applied (Fig. 31.4). These factors must be controlled to obtain a uniform,





flash Force

5 O1 C 2




if m o _




Upset eww

Total upset length


FIGURE 31.3 Sequence of operations in the friction-welding process: (1) The part on the left is rotated at high speed; (2) The part on the right is brought into contact with the part on the left under an axial force; (3) The axial force is increased, and the part on the left stops rotating; flash begins to form; (4) After a specified upset length or distance is achieved, the

weld is completed. The upset length is the distance the two pieces move inward during welding after their initial contact; thus, the total length after welding is less than the sum of the lengths of the two pieces. The flash subsequently can be removed by machining or



Chapter 3

Solid-State Welding Processes

(a) High pressure or low speed

strong joint. The radially outward movement of the hot metal at the interface pushes oxides and other contaminants out of the interface. Friction welding can be used to join a wide variety of materials, provided that one of the components has some rotational symmetry. Solid or tubular parts can be joined by this method with good joint strength. Solid steel bars up to 100 mm in diameter and pipes up to 250 mm in outside diameter have been friction welded
successfully. The surface speed of the rotating member may be as high as 15 m/s. Because of the combined heat and pressure, the interface in frictional welding develops a flash by plastic deformation (upsetting) of the heated zone. This flash (if objectionable) can easily be removed by machining or grinding. Friction-welding machines are fully automated, and the operator skill required is minimal-once individual cycle times for the complete operation are set properly.

(b) Low

pressure speed

or high

FIGURE 3l.4 Shape of the fusion zones in friction welding as a function of the axial force applied and the rotational speed.

Inertia Friction Welding. This process is a modification of friction welding, although the two terms have been used interchangeably. The energy required for frictional heating in inertia friction welding is supplied by the kinetic energy of a flywheel. The flywheel is accelerated to the proper speed, the two members are brought into contact, and an axial force is applied. As friction at the interface slows the flywheel, the axial force is increased. The weld is completed when the flywheel has come to a stop. The timing of this sequence is important for good weld quality. The rotating mass in inertia-friction-welding machines can be adjusted for applications requiring different levels of energy (the levels depend on the workpiece size and properties). In one application of inertia friction welding, 10-mm-diameter shafts are welded to automotive turbocharger impellers at a rate of one joint every 15
seconds. Linear Friction Welding. In a further development of friction welding, the interface of the two components to be joined is subjected to a linear reciprocating motion, as opposed to a rotary motion. In linear friction welding, the components do not have to be circular or tubular in their cross section. The process is capable of welding square or rectangular components (as well as round parts) made of metals or plastics. In this process, one part is moved across the face of the other part by a balanced reciprocating mechanism. In one application, a rectangular titanium-alloy part was friction welded at a linear frequency of 25 Hz with an amplitude of i2 mm under a pressure of 100 MPa acting on a 240 mm; interface. Various other metal parts, with rectangular cross sections as large as 50 >< 20 mm have been welded successfully.

/ Q


; "i'



FIGURE 3 l.5 The principle of the friction-stir-welding process. Aluminumalloy plates up to 75 mm thick have been welded by this process.

Friction Stir Welding. In conventional friction welding, heating of an interface is achieved through friction by rubbing two contacting surfaces. In the frictionstir-welding (FSW) process, developed in 1991, a third body is rubbed against the two surfaces to be joined. A rotating nonconsumable probe, typically 5 to 6 mm in diameter and 5 mm high, is plunged into the joint (Fig. 31.5). The contact pressure causes frictional heating, raising the temperature to between 230 and



Resistance Welding

260C. The probe at the tip of the rotating tool forces mixing (or stirring) of the material in the joint. Materials such as aluminum, copper, steel, and titanium have been welded successfully, and developments are taking place to extend FSW applications to polymers and composite materials. The process is now being applied to aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, and military vehicles, using sheet or plates. With developments in rotating-tool design, other possible applications include inducing microstructural changes, refining grain in materials, and improving localized toughness in castings. The welding equipment can be a conventional, vertical-spindle milling machine (Fig. 24.15b), and the process is relatively easy to implement. The thickness of the welded material can be as little as 1 mm and as much as 50 mm welded in a single pass. Welds produced by friction stir welding have high quality, minimal pores, and a uniform material structure. The welds are produced with low heat input and therefore low distortion and little microstructural changes. No shielding gas or surface cleaning is required.


Resistance Welding

The category of resistance welding (RW) covers a number of processes in which the heat required for welding is produced by means of electrical resistance across the two components to be joined. These processes have major advantages, such as not requiring consumable electrodes, shielding gases, or flux. The heat generated in resistance welding is given by the general expression

H = I2Rt,


H = Heat generated in joules (watt-seconds) I = Current (in amperes)

R = Resistance (in ohms) t = Time of current flow (in seconds).

