On the relationship between the bulge effect and the hot cracking formation during deep penetration laser beam welding
Recent studies have confirmed the widening of the weld pool interface, known as a bulge effect, during deep penetration high power laser beam welding. The link between such geometric particularities of the weld pool shape and the hot cracking phenomena is significant. The present work seeks to extend the level of understanding by investigating their relationship. A coupled multiphysics, multiscale numerical framework is developed, comprising a series of subsequent analyses. The study examines the influences of the bulge on the three most dominant effects causing hot cracking, namely the thermal cycles, the mechanical loading, and the local microstructure. The bulge in the weld pool shape forms approximately in the middle of the plate, thus correlating with the location of hot cracking. It increases the hot cracking susceptibility by enhancing the three dominant effects. The numerical results are backed up by experimental data.