Quantification of cold cracking parameters of high strength steels by physical simulation under welding conditions
Cold cracks in welds are the result of the formation of brittle microstructure as martensite in the presence of diffusible hydrogen as well as of tensile stresses. Cold cracks occur when the combination of cold crack influence parameters (CCIP) overcomes a critical limit. In this study, critical combinations of CCIP were identified with an enhanced test procedure under welding conditions. The test is based on the physical simulation technique of heat affected zone (HAZ) and it is carried out using the test and simulation center Gleeble 3500. Thereby, laboratory special specimens are charged with hydrogen from pure hydrogen atmosphere in the initial stage of the test. Rigidly restraint specimen section is subjected to different weld temperature cycles. Through the thermal exposure, the desired microstructure of HAZ is set in the test zone of the restraint specimen section. A plastic deformation takes place owing to the prevented expansion during heating and contraction o f the specimen during cooling. Consequently, compressive or tensile reactions stresses arise in the deformed zone. Cracked specimen represents a critical combination of the CCIP. The quantitative cold crack criterion separates the cold crack susceptible combinations from those non susceptible.