Although hydrogen induced cracking remains a major problem in the welding of steels, the present methods of managing hydrogen in the weldment are mostly empirical in nature. In recent years, numerical modelling of heat transfer and fluid flow has provided detailed insight into the physical processes in welding. However, very little effort has been made in the past to use these transport phenomena based calculations to understand the dissolution of hydrogen in the weld metal and its subsequent transport in the liquid and solid regions. The aim of the present work was to address this important need. Heat transfer, fluid flow, and hydrogen transport calculations in transient, three-dimensional form are used to predict the spatial distribution of hydrogen concentration in the weld metal during gas metal arc welding of mild steels for different welding conditions. The enhanced hydrogen solubility in the weld metal above that predicted by Sieverts law was determined from a model for the partitioning of hydrogen between the weldment and its plasma environment. The model considers the presence of a superequilibrium concentration of atomic hydrogen which is significantly higher than that produced by thermal dissociation. The results indicate that for a meaningful prediction of the hydrogen concentration in the weld metal, hydrogen absorption at the weld pool surface, transport of hydrogen within the weld pool, and the diffusion of hydrogen away from the solidified weld metal should be considered simultaneously. The agreement between the experimental and predicted results indicates significant promise for predicting weld metal hydrogen concentration infusion welds from fundamentals of transport phenomena.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics