Burger
Journalpaper

Distortion control in welding by mechanical tensioning

Abstract

This paper investigates the potential of mechanical tensioning (MT) to reduce the magnitude of residual stresses in welds and to eliminate buckling distortion. Both friction stir (FSW) and arc welds have been produced from the aluminium alloy AA2024, with different levels of tensile stress applied along the weld line either during or after welding. The resulting welds have been characterised in terms of out of plane distortion, residual stresses and microstructure. Buckling distortion was eliminated by stretching plates to between 35 and 70% of the yield stress of the material during welding. For each set of welding parameters investigated, an optimum tensioning stress has been identified, which eliminates the tensile residual stress peak across the weld zone, along with distortion. This optimum tensioning stress increases in line with the heat input of the welding process. When MT stresses are increased beyond this optimum value, then distortion arises once more and a band of compressive stress is formed across the weld zone.
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