A comparison of residual stress development in inertia friction welded fine grain and coarse grain nickel-base superalloy

N. Iqbal, J. Rolph, R. Moat, D. Hughes, M. Hofmann, J. Kelleher, G. Baxter, P. J. Withers, M. Preuss

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The effect of the base material microstructure on the development of residual stresses across the weld line in inertia friction welds (IFWs) of high-strength nickel-base superalloy RR1000 was studied using neutron diffraction. A comparison was carried out between tubular IFW specimens generated from RR1000 heat treated below (fine grain (FG) structure) and above (coarse grain (CG) structure) the γ-solvus. Residual stresses were mapped in the as-welded (AW) condition and, after a postweld heat treatment (PWHT), optimized for maximum alloy strength. The highest tensile stresses were generally found in the hoop direction at the weld line near the inner diameter of the tubular-shaped specimens. A comparison between the residual stresses generated in FG and CG RR1000 suggests that the starting microstructure has little influence on the maximum residual stresses generated in the weld even though different levels of energy must be input to achieve a successful weld in each case. The residual stresses in the postweld heat treated samples were about 35 pct less than for the AW condition. Despite the fact that the high-temperature properties of the two parent microstructures are different, no significant differences in terms of stress relief were found between the FG and CG RR1000 IFWs. Since the actual weld microstructures of FG and CG RR1000 inertia welds are very similar, the results suggest that it is the weld microstructure and its associated high-temperature properties rather than the parent material that affects the overall weld stress distribution and its subsequent stress relief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4056-4063
Number of pages8
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

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