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Welding International

ISSN: 0950-7116 (Print) 1754-2138 (Online) Journal homepage:

Arc welding in shielding gases with alternate

pulsed supply of dissimilar gases

R. G. Tazetdinov , O. M. Novikov , A. S. Persidskii , B. A. Khasyanov , E. N.

Ivanov & L. T. Plaksina

To cite this article: R. G. Tazetdinov , O. M. Novikov , A. S. Persidskii , B. A. Khasyanov , E.

N. Ivanov & L. T. Plaksina (2013) Arc welding in shielding gases with alternate pulsed supply of
dissimilar gases, Welding International, 27:4, 311-314, DOI: 10.1080/09507116.2012.715912

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Published online: 03 Oct 2012.

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Download by: [Annamalai University Library] Date: 17 March 2017, At: 06:56
Welding International, 2013
Vol. 27, No. 4, 311314,
Selected from Svarochnoe Proizvodstvo 2012 65(1) 38 42

Arc welding in shielding gases with alternate pulsed supply of dissimilar gases
R.G. Tazetdinova, O.M. Novikova, A.S. Persidskiia, B.A. Khasyanova, E.N. Ivanova and L.T. Plaksinab
Moscow Aviation Institute, State Technical University, Moscow, Russia; bUralsk Polytechnical University, Uralsk, Russia

A new process of arc welding in shielding gases with alternate pulsed supply of dissimilar gases helium and argon, and
also the welding technology based on the process are described. It is shown that as a result of combining the advantages of
argon-arc and helium-arc welding in the new process it is possible to increase the strength properties, precision and leak
tightness of the welded joints, to ensure absence of defects and to reduce the volume of welding operations. Various physical
effects, accompanying the process, are discussed. These processes accompany the process and produce the weld metal with
the equiaxed fine-grained structure.
Keywords: welding; shielding gas; argon; helium; technology; technological process; arc column; pulse; complete fusion;

The need for removing defects, formed in welded joints in Consequently, both the degree of ionization (excitation)
aluminium, creep-resisting alloys and high-strength steels and, consequently, the energy and the concentration of the
with low weldability, requires additional measures and electrons, ensuring the penetration of the material in the
means to be taken in welding technology. In most cases, straight polarity arc, are higher in the helium arc than in
the defects described in Table 1 are removed by repair the argon arc.
welding. A shortcoming of HAW is the low stability of the arc
To prevent the formation of defects, investigations have (especially in welding metals of small thickness) and the
been carried out to develop various welding technologies, susceptibility to undercutting, which is also determined
methods of preparation of the weld edges and a large by the properties of helium, including its high thermal
number of types of electrode and filler wire [1 3]. diffusivity and other properties of the arc in helium.
However, none of these measures fully prevents the In this study, investigations were carried out into a new
formation of these defects. technological process of welding in shielding gases with
Argon-arc welding (AAW) is at present one of the most alternate supply of argon and helium into the arc gap [6].
widely used method of welding of important structures. This method combines the advantages of AAW and
As a result of the relatively low ionization potential HAW and, at the same time, greatly reduces the negative
and low thermal conductivity of argon (Table 2), the arc consequences of the shortcomings of these processes. The
is characterized by high stability so that it can be used ultimate pulsation of the flows of argon and helium in a
for welding materials of small thickness at high current wide frequency and consumption range is produced using
densities [4]. However, AAW has a shortcoming: the a specially developed device1.
penetrating capacity of the arc is lower, and the molten The results of investigations of the new process and
metal of the weld pool is characterized by low mobility [5]. evaluation of its efficiency for certain alloys show that the
For example, the experimental results with the deposition helium pulse in the investigated processes ensures deep
of X-ray contrast powder based on tungsten carbide on the penetration of the welded joint, and the argon pulse is used
weld edges show that in the welded joint the powder is for stabilizing the arc and near-surface heat treatment of
distributed mostly in the centre of the joint in the vicinity of the joint.
the surface, and not through the entire depth of the melt. However, the effect of the alternate pulses of different
Helium-arc welding (HAW) has a significant advan- gases on the quality of the welded joint is not limited
tage in comparison with AAW high penetrating capacity to this effect. There are also other physical effects,
of the arc, determined by the higher ionization potential showing that the new technological process is not a formal
and excitation of the helium atoms (Table 2). The strength combination of these two processes. Some of the effects
of the field in the arc column in helium is higher than are described in this study.
in argon. For example, at an arc current of 10 A in helium Figure 1 shows the oscillograms of current Ia and arc
E 0.3 V/m and in argon 0.08 V/m. Correspondingly, at
voltage Ua with the alternating supply of argon and helium
the same current the energy density in the arc column in
in TIG welding with straight polarity direct current. It may
helium is approximately 3.75 times higher than of the arc in
be seen that the voltage in the helium pulse is 36 39%
argon. Therefore, the temperature in the arc column is [3]
higher than Ua in the argon pulse. This is caused by the
T col 800U e ; differences in the ionization parameters of these gases.
The oscillations of welding current Ia with the industrial
where Ue is the effective ionization potential whose value frequency of 50 Hz are associated with the rectification
in the pure gases is accepted to be equal to Ui. For helium, system of the power source and have no relationship with
Ui is approximately 1.5 times higher than for argon. the special features of the described process. However, the
q 2013 Taylor & Francis
312 R.G. Tazetdinov et al.

