A TRANSIENT FINITE ELEMENT SIMULATION OF THE TEMPERATURE FIELD AND BEAD PROFILE OF T-JOINT LASER WELDS

N.S. Shanmugam, G. Buvanashekaran, K. Sankaranarayanasamy, and S.R. Kumar

Keywords

Laser Tjoint welds, finite element simulation, temperature field, stainless steel, bead profile ∗ Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli – 620 015, Tamil Nadu, India; email: sivashanmugam2821@yahoo.co.in, ksnsamy@nitt.edu ∗∗ Welding Research Institute, Bharat Heavy Electricals Lim ited, Tiruchirappalli – 620 014, Tamil Nadu, India; email: gbs@bheltry.co.in ∗∗∗ Junior Research Fellow, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli – 62

Abstract

Laser welding is a high power density welding technology, which has the capability of focusing the beam power to a very small spot diameter. Its characteristics such as high precision and low and concentrated heat input, helps in minimizing the microstructural modifications, residual stresses and distortions on the welded specimens. In this study, finite element method (FEM) is adopted for predicting the bead geometry in laser welding of 1.6 mm thick AISI304 stainless steel sheets. A three-dimensional finite element model is used to analyze the temperature distribution in a T-joint weld produced by the laser welding process. Temperaturedependent thermal properties of AISI304 stainless steel, effect of latent heat of fusion, and the convective and radiative boundary conditions are included in the model. The heat input to the model is assumed to be a 3D conical Gaussian heat source. The finite element code SYSWELD, along with a few FORTRAN subroutines, is employed to obtain the numerical results. The T-joint welds are made using a Nd:YAG laser having a maximum power of 2 kW in the continuous wave mode. The effect of laser beam power, welding speed and beam incident angle on the weld bead geometry (i.e., depth of penetration and bead width) are investigated. Finally, the shapes of the molten pool predicted by the numerical analysis are compared with the results obtained through the experimentation. The comparison shows that they are in good agreement.

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