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IIW Doc. No.

XII-1972-09

Application of Plasma-MIG Hybrid Welding to Dissimilar Joint between Copper and Steel
S.Asai, T.Ogawa, Y.Ishizaki, T.Minemura, H.Minami and S.Miyazaki

ABSTRACT Plasma-MIG hybrid welding was developed several decades ago. This welding method is known to be suitable for Aluminum. But the cases of practical use were not reported so much. The combination of plasma and MIG arc is noticed again as a process of being appealing for heat source and arc phenomenon recently. Therefore, We examine the practical application, while the effectiveness of the plasma MIG hybrid welding is confirmed. This time, the result of examining the applicability to the copper contaminant welding is reported as the part. The plasma MIG hybrid welding torch is the coaxial geometry that the MIG electrode is placed in the center, and that ring electrode in which plasma arc is generated is placed in the circumference. First, the copper weldability was examined in order to confirm the basic characteristic of the plasma MIG hybrid welding. The plasma MIG hybrid welding was very effective for the application to the copper welding in order to contribute to not only plasma preheating of the base material but also stabilization of the MIG arc. Next, it was shown that the copper - carbon steel dissimilar welding was possible by justifying the welding parameter. On the basis of these results, the plasma MIG hybrid welding was applied to the copper-carbon steel contaminant welding of the large structure in the nuclear waste storage, and the result was good. KEYWORDS Plasma-MIG hybrid welding, copper welding, dissimilar joint, nuclear waste storage AUTHOR DETAILS S.Asai, T.Ogawa, Y.Ishizaki, T.Minemura, H.Minami, and S.Miyazaki are with Toshiba Corporation, Power Systems Company, Keihin Product Operations, Yokohama, Japan

1. INTRODUCTION Plasma-MIG hybrid welding was developed several decades ago. This welding method is known to be suitable for Aluminum. But the cases of practical use were not reported so much. The combination of plasma and MIG arc is noticed again as a process of being appealing for heat source and arc phenomenon recently. Therefore, we examine the practical application, while the effectiveness of the plasma MIG hybrid welding is confirmed. Generally, copper welding has some problems of arc stability with high thermal conductivity for the application of MIG welding. Furthermore, The dissimilar welding of the copper to the carbon steel is more difficult by the difference of the thermal conductivity. Plasma-MIG welding has two heat sources of MIG arc and plasma arc, and it is considered that plasma arc effectively acts to the preheat effect and the stability of MIG arc. In this paper, the test result of evaluating the applicability of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding to the dissimilar welding between copper and steel is reported. As a result, Plasma-MIG hybrid welding was applied to the large weld structure with the copper dissimilar weld in actual use. 2. OUTLINE OF PLASMA AND MIG HYBRID WELDING EQUIPMENT The system configuration of the plasma and MIG hybrid welding was shown in Figure1. The sectional view of the torch was shown in Figure2. The plasma-MIG hybrid welding torch is the coaxial geometry that the MIG electrode is placed in the center, and that ring electrode in which plasma arc is generated is placed in the circumference. Shielding gas is passed with 3-fold structure. That is, they are center gas for MIG, plasma gas, and shielding gas. The kinds of gas are argon and helium. The commercial power supply was used for both MIG welding and Plasma welding.

Center gas MIG electrode Plasma electrode Plasma nozzle Gas nozzle Plasma arc MIG arc Plasma gas Shielding gas

Figure1

System Configuration of Plasma MIG Hybrid welding.

Figure2

Configuration of Plasma MIG torch.