Equation (31.1)

is often modified so that it represents the actual heat energy available in the weld by including a factor K, which denotes the energy losses through conduction and radiation. The equation then becomes

H = I2RtK,


where the value of K is less than unity. The total resistance is the sum of the following properties (see Fig. 31.6):
a. Resistances of the electrodes;

b. Electrode-workpiece contact resistance;

parts to be welded; d. Contact resistance between the two workpieces to be joined (fa)/ing surfaces).
c. Resistances of the individual

The actual temperature rise at the joint depends on the specific heat and the thermal conductivity of the metals to be joined. For example, metals such as aluminum and copper have high thermal conductivity, so they require high heat concentrations. Similar or dissimilar metals can be joined by resistance welding. The magnitude of the current in resistance-welding operations may be as high as 100,000 A, but the voltage is typically only 0.5 to 10 V

Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes


Weld nugget

" """`

" ""i
3. Current off, 4. Force

Lap ioim

Force applied

2. Current


force on


Electrode tip

' c


.. ............. ..



Sheet separation
......... - ....... .......


Heat-affected zone


3I.6 (a) Sequence of events in resistance spot welding. (b) Cross section of a spot weld, showing the weld nugget and the indentation of the electrode on the sheet surfaces. This is one of the most commonly used processes in sheet-metal fabrication and in automotivebody assembly.

The strength of the bond depends on surface roughness and on the cleanliness of the mating surfaces. Oil films, paint, and thick oxide layers should therefore be removed before welding. The presence of uniform, thin layers of oxide and of other contaminants is not as critical. Developed in the early 1900s, resistance-welding processes require specialized machinery. Much of it is now operated by programmable computer control. Generally, the machinery is not portable, and the process is suitable primarily for use in manufacturing plants and machine shops. The operator skill required is minimal, particularly with modern machinery.

I.5.l Resistance Spot Welding

In resistance spot welding (RSW), the tips of two opposing solid, cylindrical electrodes touch a lap joint of two sheet metals, and resistance heating produces a spot weld (Fig. 31.6a). In order to obtain a strong bond in the weld nugget, pressure is applied until the current is turned off and the weld has solidified. Accurate control and timing of the alternating electric current and of the pressure are essential in resistance welding. In the automotive industry, for example, the number of cycles ranges up to about 30 at a frequency of 60 Hz. (See also high-frequency resistance welding in Section 31.5.3.) The weld nugget (Fig. 31.6b) is generally 6 to 10 mm in diameter. The surface of the spot weld has a slightly discolored indentation. Currents range from 3000 to



Resistance Welding


40,000 A. The current level depends on the materials being welded and on their thicknesses. For example, the current is typically 10,000 A for steels and 13,000 A for aluminum. Electrodes generally are made of copper alloys and must have sufficient electrical conductivity and hot strength to maintain their shape. Spot welding is the simplest and most commonly used resistance~welding process. Welding may be performed by means of single (most common) or multiple pairs of electrodes (as many as a hundred or more), and the required pressure is supplied through mechanical or pneumatic means. Rocker-arm-type spot-welding machines normally are used for smaller parts; press-type machines are used for larger workpieces. The shape and surface condition of the electrode tip and the accessibility of the site are important factors in spot welding. A variety of electrode shapes are used to spot-weld areas that are difficult to reach (Fig. 31.7). Spot welding is used widely for fabricating sheet-metal parts. Examples range from attaching handles to stainless-steel cookware (Fig. 31.8a) to spot-welding mufflers (Fig. 31.8b) and large sheet-metal structures. Modern spot-welding equipment is computer controlled for optimum timing of current and pressure; its spot-welding guns are manipulated by programmable robots (Fig. 31.8c). Automobile bodies can have as many as 10,000 spot welds; they are welded at high rates with the use of multiple electrodes (see Fig. 1.10 in the General Introduction).

iiiiii ililii




Testing Spot Welds.

Spot-welded joints may be tested for weld-nugget strength by means of the following techniques (Fig. 31.9):

3 I.1 Two electrode designs for easy access to the components to be welded.

Tension-shear Cross-tension Twist







FIGURE 3I.8 Spot-welded (a) cookware and (b) muffler. (c) An automated spot-welding machine. The welding tip can move in three principal directions. Sheets as large as 2.2 X 0.55 m can be accommodated in this machine with proper workpiece supports. Source: Courtesy of Taylor-Winfield Corporation.


Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes



Ftaised nugget



Hole left



Button diameter indicates quality




3l.9 Test methods for spot welds: (a) tension-shear test, (b) cross-tension test, twist test, (d) peel test (see also Fig. 32.9).

