Anda di halaman 1dari 6

23. - 25. 5.

2012, Brno, Czech Republic, EU

WELDING AND CHARACTERIZATION OF 5083 ALUMINUM ALLOY


Maamar HAKEM1, S. LEBAILI2, J. MIROUD2, A. BENTALEB2, S. TOUKALI2
1

Centre National de Recherche Scientifique et Technique en Soudage et Contrle CSC.


BP 64, Route de Delly-Ibrahim, Cheraga, Alger, ALGERIE.
2
Universit des Sciences et technologie Bab Ezzouar, USTHB, Alger, ALGERIE.
Email: hakem_maamar@yahoo.fr

Abstract
A pipe of Aluminium Alloy 5083 for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transport has been welded by the Gas
Tungsten Arc Welding process (GTAW). The welding was conducted following the welding parameters in
four passes and using an ER 5356 filler metal according to standard American Welding Society (AWS) and
Argon as shield gas.
A Metallographic studies (Optical Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy) and mechanical tests
(Micro Hardness Vickers test and Tensile Test) were made to determine microstructure evolution and
mechanical properties of weld joint.
Key words:
Aluminium alloys welding, HAZ, hardness, tensile strength & yield strength, microstructures.
1.

INTRODUCTION

The necessity to reduce weight and exhaust emissions, improve fuel economy has led to increased use of
lightweight materials such as Aluminium alloys. Among the alloys, AA 5083 is used in many fields of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) transport and storage tanks, ships, vehicles, and high pressure vessels for his good
strength and welding properties, etc.
Welding is an important manufacturing technology in Aluminium alloy application. The optimisation of the
welding process requires a good understanding of the microstructures generated by the rapid temperature
rise in the heat affected zone. Improvements to welding technique are desirable as it is one of the methods
showing greatest potential for application in industry.
2.

EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

2.1

Material and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

The studied material, 5083 Aluminium alloy pipe, 6 diameter and 8 mm thickness, used in LNG
transportation for low temperature. The chemical compositions of base and filler metal are given in "Table 1".
Table 1 Chemical composition of the Aluminium base material and filler metal, wt. %.
Materials

Al

Si

Mg

Ti

Cr

Mn

Fe

Ni

Cu

Zn

Sn

AA 5083

94,3

0,45

3,95

0,03

0,41

0,48

0,22

0,01

0,03

0,03

<10

ER 5356

94.58

0.25

4.5

0.06

0.05

0.05

0.40

0.10

-3

Pb
<10
/

-3

S
0,01
/

Weld was made by joining two pipe coupon tests by means of Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). The
configuration of the joint groove was V-shaped and the weld was completed in four passes using ER 5356
filler metal in position 5G (pipe with its axis horizontal and with welding groove in vertical plane. Welding was

23. - 25. 5. 2012, Brno, Czech Republic, EU

done without rotating the pipe) [2] "figure 1". Cracking and porosity are major concerns in welding Aluminium
alloys. To reduce the defects and to have good weldability, Argon as shield gas have used, which play an
important role in reduction of generation of defects and protection of weld pool from oxidation (Aluminium
being very reactive with oxygen contained in the atmosphere). Additional requirements of the shielding gas
are a stable arc root mechanism, efficient shielding of the weld pool and adjacent area, and good weld
penetration with a smooth weld bead profile. But they have very different characters [1].

4
3
2
1

Fig. 1 Dimension and pass of work piece.


The welding parameters used are on Table 2:
Table 2 Welding parameters
Layers
Welding Process
Welding position
Current & polarity
Filer metal
(mm)
Electrode
(mm)
Rod
Amp. Range
(A)
Volt. Range
(V)
Gas
Flow Rate
(l/min)
2.2

Root
GTAW
5G
AC
ER 5356
2.4
1.6 2.0
60 90
11 18
Ar
10 - 20

Fill
GTAW
5G
AC
ER 5356
2.4
1.6 2.0
80 160
11 18
Ar
10 - 20

Cap
GTAW
5G
AC
ER 5356
2.4
1.6 2.0
80 160
11 18
Ar
10 20

Specimens and Experiment

Laboratory investigations including microstructure examination, mechanical properties and Scanning


Electron Microscopy (SEM) were performed. A radiographic examination (X-ray) was used after welding to
see if the joint does not contain defects (bubbles, cracks and inclusions). Samples from the parent metal and
the welded region were prepared for optical Microscopy. They were polished and etched with Kellers
reagent. Micro hardness Vickers test was performed on the welded sample under a load of 300 g. The micro
hardness was measured on an interval of 0.5 mm through the weld, 1 mm through the Heat Affected Zone
and 1.5 mm through the base metal according to 3 profiles "figure 2".

