The importance of topological features of grains in the evolution of grain structure is well recognized in isothermal systems. However, during fusion welding, strong spatial gradients of temperature exist in the heat-affected zone (HAZ), and this region undergoes rapid heating and cooling. The effects of spatial and temporal variations of temperature on the topological class distribution, relationship between size and topology of grains and the interdependence between grain topology and its neighbours are not known. Topological features of grains in the HAZ of Ti-6Al-4V alloy welds were measured for various heat inputs in the range 0.55-4.33 MJ m-1. The topological class distributions were also calculated using a three-dimensional Monte Carlo model utilizing thermal cycles computed from a well tested numerical heat transfer and fluid flow model. The computed results showed that the topological class distributions were unaffected by the spatial and temporal variations of temperature. Experimental investigations of a few sections confirmed the simulation results. The average grain size for each edge class varied linearly with the edge class number. The local topological environment, i.e. the average number of sides of neighbours, nn varied linearly with the inverse of the number of sides of grains, 1/nr, at a given location in the HAZ. Locations with the same topological environment showed the same grain size, indicating the significant influence of grain topology on grain growth in the HAZ.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films