Because they are easy to perform and are inexpensive, tension-shear tests are commonly used in fabricating facilities. The cross-tension and twist tests are capable of revealing flaws, cracks, and porosity in the Weld area. The peel test is commonly used for thin sheets. After the joint has been bent and peeled, the shape and size of the torn-out weld nugget are evaluated.

EXAMPLE 3 |.2 Heat Generated in Spot Welding

Assume that two 1-mm thick steel sheets are being spot-welded at a current of 5000 A and over a current flow time of 0.1 second by means of electrodes 5 mm in diameter. Estimate the heat generated and its distribution in the weld zone if the effective resistance in the operation is 200 /JLQ.

Solution According to Eq. (31.1),

Heat = (5000)2(0.00O2)(0.1)


From the information given, the weld-nugget volume can be estimated to be 30 mm3. Assume that the densi ty for steel (Table 3.1) is 8000 kg/IT13 (0.008 g/mm3). Then the weld nugget has a mass of 0.24 g. The heat required to melt 1 g of steel is about 1400 _l, so the heat required to melt the weld nugget is (1400)(1400)(0.24) = 336 ]. The remaining heat (164 j) is dissipated into the metal surrounding the nugget.

l.5.2 Resistance Seam Welding

Resistance seam welding (RSEW) is a modification of spot welding wherein the electrodes are replaced by rotating wheels or rollers (Fig. 31.10a). Using a continuous AC power supply, the electrically conducting rollers produce a spot weld whenever

Section 31.5

Resistance Welding

Electrode wheels


Electrode wheels Seam



Weld nuggets Weld








3l.l0 (a) Seam-welding process in which rotating rolls act as electrodes. Overlapping spots in a seam weld. (c) Roll spot welds and (d) Mash seam welding.

the current reaches a sufficiently high level in the AC cycle. With a high enough frequency or slow enough traverse speed, these spot welds actually overlap into a continuous seam and produce a joint that is liquid tight and gastight (Fig. 31.10b). In roll spot welding, current to the rollers is applied only intermittently, resulting in a series of spot welds at specified intervals along the length of the seam (Fig. 31.10c). In mash seam welding (Fig. 31.1Od), the overlapping welds are about one to two times the sheet thickness, and the welded seam thickness is only about 90% of the original sheet thickness. This process is also used in producing tailorwelded sheet-metal blanks, which can be made by laser welding as well (see Section 16.2.2). The RSEW process is used to make the longitudinal (side) seam of cans (for household products) mufflers, gasoline tanks, and other containers. The typical welding speed is 1.5 m/min for thin sheets.

l.5.3 High-frequency Resistance Welding

High-frequency resistance welding (HFRW) is similar to seam welding, except that high-frequency current (up to 450 kHz) is employed. A typical application is the production of butt-welded tubing or pipe where the current is conducted through two sliding contacts (Fig. 31.11a) to the edges of roll-formed tubes. The heated edges then are pressed together by passing the tube through a pair of squeeze rolls. Any flash formed is then trimmed off.


High-frequency coil

Apex Tube travel

Current Sq ueeze









Two methods of high-frequency continuous butt welding of tubes.

Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes

Flat electrodes



& X

Workpiece Projections



Weld nugget

_ sss

Weld nugget

51 :3




3l.l2 (a) Schematic illustration of resistance projection welding. (b) A welded bracket. (c) and (d) Projection welding of nuts or threaded bosses and studs. (e) Resistanceprojection-welded grills.

Structural sections (such as I-beams) can be fabricated by HFRW by welding the webs and flanges made from long, flat pieces. Spiral pipe and tubing, finned tubes for heat exchangers, and wheel rims also may be made by this technique. In another method, called high-frequency induction welding (HFIW), the roll-formed tube is subjected to high-frequency induction heating, as shown in Fig. 31.11b.

l.5.4 Resistance Projection Welding

In resistance projection welding (RPW), high electrical resistance at the joint is developed by embossing one or more projections (dimples; see Fig. 1636) on one of the surfaces to be welded (Fig. 3l.l2). The projections may be round or oval for design or strength purposes. High localized temperatures are generated at the projections, which are in contact with the flat mating part. The electrodes (typically made of copper-based alloys) are large and flat, and water cooled to keep their temperature low. Weld nuggets similar to those in spot welding are formed as the electrodes exert pressure to soften and compress the projections. Spot-welding equipment can be used for resistance projection welding by modifying the electrodes. Although the embossing of the workpieces adds expense, the process produces a number of welds in one pass, extends electrode life, and is capable of welding metals of different thicknesses, such as a sheet welded over a plate. Nuts and bolts can be welded to sheets and plates by this process (Figs. 31.12c and d), with projections that are produced by machining or forging. joining a network of rods and wires (such as the ones making up metal baskets, grills (Fig. 3l.12e) oven racks, and shopping carts) also is considered resistance projection welding, because of the many small contact areas between crossing wires (grids).

l.5.5 Flash Welding

In flash welding (FW), also called flash butt welding, heat is generated very rapidly from the arc as the ends of the two members begin to make contact and develop an electrical resistance at the joint (Fig. 31.13a). After the proper temperature is




Section 31.5

Resistance Welding


(5) (b)








parts. (b) and flash welding.

