Research Papers

Coupled Computational Fluid Dynamic and Finite Element Multiphase Modeling of Laser Weld Bead Geometry Formation and Joint Strengths

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Marimuthu

e-mail: S.Marimuthu@lboro.ac.uk

A. J. Pinkerton

e-mail: aj.pinkerton@lancaster.ac.uk

L. Li

Laser Processing Research Centre,
School of Mechanical,
Aerospace and Civil Engineering,
University of Manchester,
Sackville Street,
Manchester M13 9PL, UK

1Corresponding author.

2Present address: School of Mechanical and Manufacturing, Loughborough University, UK.

3Present address: Department of Engineering, Lancaster University, UK.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 2, 2011; final manuscript received November 12, 2012; published online January 18, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Wei Li.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(1), 011004 (Jan 18, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: MANU-11-1292; doi: 10.1115/1.4023240 History: Received September 02, 2011; Revised November 12, 2012

Laser welding is used extensively in industry for joining various materials in the assembly of components and structures. Localized melting followed by rapid cooling results in the formation of a weld bead and generation of residual stress. Selection of the appropriate combination of input parameters and understanding their effects is important to achieve the required weld quality with a smooth welding surface. In the present work, a sequentially coupled thermo-structural multiphase analysis was carried out with the objectives of predicting the effect of laser parameters on the change in surface topology of the weld bead and its subsequent effect on structural properties. The work shows that the laser welding parameters strongly affect the weld bead shape, which eventually affects the weld quality. A net shaped weld bead demonstrates better performance in terms of stress distribution and distortion than other weld bead shapes. The numerical simulation results were compared with the experimental observations performed on a mild steel sheet using a fibre laser and the results are in good agreement in terms of weld bead cross-sectional profile and strength.

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of laser welding process

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Fig. 2

Mesh used for the analysis

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Fig. 3

Flowchart explaining the sequential coupling and analysis steps

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Fig. 4

Temperature contour (K) with weld bead profiles for 600 W laser power and speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 5

Comparison of top surface velocity vector (m/s) for 600 W laser power and speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 6

Comparison of melting and solidification distribution profiles for 600 W laser power and speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 7

Von Mises stress (Pa) contour along the mid cross-section profiles for 600 W laser power and speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 8

Von Mises stress along the top-mid cross section of the weld sample after cool down to room temperature

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Fig. 9

Dimensions (in μm) of the weld bead geometry used in the FEM analysis of tensile test for various speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 10

Distortion (m) along Y direction for 600 W laser power and speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 11

Comparison of experimental and simulated weld bead cross-section profiles for 600 W laser power and speed: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 12

Comparison of experimental and simulated tensile test results for a speed of: (a) 75 mm/s, (b) 100 mm/s, (c) 125 mm/s

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Fig. 13

Comparison of von Mises stress along the thickness (along line D-D in Fig. 8(b)) of the weld bead




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