HV3
HV2
HV1

Fig. 2 Micro hardness tests


The last part of the experimental work included tensile testing of the welded specimens and fracture
analysis. Tensile test specimens were machined out of the welded pipe according to ASME Sect. IX
standard as shown in "figure 3".

23. - 25. 5. 2012, Brno, Czech Republic, EU

Fig. 3 Tensile test specimen


3.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The AA 5083 is an Aluminium alloy that relies solely upon cold work and solid solution strengthening for his
strength properties. It differs from heat treatable alloys in that it is incapable of forming second-phase
precipitates for improved strength.
Before examining the weld, a metallographic examination of the base metal presents a granular structure
slightly stretched out "figure 4". The size of the grains varies between 20 and 40 m. The second phase has
a same size that the matrix. Analyses performed with Energy Dispersed Spectrum (EDS) indicate that some
are rich in magnesium and others contain iron and manganese "figure 4". These second phases are the
Al3Mg2 and an intermetallics were either Al6(Fe, Mn) or Al6Mn and Al3Fe.[3]

Fig. 4 Microstructure of base metal (X500) and EDS analyses.


Applying the welding parameters, weld was performed by GTAW process, shielded argon for four passes.
Visual aspect was good and the NDT control (X-ray) made on the welded joint to verify the welding defects
did not reveal anything.
Metallographic study of the different regions of the weld shows that the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) has a
coarse grain structure than the base metal "figure 5". This is due to thermal cycle caused by welding. While,
the weld metal microstructure consists of columnar, epitaxial grains with a cellular or columnar-dendritic
substructure that has inter-dendritic eutectic constituents primarily Al3Mg2 and an the same intermetallics like
a base metal Al6(Fe, Mn.) or Al6Mn and Al3Fe. "Figure 6". EDS-SEM analysis revealed the same chemical
elements as the base metal.

23. - 25. 5. 2012, Brno, Czech Republic, EU

Fig. 5 Microstructure of Heat Affected Zone (X500) and EDS analyses.

Fig. 6 Microstructure of the weld metal (X500) and EDS analyses.


Selecting the best filler alloy for a given application depends on the desired performance relative to
weldability, strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance. In general, the filler alloy selected should be similar
in composition to the base metal alloy. Similarly, 5xxx filler alloys are used to join 5xxx-series base metal
alloys. An exception to this rule is encountered when weldability becomes an issue.
Others Problems are with hot cracking encountered when welding under highly constrained conditions or
when welding certain alloys that are highly susceptible to cracking. Such is the case when welding the alloys
that have low range magnesium content. To avoid cracking, use of a high-magnesium filler alloy is
recommended [4].
These aluminium alloys are susceptible to hydrogen-induced weld metal porosity, as are all aluminium alloys
in general. This porosity forms during solidification due to the abrupt drop in hydrogen solubility during
solidification. Porosity can best be avoided by minimizing hydrogen pickup during welding. This can be
accomplished through proper joint preparation, use of high-grade shielding gas as argon with low-dew-point,
and careful storage of filler wire (that is, protection from exposure to moisture and oil). It has been
determined that welding filler wire is often the primary source of hydrogen contamination. The 5xxx-series
filler alloys, in particular, are susceptible to the hydration of surface oxides, which can result in porosity [4].
In "figure 7", it can be observed that the values of micro hardness tests varies between 80 and 100 HV, and
a softening is apparent for the HAZ area. The hardness values are generally scattered, so that it is very
difficult to discern a HAZ. This can be attributed mainly to recrystallisation in the weld and HAZ that had
taken place during welding.
HV 1

HV 2

HAZ

WM

HAZ

MB

20

80
60
40

MB

HAZ

WM

HAZ

MB

10

15

20

Distance (mm)

25

30

60
40

MB

HAZ

WM

HAZ

10

15

20

MB

0
0

80

20

20

100

0,3

MB

Hardness HV 0,3

60

120

100

0,3

Hardness HV 0,3

80

40

HV 3

120

100

0,3

Hardness HV 0,3

120

10

15

20

25

30

Distance (mm)