Table 1. The length of the pool can be calculated from the

equation [7]
Brief characterization of the effect of
the defects on the strength and
Defect leaktightness of the welded joint
L pU a I a ;

Undercutting in parent Formation of stress concentration at where p is the coefficient also determined by experiments;
metal alongside the loading of the joint may result in for example, for welding with the open arc with a coated
welded joint failure of the joint
electrode p (1.7 2.3) 1026 m/(VA).
Pores in the welded Disruption of leaktightness and also a
joint reduction in the mechanical properties The relationship between tHe and tAr is also determined
Oxide and tungsten Reduction in integrity and of the by experiments using the condition of ensuring the high
inclusions mechanical properties quality of the welded joint. For TIG welding, k < 0.75.
Reduced strength of Reduction in the cross-section and The total pressure in the arc column is equal to the sum
the welded joint strength of the welded joint
of the static and dynamic pressures. Static pressure is
Very large convex part Increased internal stresses
of the welded joint determined mainly by the current intensity in the arc [8]
which is approximately constant in the period of the pulses
of both gases. However, dynamic pressure, for Ar and He
Table 2. may differ as a result of different densities of the gases.
In fact, the dynamic pressure of the gas at the outlet of
Parameter Helium Argon the nozzle is
Ionization potential (V) 24.5 15.7
Excitation potential (V) 19.3 11.6 rv 2
pd ;
Heat conductivity at normal conditions 141.5 16.2 2
(mW/(m K))
Viscosity at normal conditions (Pa s) 0.189 0.221 where v is the rate of discharge of the gas from the nozzle.
Density at normal conditions (kg/m3) 0.178 1.784 In turn,

peaks of increase in Ia when argon is replaced by helium v ;
are determined by marked changes in the ionization
potential of the gas in the inter-electrode gap and by the where G is the consumption of the gas; S is the free cross
appropriate short-term jumps in the degree of ionization section of the nozzle.
of the gas. Consequently
The pulsation period, equal to the sum of the periods of
helium tHe and argon tAr pulses, should correspond to the rG 2
pd :
holding time of the liquid metal in the weld pool tl: 2S 2

tHe tAr ktl ; For the same flow rate of the gas in both pulses of
2.3 1024 m2/s (approximately 14 l/min), the nozzle
where k is the coefficient determined in the experiments. diameter (external 16 mm, internal 3 mm), the dynamic
For TIG welding in shielding gases with a pulsed arc pressure of argon is approximately 24 times higher than
k 1.4. that for helium. It may be assumed that the same ratio for
In turn, the dynamic pressure is also found in the arc column,
whereas the absolute values of the dynamic pressure will
tl ; be many times higher in comparison with the outlet of the
vw nozzle because of the powerful thermal effect on the flow
where L is the length of the pool; vw is the welding speed. in the arc. Correspondingly, the force effect of the argon
arc at deceleration of the arc on the surface of the pool is
tens of times higher than that of the helium arc. Thus, the
114 solidifying metal on the side of the argon pulse is subjected
110 to the effect of vapours alternating at a specific frequency.
106 The effect of the vapours is similar to the effect of
Ia, A

102 vibrations or ultrasound used in welding, but the effect of

98 the vapours is considerably more powerful and more
94 localized than the latter. This force effect, which may be
referred to as the anvil effect, evidently extends to the
entire depth of the pool and cannot have any effect on
Ua, V

