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Finite element modeling of an alternating current electromagnetic weld pool support in full penetration laser beam welding of thick duplex stainless steel plates
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An electromagnetic weld pool support system for 20 mm thick duplex stainless steel AISI 2205 was investigated numerically and compared to experiments. In our former publications, it was shown how an alternating current(AC)magnetic field below the process zone directed perpendicular to the welding direction can induce vertically directed Lorentz forces. These can counteract the gravitational forces and allow for a suppression of material drop-out for austenitic stainless steels and aluminum alloys. In this investigation, we additionally adopted a steady-state complex magnetic permeability model for the consideration of the magnetic hysteresis behavior due to the ferritic characteristics of the material. The model was calibrated against the Jiles–Atherton model. The material model was also successfully tested against an experimental configuration before welding with a 30 mm diameter cylinder of austenitic stainless steel surrounded by duplex stainless steel. Thereby, the effects of the Curie temperature on the magnetic characteristics in the vicinity of the later welding zone were simulated. The welding process was modeled with a three-dimensional turbulent steady-state model including heat transfer and fluid dynamics as well as the electromagnetic field equations. Main physical effects, the thermo-capillary (Marangoni) convection at the weld pool boundaries, the natural convection due to gravity as well as latent heat of solid–liquid phase transitions at the phase boundaries were accounted for in the model. The feedback of the electromagnetic forces on the weld pool was described in terms of the electromagnetic-induced pressure. The finite element software COMSOL Multiphysics 4.2 was used in this investigation. It is shown that the gravity drop-out associated with the welding of 20 mm thick duplex stainless steel plates due to the hydrostatic pressure can be prevented by the application of ACmagnetic fields between around 70 and 90 mT. The corresponding oscillation frequencies were between 1 and 10 kHz and the electromagnetic AC powers were between 1 and 2.3 kW. In the experiments, values of the electromagnetic AC power between 1.6 and 2.4 kW at oscillation frequencies between 1.2 and 2.5 kHz were found to be optimal to avoid melt sagging or drop-out of melt in single pass full-penetration laser beam welding of 15 and 20 mm thick AISI 2205.
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