(a) Flash-welding process for end-to-end welding of solid rods or tubular Typical parts made by flash welding. (d) and (e) Some design guidelines for

reached and the interface begins to soften, an axial force is applied at a controlled rate and a weld is formed by plastic deformation of the joint. The mechanism is called hot upsetting, and the term upset welding (UW) also is used for this process. Some molten metal is expelled from the joint as a shower of sparks during the process-hence the name flash welding. Because of the presence of an arc, the process can also be classified as arc welding. impurities and contaminants are squeezed out during this operation; therefore, the quality of the weld is good. However, a significant amount of material may be burned off during the welding process. The joint may be machined later to improve its appearance. The machines for flash welding usually are automated and large and have a variety of power supplies ranging from 10 to 1500 kVA. The flash-welding process is suitable for end-to-end or edge-to-edge joining of sheets of similar or dissimilar metals 0.2 to 25 mm thick and for end-joining bars 1 to 75 mm in diameter. Thinner sections have a tendency to buckle under the axial force applied during welding. Rings made by forming processes (such as those shown in Fig. 1622) also can be flash butt welded. In addition, the process is used to repair broken band-saw blades with the use of fixtures that are mounted on the band-saw frame. The flash-welding process can be automated for reproducible welding operations. Typical applications are the joining of pipe and of tubular shapes for metal furniture and windows. The process is also used for welding the ends of sheets or coils of wire in continuously operating rolling mills (Chapter 13) and in the feeding of wire-drawing equipment (Chapter 15). Once the appropriate process parameters are established, the required operator skill is minimal. Some design guidelines for mating surfaces in flash welding are shown in Figs. 31.13d and e. Note the importance of uniform cross sections at the joint.


Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes




Stud illflemc




f'? 'f|i\\f

Molten weld


2. 3. 4.

(base metal)

The sequence of operations in stud welding commonly used for welding bars, threaded rods, and various fasteners onto metal plates.
FIGURE 3 l.l4

3 l.5.6

Stud Welding

Stud welding (SW) is also called stud are welding and is similar to flash welding. The stud (which may be a small part or, more commonly, a threaded rod, hanger, or handle) serves as one of the electrodes while being joined to another component, which is usually a flat plate (Fig. 31.14). Polarity for aluminum is usually direct-current electrode positive (DCEP), and for steel it is direct-current electrode negative (DCEN). In order to concentrate the heat generated, prevent oxidation, and retain the molten metal in the weld zone, a disposable ceramic ring (ferrule) is placed around the joint. The equipment for stud welding can be automated with various controls for arcing and for applying pressure. Portable stud-welding equipment also is available. Typical applications of stud welding include automobile bodies, electrical panels, and shipbuilding; the process is also used in building construction. In capacitor-discharge stud welding, a DC arc is produced from a capacitor bank. No ferrule or flux is required, because the welding time is very short-on the order of 1 to 6 milliseconds. The choice between this process and stud arc welding depends on such factors as the types of metals to be joined, the workpiece thickness and cross section, the stud diameter, and the shape of the joint.

3I.5.1 Percussion Welding

The resistance-welding processes already described usually employ an electrical transformer to meet the power requirements. Alternatively, the electrical energy for welding may be stored in a capacitor. Percussion welding (PEW) utilizes this technique, in which the power is discharged within 1 to 10 milliseconds to develop localized high heat at the joint. The process is useful where heating of the components adjacent to the joint is to be avoided, as in electronic assemblies and electrical wires.

EXAMPLE 3 |.3 Resistance Welding vs. Laser-beam Welding in the

Can-making Industry

The cylindrical bodies of cans for food and for household products have been resistance seam welded (with a lap joint up the side of the can) for many years. Beginning in about 1987, laser-beam welding technology was introduced into the can-making industry. The joints are welded by lasers with the same

productivity as in resistance welding, but with the following advantages:

As opposed to the lap joints suitable for resis-

tance welding, laser welding utilizes butt joints. Thus, some material is saved. Multiplied by the

Section 31.6

Explosion Welding

9| 3

(a) Cross section of conventional weld

(b) Cross section of

electron-beam or laser-beam weld bead


FIGURE 3|.|5

The relative sizes of the weld beads obtained by tungsten-arc and by electron-beam or laser-beam welding.

billions of cans made each year; this amount becomes a very significant savings. Because laser vvelds have a very narrow zone (Fig. 31.15; see also Fig. 30.14), the unprinted area on the can surface (the printing margin) is greatly reduced. As a result, the cans appearance and its customer acceptance are improved.

