Finite element process modelling of inertia friction welding advanced nickel-based superalloy

B. Grant, M. Preuss, P. J. Withers, G. Baxter, M. Rowlson

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A sequentially coupled thermal and mechanical finite element (FE) model has been developed to describe inertia friction welding (IFW) using the DEFORM 8.2 package. All modelling and experimental work was undertaken on inertia friction welds made from RR1000, which is an advanced high γ′ content nickel-based superalloy. The accuracy of the thermal predictions has been assessed by an analysis of γ′ distribution across the weld region as compared to those recorded during prescribed thermal simulations, while the mechanical model has been validated by comparing predicted and measured upsets and weld pressures. Finally the residual stress predictions have been compared against measurements (by neutron diffraction). In all cases excellent agreement was found between predicted and experimental data. This exercise revealed that the clamping forces applied during the welding process may have a strong influence on the axial stress field. The validated model was then used to study the effect of welding pressure on material flow, thermal history and residual stresses. The work shows that with increasing weld pressure the width of the heat-affected zone (HAZ) is reduced, while the peak temperature and strain rate is increased. In addition the peak stresses in the hoop direction near the weldline were found to be largely unaffected by the weld pressure. However, for lower welding pressures a broader high tensile hoop stress region was found in accordance with the increased HAZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-375
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A: Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy balancing
  • Residual stress
  • Weld modelling

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