Study on microstructure evolution and mechanical properties of high-strength low-alloy steel welds realized by flash butt welding thermomechanical simulation
International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Defects would occur in the weld joint of the wheel rims during the post-flash butt welding (FBW) process suffering from poor plasticity, which will deteriorate the quality and lifecycle of finish products. Therefore, the FBW process of the 440CL high-strength-low-alloy (HSLA) steel was physically simulated and the influence of flash parameters on FBW joints was systematically evaluated in this study. The results showed that the width of heat affected zone increased with accumulated flash allowance (δf) while declined with accelerated flash speed (vf). The recrystallization level would be intensified with increased δf. Meanwhile, the acceleration in vf populated the WZ with a more homogeneous microstructure, higher recrystallization degree and lower dislocation density. The hardness in WZ slightly reduced (202 → 195 HV) as increased δf but obviously dropped (192 → 177 HV) as increased vf. All tensile samples were fractured at the BM location and the tensile properties of FBW joints exhibit a good match with those of BM, with a slight increase in strength (UTS: 468 ~ 493 MPa; YS: 370 ~ 403 MPa) but a mild decrease in plasticity (EL: 39 ~ 44%; RA: 74 ~ 79%). Furthermore, both the joint strength and ductility showed a downward tendency with the increment of δf. However, the strength slightly decreased while the ductility increased with the advancement of vf. These findings would be valuably referential to the real FBW of HSLA steels with optimized microstructure and mechanical performance.
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