Effects of gravitational acceleration were investigated on the weld pool shape and microstructural evolution for 304 stainless steel and Al-4wt% Cu alloy. Effects of welding heat source were investigated by using laser beam welding (LBW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). As the gravitational level was increased from low gravity (LG ∼ 1.2g) to high gravity (HG ∼ 1.8g) using a NASA KC-135 aircraft, the weld pool shape for 304 stainless steel was influenced considerably during GTAW. However, insignificant change in the microstructure and solute distribution was observed at gravitational levels between LG and HG. The GTAW on Al-4wt% Cu alloy was used to investigate the effect of gravitational orientation on the weld solidification behavior. Gravitational orientation was manipulated by varying the welding direction with respect to gravity vector; that is, by welding upward opposing gravity (||-U) and downward with gravity (||-D) on a vertical weld piece and welding perpendicular to gravity (⊥) on a horizontal weld piece. Under the same welding conditions, a larger primary dendrite spacing in the ||-U weld was observed near the weld pool surface and the fusion boundary than in the case of ⊥ or ||-D welds. The ||-D weld exhibited different solidification morphology and abnormal S shape of solidification rate curve during its growth. For 304 stainless steel GTAW, significant effects of gravitational orientation were observed on the weld pool shape that was associated with weld surface morphology and convection flow. However, the weld pool shape for LBW was mostly constant with respect to the gravitational orientation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science