Effects of Surface Active Elements on Weld Pool Fluid Flow and Weld Penetration in Gas Metal Arc Welding


This article presents a mathematical model simulating the effects of surface tension (Marangoni effect) on weld pool fluid flow and weld penetration in spot gas metal arc welding (GMAW). Filler droplets driven by gravity, electromagnetic force, and plasma arc drag force, carrying mass, thermal energy, and momentum, periodically impinge onto the weld pool. Complicated fluid flow in the weld pool is influenced by the droplet impinging momentum, electromagnetic force, and natural convection due to temperature and concentration gradients, and by surface tension, which is a function of both temperature and concentration of a surface active element (sulfur in the present study). Although the droplet impinging momentum creates a complex fluid flow near the weld pool surface, the momentum is damped out by an "up-and-down" fluid motion. A numerical study has shown that, depending upon the droplet's sulfur content, which is different from that in the base metal, an inward or outward surface flow of the weld pool may be created, leading to deep or shallow weld penetration. In other words, it is primarily the Marangoni effect that contributes to weld penetration in spot GMAW.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 2001 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2001