3. EVALUATION OF BASIC CHARACTERISTIC IN COPPER WELDING Copper weldability was examined in order to check the basic characteristic of Plasma- MIG hybrid welding. Single plasma welding, single MIG welding and Plasma-MIG hybrid welding were compared with the bead appearance and the penetration shape by the bead on plate welding which used the pure copper of 300mm x 150mmx4mm thickness without preheating. The pure copper wire (an equivalent for JIS YCu) in 1.2mm diameter was used for the welding wire. Helium gas was used for center gas. Argon gas was used for plasma gas and shielding gas. The test result of a bead-on plate welding is shown in Figure3. Single MIG welding has small penetration, insufficient wettability, unstable arc, many spatter, and meander bead. On the other hand, Plasma-MIG hybrid welding which was welded in same deposition rate with single MIG has good wettability, stable arc and sound bead. Single plasma arc alone didn't melt the base metal in the same plasma current as that of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding. The above result showed that Plasma- MIG hybrid welding got better wettability between the deposit metal and base material according to the preheating effect of plasma heating, and an arc stabilizing effect. Figure4 shows the effect of wire feeding speed on bead and penetration shape in Plasma-MIG

hybrid welding under constant plasma current. It is confirmed that the increase of MIG welding current can improve the bead shape and the penetration depth. Next, the relationship between the plasma current and the MIG current under constant wire feeding rate is shown in Figure5. Since a MIG current decreases with the increase in plasma current, it is considered that the heat of the plasma has influenced the fusion of a wire.
Plasma current: 200A Welding speed: 300 mm/min Wire feeding rate: 10 m/min MIG current: 224A MIG voltage : 23.2V

Plasma current:200A

MIG current : 200A MIG voltage : 28.2V Wire feeding rate : 8 m/min

Plasma-MIG
Plasma current: 200A MIG current: 144A Wire feeding rate: 8 m/min

Wire feeding rate: 6 m/min MIG current: 115A MIG voltage : 20.4V

Wire feeding rate: 8 m/min MIG current: 144A MIG voltage : 18.8V

Figure3 Comparison of bead and penetration shape between MIG and Plasma - MIG.

Figure4 Effect of wire feeding rate on bead and penetration shape in Plasma - MIG.

Plasma current: 100A


300

Plasma current: 200A

MIG arc current (A)

250 200 150 100 50 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 current (A)

Figure5

Relationship between plasma current and MIG current.

Thus, Plasma- MIG hybrid welding affects the melting of a MIG wire while plasma heating can utilize as a preheating effect of a base material, and it is presumed to contribute to stabilization of MIG arc, and it is thought that it is very effective in application to copper welding. 4. APPLICATION OF PLASMA - MIG HYBRID WELDING 4.1 Application structure of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding The application of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding to the nuclear waste storage was studied. The weld section structure of this nuclear waste storage is shown in Figure6. As for this structure, many copper plates are arranged between the cylinders made from carbon steel of double structure. The copper plate is joined to the inside cylinder and the outside cylinder in the single-sided fillet weld. Weld-line is 4m in length per place and the diameter of the outside cylinder is about 2200 mm, and the welding at a narrow location (approximately150mm square area) is required. Although it was constructing by TIG automatic welding conventionally, the application of Plasma- MIG welding was considered for improving both the productivity by increasing welding speed and the heat transfer characteristics by increasing the fillet length. The subjects for application of Plasma-MIG hybrid

welding are the optimization of welding parameters for the dissimilar joint between copper and steel, and development of the welding equipment applicable to a narrow part.

Outer casing

Fillet weld Carbon steel Inner cylinder


Figure6

Oxygen free copper

Weld section structure applied by Plasma- MIG hybrid welding .

4.2 Optimization of welding parameters for dissimilar joint between copper and steel The fillet-weld condition was selected in the flat plate specimen which was imitated the actual weld configuration. Base metals are mild steel (20mm in thickness), and oxygen free copper (4mm in thickness). The pure copper wire (an equivalent for JIS YCu) with 1.2mm of diameter was used for the welding wire. Figure7 shows the relationship between the plasma current and a wire feeding speed in copper- steel fillet weld. The torch aim location is offset 5mm from the root part to the copper plate side. The torch height which means the distance between the tip of nozzle and the base metal is 8mm. Thus, some defects of the lack of wetting, a burn through, etc. can be prevented by optimization of plasma current and wire feeding rate. The macro-sectional photograph of these proper welding condition is shown in Figure8. There is a very little penetration by the side of carbon steel. Figure9 shows the microstructure of the boundary part of a copper weld metal and carbon steel. There is a minute fusion layer in a boundary. Moreover, it checked having sufficient joint strength also in a welded joint tensile test.
Burn through by MIG overcurrent.