The resistance lap-welded joint can be subject to corrosion by the contents of the can (e.g., tomato juice). This effect may change the taste and can cause a potential liability risk. A butt joint made by laser-beam welding eliminates the problem.
Source: Courtesy of G.F. Benedict.


Explosion Welding

In explosion welding (EXW), pressure is applied by detonating a layer of explosive that has been placed over one of the components being joined, called the flyer plate (Figs. 31.16a and b). The contact pressures developed are extremely high, and the kinetic energy of the plate striking the mating component causes a wavy

interface. This impact mechanically interlocks the two surfaces (Figs. 31.16c and d), so that pressure welding by plastic deformation also takes place. The flyer plate is placed at an angle, and any oxide films present at the interface are broken up and propelled out of the interface. As a result, the bond strength from explosion welding is very high. The explosive may be a flexible plastic sheet or cord or in granulated or liquid form, which is cast or pressed onto the flyer plate. The detonation speed is usually in the range from 2400 to 3600 mfs; it depends on the type of explosive, the thickness of the explosive layer, and the packing density of the layer. There is a minimum denotation speed necessary for Welding to occur in this process. Detonation is carried out with a standard commercial blasting cap. This process is suitable particularly for cladding a plate or a slab with a dissimilar metal. Plates as large as 6 X 2 m have been clad explosively. They may then be rolled into thinner sections. Tubes and pipes can be joined to the holes in the header plates of boilers and heat exchangers by placing the explosive inside the tube; the explosion expands the tube. Explosion Welding is inherently dangerous, so it requires safe handling by well-trained and experienced personnel.

Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes



Clad metal "Yer)





_ interface clearance


Clad metal AnQu|a|'-interface

clearance gap
Base plate



Base plate



3I.l6 Schematic illustration of the explosion-Welding process: (a) constant-interface clearance gap and (b) angular-interface clearance gap. (c) Cross section of explosion-welded joint: titanium (top) and low-carbon steel (bottom). (d) Iron-nickel alloy (top) and low-carbon steel (bottom).


Diffusion Bonding

Diffusion bonding, or diffusion welding (DFW) is a process in which the strength of the joint results primarily from diffusion (movement of atoms across the interface) and secondarily from plastic deformation of the faying surfaces. This process requires temperatures of about O.5T,,, (Where Tm is the melting point of the metal on the absolute scale) in order to have a sufficiently high diffusion rate between the parts being joined. (See also Sections 1.7 and 1.8.) The bonded interface in diffusion welding has essentially the same physical and mechanical properties as the base metal. Its strength depends on (a) pressure, (b) temperature, (c) time of contact, and (d) hovv clean the faying surfaces are. These requirements can be relaxed by using a filler metal at the interface. Depending on the materials joined, brittle intermetallic compounds may form at the interface. They may be avoided by electroplating the surfaces with suitable metal alloys. In diffusion bonding, pressure may be applied by dead weights, a press, differential gas pressure, or the thermal expansion of the parts to be joined. The parts usually are heated in a furnace or by electrical resistance. High-pressure autoclaves also are used for bonding complex parts. Although this process was developed in the 1970s as a modern Welding technology, the principle of diffusion bonding dates back centuries to when goldsmiths bonded gold over copper to create a product called filled gold. First, a thin layer of gold foil is produced and placed over copper, and a Weight is placed on top of the foil. Finally, the assembly is placed in a furnace and left until a strong bond is obtained; hence, the process is also called hot-pressure welding (HPW).

Section 31.7

Diffusion Bonding

Diffusion bonding generally is most suitable for joining dissimilar metals. It used for reactive metals (such as titanium, beryllium, zirconium, and refractory metal alloys) and for composite materials such as metal-matrix composites (Section 9.5). Diffusion bonding is also an important mechanism of sintering in powder metallurgy (Section 17.4). Because diffusion involves migration of the atoms across the joint, the process is slower than other Welding processes. Although diffusion welding is used for fabricating complex parts in low quantities for the aerospace, nuclear, and electronics industries, it has been automated to make it suitable and economical for moderate-volume production. Unless the process is highly automated, considerable operator training and skill are required. Equipment cost is Belated approximately to the diffusion-bonded area and is in the range of $3 to $6/mm

EXAMPLE 3 |.4 Diffusion-bonding Applications

Diffusion bonding is especially suitable for such metals as titanium and the superalloys used in military aircraft. Design possibilities allow the conservation of expensive strategic materials and the reduction of
fuselage ffamgs

manufacturing costs. The military aircraft illustrated in Fig. 31.17 has more than 100 diffusion bonded parts, some of which are shown

Outboard actuator fitting





" `A"'


inboard actuator fitting
Main landing-gear

Nacel e frame

Naceile support beam



Aerospace diffusion bonding applications.