25

30

Distance (mm)

Fig. 7 Micro hardness profile as shown in figure 2


Figure 8 shows tensile strength vs. deformation. It is known that with mild steel there is a clearly defined
point on the stress strain curve at which the elastic limit is reached; this yield point is followed by a sharp

23. - 25. 5. 2012, Brno, Czech Republic, EU

reduction in the stress before the metal exhibits a plastic flow region with stress again increasing with strain
until the ultimate stress is reached and the stress reduces to the point of failure.
In most cases, the elastic limit or yield point is not clearly defined on the stress/strain curves for aluminium
alloys, this is apparent by looking at figure 8. For this reason the point of departure from the elastic range
has to be defined arbitrarily. Today, however, 0.2% is the international norm. The failure for the tensile test
occurred at the welded joint. The tensile strength value is 257,73 Mpa, a yield strength is 246,59 Mpa and a
deformation about 17,01 %. Furthermore, the tensile test can ensure that the minimum strength
requirements, as there are defined by the ASME Sec IX standards [2], are met after welding. For AA welds,
the minimum strength prerequisite is the same with that of the parent metal, set at 270 Mpa for the AA 5083.
The obtained value is less about 4.5 % of the limit value.
The weld metal of these aluminium alloys is typically the weakest part of the joint and is the location of failure
when the joint is loaded in tension. This is in contrast to most heat-treatable aluminium alloys, where the
heat affected zone often is the weakest link.

UTS (Mpa)

The absence of precipitate-forming elements in this alloy becomes a positive attribute when considering
weldability, because many of the alloy additions needed for precipitation hardening can lead to liquation or
hot cracking during welding. In addition, joint efficiencies are higher in this alloy because the heat-affected
zone (HAZ) is not compromised by the coarsening or dissolution of precipitates. When these alloys are
welded, microstructural damage is incurred in the HAZ. Unlike the case of heat treatable alloys, whose
strengthening precipitates may dissolve or coarsen, the HAZ damage in non-heat-treatable alloys is limited
to recovery, recrystallisation, and grain growth. Thus, loss in strength in the HAZ is not nearly as severe as
that experienced in heat-treatable alloys.

Deformation %

Fig. 8 Tensile test curve


Fracture analysis of the tensile specimen revealed a surface usually consisted of elongated dimples, a
pattern indicating failure via ductile fracture mechanisms figure 9.

Fig. 9 SEM micrograph of the fracture surface

23. - 25. 5. 2012, Brno, Czech Republic, EU

CONCLUSION

In this paper, the effect of the microstructural changes that accompany a common welding
technique, on the mechanical properties is investigated. Based on the analysis described above, the
following conclusions are drawn:
Metallographic examination of the base metal presents a granular structure a slightly stretched out
with a grains size varies between 20 and 40 m.
Applying the welding parameters, weld was performed by GTAW process, shielded argon gas.
Argon as shielding and purging is the most common gas, which play an important role in reduction of
generation of defects and protection of weld pool.
The HAZ has a coarse grain structure than the base metal.
The microstructure observed in the HAZ was the successive thermal cycle of multi-pass.
Cumulative effect of thermal cycles after each passes resulted in softening of the lower pass and of
the adjacent parent metal.
Hardness tests values vary between 80 and 100 HV, and a softening is apparent for the HAZ area.
The weld metal is the weakest part of the joint and is the location of failure when the joint is loaded in
tension.
The as-welded specimens were subjected to uniaxial tensile tests. The UTS value is 257.73 MPa.

REFERENCES
[1]

J.H. Kim, D.H. Park, J. Korean Weld. Soc. 12 (1) (1994) 715.

[2]

ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code, Section IX. Welding and Brazing Qualifications.

[3]

Calcraft RC, Wahab MA, Viano DM, Schumann GO, Phillips RH, Ahmed NU. The development of the welding
procedures and fatigue of butt-welded structures of aluminium-AA5383. J Mater Process Technol 1999; 92
93:605.

[4]

R.P Martukanitz and P.R. Michnuk, Sources of Porosity in Gas Metal Arc Welding of Aluminium, Trends in
Welding Research, ASM INTERNATIONAL, 1982, P 315-330.