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Fast temperature field generation for welding simulation and reduction of experimental effort

: Pittner, A.; Weiss, D.; Schwenk, C.; Rethmeier, M.

Welding in the world 55 (2011), No.9/10, pp.83-90
ISSN: 0043-2288
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPK ()

The quality of welding processes is governed by the occurring induced distortions yielding an increase in production costs due to necessary reworking. Especially for more complex specimens, it is difficult to evaluate the optimal configuration of welding sequences in order to minimize the distortion. Even experienced welding operators can solve this task only by trial and error which is time and cost consuming. In modern engineering the application of welding simulation is already known to be able to analyse the heat effects of welding virtually. However, the welding process is governed by complex physical interactions. Thus, recent weld thermal models are based on many simplifications. The state of the art is to apply numerical methods in order to solve the transient heat conduction equat ion. Therefore, it is not possible to use the real process parameters as input for the mathematical model. The model parameters which allow calculating a temperature field that is in best agreement with the experiments cannot be defined directly but inversely by multiple simulations runs. In case of numerical simulation software based on finite discretization schemes this approach is very time consuming and requires expert users. The weld thermal model contains an initial weakness which has to be adapted by finding an optimal set of model parameters. This process of calibration is often done against few experiments. The range of model validity is limited. An extension can be obtained by performing a calibration against multiple experiments. The focus of the paper is to show a combined mode lling technique which provides an efficient solution of the inverse heat conduction problem mentioned above. On the one hand the inverse problem is solved by application of fast weld thermal models which are closed form solutions of the heat conduction equation. In addition, a global optimization algorithm allows an automated calibration of the weld thermal model. This technique is able to provide a temperature field automatically that fits the experimental one with high accuracy within minutes on ordinary office computers. This fast paradigm permits confirming the application of welding simulation in an industrial environment as automotive industry. On the other hand, the initial model weakness is compensated by calibrating the model against multiple experiments. The unknown relationship between model and process parameters is approximated by a neural network. The validity of the model is increased successively and enables to decrease experimental effort. For a test case, it is shown that this approach yields accurate temperature fields within very short amount of time for unknown process parameters as input data to the model contributing to the requirement to construct a substitute system of the real welding process.