10 the structure of the weld metal. The effect results in
Argon Helium
6 disintegration of the growing columnar dendrites charac-
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 , s
terized by very low strength in the growth process.
Figure 1. Oscillograms of current and arc voltage in welding Correspondingly, the number of additional solidification
with alternate supply of argon and helium. centres rapidly increases, the weld metal forms with the
Welding International 313

equiaxed fine-grained structure characterized by high (a)

plasticity and strength.
The mechanical oscillations of the pool also support
70 A 80 A 90 A
rising of the gas bubbles in the pool. Evidently, this effect,
which is identical to the one described previously, can
also be obtained at a different combination of different
shielding gases, for example, Ar and CO2, and also at a 100 A 110 A
variable consumption of the same gas.
This effect has been confirmed many times in
experiments in welding components for aviation technol-
ogy. In particular, metallographic studies of the macro-
70 A 80 A
structure of the welded joints in aluminium alloys, alloyed
with lithium or scandium, show that in welding without
pulsations the surface of the welded joint contains
elongated columns of the dendrites along the weld axis.
The length of the dendrites is equal to half the width of the 90 A 100 A
welded joint. Welding with pulsations of Ar and He
Figure 2. Cross sections of single-pass welded joints: (a)
prevents the formation of this unfavourable structure a traditional technologies of arc welding in argon without pulsations;
fine-grained equiaxed structure forms along the welded (b) arc welding with pulsed supply of argon and helium, steel
joint. KVK-26, d 3.0 mm kg/m3.
Another important special feature of the arc with
alternate of supply of different gases is the presence of
transition processes when the gas type is changed welding with the pulsation of the flows of dissimilar gases
(Figure 1). A sharp increase in current when helium is is clearly visible.
replaced by argon results in additional constriction of the The results of a large number of experimental studies
arc column and the static pressure in the arc increases of welding of components of aluminium alloys and steels
for a short period of time. The reversed effect short- of different grades, including creep-resisting alloys of the
term reduction in static pressure is observed when KVK-26 type, using the new process show that the quality
argon is replaced by helium. This also results in a positive of the welded joints is greatly improved:
The combination of the pulses of dissimilar gases is
also other additional advantages in comparison with using . the residual amount of defects in the form of cracks,
each gas separately: helium easily penetrates between lack of fusion defects, undercutting and non-metallic
the weld edges, protects also the reverse side of the inclusions does not exceed the level indicated in the
joint; helium also prevents the formation of lack of fusion technical conditions for the components;
defects, ensures efficient penetration of the joints and . the strength properties increase by 20%;
melting of the edges with straight flow of the melt without . the residual stresses decrease by 10 15%;
sagging; the geometry of the welded joint with the ratio of . the density of the welded joint improves by
the depth of penetration to the width, close to unity, is 15 20%;
produced. . the accuracy of manufacture of the welded structures
The argon pulse melts the weld metal in the solidifying corresponds to the requirements of design
phase and support rising of the gas bubbles, smoothing documents.
of the excess metal and filling of undercutting and
depressions, healing of microcracks in the welded joints In addition, in welding by the new technology, the
containing hot solidification cracks, and prevents the volume of operations in X-ray and other inspection
propagation of the latter, and also prevents cold cracking methods is smaller, and also the number of dressing
by equalization of the temperature throughout the entire operations is lower because there is no need to repair the
volume of the welded joint. defective areas; the consumption of energy, shielding
The efficient qualitative and quantitative determi- gases in welding materials decreases by 30 40%,
nation of the relationship between the dynamic structures including welding materials for root welding; metal is
of the arc with the alternate supply of dissimilar gases on saved as a result of a smaller number of rejects.
the properties of the resultant welded joints requires The new technology does not require the development
further investigations. However, even this brief analysis of any special power sources and assembling in welding
and the experimental results show that the new equipment. Special gas equipment with the control device,
technological process, and also the welding technology required for alternate supply of dissimilar gases (He, Ar,
developed on the basis of this process, has considerable CO2, etc.) in a wide range of frequency and consumption
advantages in comparison with traditional technologies. has already been developed. Standard welding conditions
Figure 2 shows the cross sections of the welded joints and algorithms for controlling the formation of the welded
produced by traditional AAW and by the new process. The joints have already been determined for some components
large increase in the penetrating capacity of the arc in in aviation technology.
314 R.G. Tazetdinov et al.

Arc welding using alternate supply of Ar and CO2 has complete absence of weld defects and also a
already been successfully tested for welding low-alloyed reduction in the volume of pulsed welding operations,
steels of 09G2S type. with considerable savings of metal.

(1) The application of alternate pulsed supply of
1. Patent 2049618 (Russian Federation).
dissimilar gases (helium and argon) in arc welding
in shielding gases was used as the basis for
developing a completely new welding process
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the formation of the metal of the welded joint with a Dumka; 1979. p. 248.
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