Diffusion Bonding-superplastic Forming. Sheet-metal structures can be fabricated by combining diffusion bonding with superplczstic forming (see also Section 16.1O). Typical structures in which flat sheets (usually) are diffusion bonded and formed are shown in Fig. 31.18. After the diffusion bonding of selected locations on the sheets, the unbonded (stop-off) regions are expanded in a mold by air or fluid pressure. These structures are thin and have high stiffness-to-Weight ratios; hence, they are particularly useful in aircraft and aerospace applications.

Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes

Stop-off Core sheet

Stop-off Stop-off




Bonding pressure









Finished structure




of operations in the fabrication of a structure by the diffusion forming of three originally flat sheets. See also Fig. 16.48. Sources: bonding and superplastic (a) After D. Stephen and S.]. Swadling. (b) and (C) Courtesy of Rockwell International Corp.

3l.l8 The sequence

Diffusion bonding-superplastic forming improves productivity by eliminating

the number of parts in a structure, mechanical fasteners, labor, and cost. It produces parts With good dimensional accuracy and low residual stresses. First developed in the 1970s, this technology is now well advanced for titanium structures (typically using Ti-6Al-4V and 7475-T6) and various other alloys for aerospace



Economics of Welding Operations

The characteristics, advantages, and limitations of the welding processes described thus far have included brief discussions regarding welding costs. The relative costs of some selected processes are shown in Tables 30.1 and Vl.1. As in all other manufacturing operations, costs in Welding and joining processes can vary Widely, depending on such factors as the equipment capacity, level of automation, labor skill required, weld quality, production rate, and preparation required, as vvell as on various other considerations specific to a particular joining process. The general welding and joining costs for some common operations (all described throughout Chapters 30 through 32) can be summarized as follows:

High: brazing and fasteners (such as bolts and nuts), as they require holemaking operations and fastener costs. Intermediate: arc Welding, riveting, adhesive bonding. Low: resistance welding, seaming, and crimping, as these operations are relatively simple to perform and automate.

Section 31.8

Economics of Welding Operations

9 7

Equipment costs for welding can be summarized as follows (note that these costs can vary widely):


High ($100,000 to $200,000): electron-beam and laser-beam welding. Intermediate ($5,000 to $50,000-i-): spot, submerged arc, gas metal-arc, gas tungsten-arc, flux-cored arc, electrogas, electroslag, plasma arc, and ultrasonic welding. Lou/ ($500+) shielded metal-arc and oxyfuel-gas welding.

Labor costs in welding generally are higher than in other metalworking operations because of the operator skill, welding time, and preparation required. However, much depends on the automation of the equipment employed, including the use of robotics and computer controls programmed to follow a prescribed path (seam tracking) during welding. It has been observed that in systems with robotic controls, the number reaches 80%, whereas in manual welding operations (see Table 30.1), the actual welding time spent by the operator is only about 30% of the overall time. Lahor costs may be summarized as follows:

High to intermediate: oxyfuel-gas welding and shielded metal-arc welding. High to low: electron-beam and laser-beam welding and flux-cored arc welding. Intermediate to lou/: submerged-arc welding.


Friction Welding of Pistons

mechanical properties than the aluminum alloys previously used (see Section 6.2). A two-piece design allows the incorporation of an oil gallery, permitting circulation of cooling oil in the piston. One of the main advantages of the Monosteel design is the use of a very large gallery, resulting in effective heat transfer from the piston. This design has been shown to reduce piston temperatures in the rim by around 40C compared with earlier piston designs. The pistons steel skirt is much more rigid than the aluminum skirt, resulting in smaller deformation and allowing for designs with tighter clearances. This feature results ina more stable piston with less oil consumption (thus further reducing harmful exhaust emissions).

There has been a sustained effort among heavy-truck manufacturers to design and manufacture diesel engines with reduced emissions. A number of technologies have become more prevalent since the 1980s, reflecting the need for green design (see Sections L4 and 40.4). Exhaust-gas recirculation (the reintroduction of a portion of the spent exhaust gases into the intake stream of the engine) has become standard and is known to reduce nitrous-oxide emissions. Unfortunately, this strategy leads to less efficient combustion and lower component durability because of the abrasive-wear particles (see Section 33.5 and acids that are recirculated into the engine. To maintain and even improve engine efficiency, engine manufacturers have increased cylinder pressures and operating temperatures, which together lead to an even more demanding environment for engine components. In the U.S. market, the traditional aluminum pistons in diesel engines were found to be unable to function reliably in modern engine designs. The problems identified with pistons were a tendency to mushroom and fracture under the high firing pressures in the cylinder, inadequate cooling of the piston, and scuffing (wear) at the pin that joins the piston to the connecting rod. A solution, shown in Fig. 31.19, is a Monosteel piston, which has the following design attributes:


Monosteel pistons are produced from two forged components, which are machined prior to welding. The process used to join these components is inertia friction welding (Section 31.4), which has the following advantages in this application:


The piston is produced from steel, which has higher strength and better high-temperature

The process leads to well-controlled, reliable, and repeatable high-quality welds. Friction welds are continuous and do not involve any porosity, thereby producing a highstrength weld that seals the oil gallery. The welding process is fairly straightforward to optimize, the main process variables being

9 8

Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes




FIGURE 3I.I9 The Monosteel piston. (a) Cutaway view of the piston, showing the oil gallery and friction-welded sections; (b) detail of the friction welds before the external flash is removed by machining; note that this photo is a reverse of the one on the left.

energy (or spindle speed for a given flywheel) and Contact pressure. The friction~welding process does not require any operator intervention or expertise, as it is entirely machine controlled. Although the capital investment is significant compared with that of other welding technologies, weld quality (and the ability to weld in this application) is significantly more favorable. The Monosteel piston shown in Fig. 31.19 was produced on a 230-metric-ton force capacity inertia friction welder using a peripheral velocity of 7.5 mfs and a contact pressure of 140 MPa (see Fig. 313). As can

be seen, the weld zone contains the optimum flash shape (see Fig. 31.4), which is removed from the exterior piston surface by a turning operation (Section 232), after which the piston skirt is ground (Section 263). Production takes place at relatively high rates; 40-60-second cycle times are typical, but can be higher or lower depending on piston size. The Monosteel piston has been applied to multiple engine platforms and has been in high-volume production since 2003.

Source: Courtesy Technology, Inc., Mogul, Inc.

of D. Adams, Manufacturing and K. Westbrooke, Federal


In addition to the traditional joining processes of oxyfuel-gas and arc welding a number of other joining processes that are based on producing a strong joint under pressure and/or heat are available.

Surface preparation and cleanliness are important in some of these processes Pressure is applied mechanically or by explosives. Heat may be supplied externally (by electrical resistance or furnaces), or it may be generated internally (as in fric tion welding). Among important developments is the combining of diffusion-bonding and superplastic-forming processes. Productivity is improved, as is the capability to make complex parts economically. As in all manufacturing operations, certain hazards are inherent in welding oper ations. Some relate to the machinery and equipment used, others to the nature of the process. Proper safety precautions always must be taken in work areas where welding is done.

Qualitative Problems

Cold welding Diffusion bonding (welding) Explosion welding Faying surfaces Ferrule Filled gold Flash welding Flyer plate

Friction stir welding Friction welding High-frequency resistance welding Inertia friction welding Linear friction welding Percussion welding Resistance projection

Resistance seam welding Resistance spot welding Resistance welding Roll bonding Roll spot welding Roll welding Seam welding

Solid-state welding Sonotrode Stud welding Superplastic forming Transducer Ultrasonic welding Weld nugget

ASM Handbook, Vol. 6: Welding, Brazing, and Soldering, ASM International, 1993. Bowditch, WA., and Bowditch, K.E., Welding Technology

Fundamentals, Goodheart-Willcox, 1997.

Cary, H.B., Modern Welding Technology, 6th ed., Prentice

Hall, 2004. Evans, G.M., and Bailey, N., Metallurgy of Basic Weld Metal, Woodhead Publishing, 1997. Hicks, ].G., Welded Design: Theory and Practice, William

Andrews, 2005. Houldcroft, T., Welding and Cutting: A Guide to Fusion Welding and Associated Cutting Processes, Industrial Press, 2001. jeffus, L.F., Welding: Principles and Applications, 6th ed., Delmar Publishers, 2007.

Lagoda, T., Life Estimation of Welded joints, Springer, 2008. Mathers, G., Welding of Aluminum and its Alloys, CRC Press, 2002. Mishra, R.S., and Mahoney, M.W, Friction Stir Welding and Processing, American Society for Metals, 2007. Mouser, ].D., Welding Codes, Standards, and Specifications, McGraw-Hill, 1997. Nicholas, M.G., ]oining Processes: Introduction to Brazing and Diffusion Bonding, Chapman 86 Hall, 1998. Weman, K., Welding Process Handbook, CRC Press, 2003. Zhang, H., and Senkara, ]., Resistance Welding: Fundamentals and Applications, CRC Press, 2005.

by solid-state welding. |.2. What is cold welding? Why is it so called? 3I.3. What is (a) a ferrule, (b) filled gold, and (C) plate?
3 3

l.|. Explain what is meant

Describe the advantages and limitations of explosion welding.




