Yb:YAG Disc Laser Welding of Austenitic Stainless Steel Without Filler Material
The laser weldability of austenitic stainless steel (ASS) is good because of the material’s high absorptivity and favourable microstructure. There can be a slight possibility of solidification cracking at high welding speeds and low Crekv/Niekv ratios. Test welds were welded with a Yb:YAG disc laser. The test material was 3.2 mm EN 1.4404 2H C700 type stainless steel plate which was work hardened by cold rolling. The test materials were welded with different heat inputs ranging from 0.024 kJ/mm to 0.12 kJ/mm and with 300 mm and 200 mm focal lengths. The weld seams were square-groove welded as butt weld without filler material. The edges of the groove were made by mechanical or laser cutting. The hardness profiles from cross-sections of the welds were measured with a Vickers microhardness tester using 200 g weight. The mechanical properties were tested with tensile tests. The welds were classified with radiographic verification by an accredited laboratory. A number of the welds were fatigue tested with a bending fatigue tester. The mechanical properties (Rp 0.2%, Rm) of the laser welds were almost the same as in the base material except at the highest heat input. In the radiographic classification, the welds which were welded to the laser-cut edge were classified as class B (accepted). The other welds were classified as class D or C (rejected). The main reasons for the rejection of welds made on mechanically cut edges were lack of penetration or undercut of the weld. A problem with mechanically cut edges, and hence the welds, is that they can be non-square and bent edge. Fatigue tests and tensile tests gave no evidence of solidification cracking in the microstructure of the solidified parts of the welds.
B. Shirvani, R. Clarke, J. Duflou, M. Merklein, F. Micari and J. Griffiths
M. Keskitalo and K. Mäntyjärvi, "Yb:YAG Disc Laser Welding of Austenitic Stainless Steel Without Filler Material", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 410-411, pp. 87-96, 2009