Determination of Grain Growth Kinetics and Assessment of Welding Effect on Properties of S700MC Steel in the HAZ of Welded Joints

The welding of fine-grained steels is a very specific technology because of the requirement for the heat input limit value. Applying temperature cycles results in an intense grain growth in a high-temperature heat-affected zone (HAZ). This has a significant effect on the changing of strength properties and impact values. The intensity of grain coarsening in the HAZ can be predicted based on the experimentally determined activation energy and material constant, both of which define grain growth kinetics. These quantities, together with real measured welding cycles, can be subsequently used during experiments to determine mechanical properties in a high-temperature HAZ. This paper shows a methodical procedure leading to the obtainment of the material quantities mentioned above that define the grain growth, both at fast and slow temperature cycles. These data were used to define the exposure temperature and the soaking time in a vacuum furnace to prepare test samples with grain sizes corresponding to the high-temperature HAZ of welded joints for the testing procedures. Simultaneously, by means of the thermo-mechanical simulator Gleeble 3500, testing samples were prepared which, due to a temperature gradient, created conditions comparable to those in the HAZ. The experiments were both carried out with the possibility of free sample dilatation and under a condition of zero dilation, which happens when the thermal expansion of a material is compensated by plastic deformation. It has been found that shape of the temperature cycle, maximal achieved cycle temperature, cooling rate, and, particularly, the time in which the sample is in the austenite region have significant effects on the resulting change of properties.
grain grow kinetics, high-strength steels, gleeble 3500, welding cycles, mechanical properties, heat affected zone