Describe the principle of resistance-welding processes.

3|.4. 3|.5.

What are faying surfaces What



solid-state welding

31.8. What type of products are suitable for stud welding? Why?



the basic principle of (a) ultrasonic welding and (b) diffusion bonding?

What is the advantage of linear friction Welding over inertia friction Welding? 3l.|0. Describe how high-frequency butt welding operates.

I. Explain the reasons that the processes described in this chapter were developed.


3I.l2. Explain the similarities and differences between the joining processes described in this chapter and those described in Chapter 30.

3l.l3. Describe your observations concerning Fig. 31.16c

and d.

Would you be concerned about the size of weld beads, such as those shown in Fig. 31.15F Explain. 3 l.|5. What advantages does friction welding have over other methods described in this and in the preceding chapter? 3 |.I6. Describe the significance of faying surfaces. 3 l.l 7. Discuss the factors that influence the strength of (a) a diffusion-bonded and (b) a cold-welded component.


Chapter 31

Solid-State Welding Processes

3l.I8. What are the sources of heat for the processes described in this chapter? 3l.|9. Can the roll-bonding process be applied to of part configurations? Explain.


Give some applications for (a) flash welding, (b) stud


welding, and

percussion welding.


Discuss the need for, and role of, work-holding devices in the welding operations described in this chapter.


3l.20. Why is diffusion bonding, when combined with the superplastic forming of sheet metals, an attractive fabrication process? Does it have any limitations? 3|.2l. List and explain the factors involved in the strength of weld beads. 3|.22. Give some of the reasons that spot welding is used commonly in automotive bodies and in large appliances. 3 |.23. Explain the significance of the magnitude of the pressure applied through the electrodes during a spot-welding operation.

3I.26. Inspect Fig. 31.4, and explain why those particular fusion-zone shapes are developed as a function of pressure and speed. Comment on the influence of the materials properties. 3I.27. Could the process shown in Fig. 31.11 also be applicable to part shapes other than round? Explain, and give specific examples. 3l.28. In spot-weld tests, what would be the reason for weld failure to occur at the locations shown in Fig. 31.9?

I.29. The energy required in ultrasonic welding is found to be related to the product of workpiece thickness and hardness. Explain why this relationship exists.



Two flat copper sheets (each 1.0 mm thick) are being spot welded by the use of a current of 7000 A and a current flow time of 0.3 s. The electrodes are 4 mm in diameter. Estimate the heat generated in the weld zone. Assume that the resistance is 200 /iQ.

Calculate the temperature rise in Problem 31.30, assuming that the heat generated is confined to the volume of material directly between the two round electrodes and the temperature is distributed uniformly.


Calculate the range of allowable currents in Problem 31.30 if the temperature should be between 0.7 and 0.8 times the melting temperature of copper. Repeat this problem for carbon steel.


I.33. Comment on workpiece size and shape limitations (if any) for each of the processes described in this chapter.

3|.4|. Describe the methods you would

|.34. Explain how you would fabricate the structures shown in Fig. 31.18 by methods other than diffusion bonding and superplastic forming.

3I.35. Describe part shapes that cannot be joined by the processes described in this chapter. Gives specific examples. 3|.36. Comment on the feasibility of applying explosion welding in a factory environment. 3 I.37. Discuss your observations concerning the welding design guidelines illustrated in Figs. 31.13d and e. 3|.38. Referring to Fig. 14.11b, could you use any of the processes described in Chapters 30 and 31 to make a large bolt by welding the head to the shank? Explain the advantages and limitations of this approach.

use for removing the flash from welds, such as those shown in Fig. 31.3. How would you automate these methods for a high-production facility? 3l.42. In the roll-bonding process shown in Fig. 31.1, how would you go about ensuring that the interfaces are clean and free of contaminants so that a good bond is developed? Explain.

31.43. Inspect several metal containers for household products and for food and beverages. Identify those which have utilized any of the processes described in this chapter.

Describe your observations.


Explain how the projection-welded parts shown in

Fig. 31.12 could be made by any of the processes described in

this book.
3 I.40. Using a magnifier, inspect the cross sections of coins such as the U.S. dime and nickel, and comment on your


3l.44. Inspect the sheet-metal body of an automobile, and comment on the size and frequency of the spot welds applied. How would you go about estimating the number of welds in an automobile? 3 |.45. Alclad stock is made from 5182 aluminum alloy and has both sides coated with a thin layer of pure aluminum. The 5182 provides high strength, while the outside layers of pure aluminum provide good corrosion resistance because of their stable oxide film. Hence, Alclad is commonly used in aerospace structural applications. Investigate other common roll-bonded metals and their uses, and write up a summary table.