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Two major obstacles make welding dissimilar metals one of the most difficult challenges

in materials joining. The first is the tendency of dissimilar metals to form intermetallics
when they mix, usually hard brittle phases which lead to catastrophic failure in the weld.
The formation of intermetallics is drastically increased when the material is heated and
form on cooling from the liquid, meaning fusion welds (any process involving molten
metal like MIG or TIG) are pretty much guaranteed to fail. The second factor is
controlling mixing across the interface. Even relatively similar metals such as the
stainless steel and carbon steel pose difficulties when welding due to drastic
microstructure changes caused by mixing dissimilar alloys. Alloy compositions are finely
tuned to do specific things at specific temperatures and conditions. When two alloys are
mixed you end up with a region whose composition varies drastically, often leading to
liquid films, unsuitable microstructures, and segregation, all factors which increase
susceptibility to cracking in or near the weld.
There are several ways you can address these issues, the first being merely to sidestep
them and use another joining method. The big three are fasteners, gluing, and brazing.
The second is to try to avoid the factors that lead to intermetallics and composition
change. You can do this by decreasing the time and temperature of the welding process,
which usually means a form of solid state welding. Explosion welding and its related
processes are often used for dissimilar welding because the join occurs so quickly at such
low temperature that intermetallics have no time to form. This doesn't prevent them
from forming later however, so care must be taken to use welds produced in this way
below the temperature of formation. Other solid state processes like Friction
welding form welds very quickly and do not melt the material, but they increase the
temperature to roughly 0.7 melting temperature, which is often high enough to form
numerous intermetallics. During one project my team and I experimented with inertia
welding Ti64 to 404 stainless steel, even a few seconds of welding well below the melting
temperature resulted in brittle intermetallics which cracked instantly due to differing
thermal contractions. There are companies capable of making such welds, but to do so
requires careful control of both temperature and processing parameters. You may also
get around the issue by welding each piece to a separate spacer material which can
accommodate both welds. Addressing these issues is a major concern in the welding
community, and even now entirely new welding techniques are being designed to
address them.
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Sha re

Nivas Ramachandran, Certified Welding Inspector from WRI, BHEL. Worked as a


welding Engr in WIL Fab
Written May 16

The main problem with dissimilar welding are

diffusion of alloying elements across the interface - that creates local hard
and soft phases whose mechanical properties are vastly different than overall
properties
difference in co-efficient of thermal expansion (CTE) - that may result in
enormous amount of residual stress getting piled up during welding

difference in crystal structure - the solidification pattern varies if multiple


crystal structure exists resulting in different heterogenieties that could cause
pre-mature failure
possibility of undergoing galvanic corrosion
Ferritic steel (FS) - Austenitic stainless steel (ASS) is one very common dissimilar joint
encountered in power plant installation

diffusion of carbon atoms is minimised by performing buttering operation on


the weld face of ferritic steel. to avoid more heterogeniety it is recommended
to use same filler material for both buttering and welding.
difference in CTE is taken care by selecting a filler material whose CTE lies
between two base metals. Ex - Inconel filler alloys are preferred over ASS
filler alloys for FS-ASS welding
the heterogenieties that form due to the presence of diff. crystal structure is
minimized by adopting post weld heat treatment. but it has negative effects
like reducing the strength of the joint, promoting carbide growth & diffusion.
so an optimum compromise needs to be made.
if all these meaures are taken, the life of the weld joint gets considerably improved.
There are 1000s of published papers available online, which could guide you in selecting
the process, filler material and even process parameters to formuate a WPS
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Sha re

Nitesh Garg, 8 years of experience in welding of high pressure piping.


Written May 6

Thanks for A2A. Welding of dissimilar metals are always a tough task because of
different metallurgical properties.
As you have not described the metal i would tell you what you have to do.
Prepare a WPS as per ASME section 9
And then perform welding operation and then test the work piece. Based on the results
qualify your procedure and make welding performance qualifications document.