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Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences

Print version ISSN 0100-7386


BRACARENSE, A. Q. et al. Welding current effect on diffusible hydrogen content in flux cored arc weld metal. J. Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. [online]. 2002, vol.24, n.4, pp.278-285. ISSN 0100-7386.

The application of flux cored arc welding (FCAW) has increased in manufacturing and fabrication. Even though FCAW is well known for its good capability in producing quality welds, few reports have been published on the cause of the relatively high diffusible hydrogen content in the weld metal and its relation with the ingredients used in the wire production and with the welding parameters (mainly welding current). This paper describes experiments where data obtained from weld metal diffusible hydrogen analysis, metal droplet collection, and high-speed recording of metal droplet transfer were used to evaluate the effect of welding current on diffusible hydrogen content in the weld metal. The results from gas chromatography analysis showed that weld metal hydrogen content indeed increased with welding current. A polynomial regressional analysis concluded that hydrogen increase with current was better described by a linear function with proportional constant of approximately 0.7 or 70%. Different from the GMA welding transfer behavior, statistical analysis showed only a small increase in metal droplet size with increasing current. The metal transfer mode remained in the globular range for currents between 100 and 150 A. The most surprising findings were with the high-speed cinematography recording. Observing the high speed movies, it was possible to see that at low current, "unmelted" flux sporadically touched the weld pool but at higher current, the flux remained touching the weld pool during the whole time of droplet formation and transfer. It is believed that since the flux has ingredients that contain hydrogen, hydrogen passes through the arc undisturbed, going to the weld bead intact and increasing the hydrogen content in the weld metal. Another important observation is regarding to droplet size. Droplet size increased with increasing current because forces from decomposed gases from the flux could sustain the droplets, retarding their transfer and allowing them to grow.

Keywords : Flux cored arc welding; hydrogen measurement; droplet collection; high speed recording.

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