9800

Luck of wetting by welding overspeed.

Wire (mm/min) feeding speed (mm/min)

9100
Welding speed (mm/min)) (mm/min))

(390)

8400

(360)

Luck of wetting by low plasma heating.

7700

Pr oper condition
Burn through by plasma overheating.

7000

(300)

6300 30
Torch height: 8mm

80

130 Plasma current (A)

180

230
Shielding gas: Ar, 10l. / min Plasma gas: Ar, 15l. / min Center gas: He, 10l. / min

55

Torch aim position: 5mm

Figure7 Relationship between plasma current and wire feed speed in Cu-Steel joint.

Wire feeding speed (mm/min)

Cu weld metal
(Welding speed (mm/min))

8400 (360)

7000 (300)
Steel base metal

130

180
Plasma current (A)

Figure8 Macro-sectional photograph of Cu-steel joint.

Figure9 Microstructure of Cu-steel joint.

The offset amount of a torch aim location and torch height influence the stability of weld greatly. Figure10 shows these relationship, and when applying to actual structures, the position control of the torch is very important.

Plasma position is uncontrollable

Luck of wetting at Cu plate

Pr oper condition

Torch heightB(mm)

Burn through

Contact with workpiece

Plasma current : 130A Wire rate of feed: 8.4m/min MIG current: 25V Welding speed: 360 mm/min

Shielding gas: Ar, 10l. / min Plasma gas: Ar, 15l. / min Center gas: helium, 10l. / min

Torch aim position: A (mm)

55

Figure10 Relationship between torch offset position and torch height.

4.3 Development of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding equipment for practical use The plasma MIG welding equipment in which narrow part and long-distance weld is possible were developed for practical use. A welding equipment appearance is shown in Figure11. The welding torch is curved so that it can insert in a narrow part. The increase in the wire feeding resistance by torch bow is compensated with the wire feeder by using a push-pull system. The torch aim location is checked with the CCD camera installed in front of the torch. Based on this result, actual use was performed to the large size structure of nuclear waste storage with weld-line 4m in length, and the good result was obtained. The situation of weld is shown in Figure12. The bead appearance after welding is shown in Figure13.

Manipulator
Guide roller Welding torch

Wire feed unit Pull motor

CCD camera

Gas nozzle CCD camera


The welding torch for a narrow part

The welding torch for a narrow part


Control console

Welding equipment
Figure11 Appearance of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding equipment for the large structure .

Copper

Plasma-MIG Arc picture

Carbon steel

Figure12 Plasma-MIG hybrid welding in actual use.

Figure13 Appearance of weld bead.

5. CONCLUSIONS This paper describes the application of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding to the dissimilar joint between copper and carbon steel. The main results can be summarized as follows, (1) The applicability to copper weld of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding was examined. As a result, since the excellent wettability was obtained by plasma heating, it was confirmed that the application of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding in copper is effective.
(2) As a result of considering application of Plasma-MIG hybrid welding to the dissimilar welding between copper and carbon steel, it succeeded in optimization of fillet-weld conditions. The occurrence of welding defects can be prevented by optimization of plasma current and wire feed speed. Furthermore, the relation between the offset amount of the torch aim location and the torch height can be effected on the stability of welding.

(3) The Plasma-MIG welding equipment was developed for the practical use in narrow part and long-distance weld. Plasma-MIG welding applied to the large size structure of nuclear waste storage with weld-line 4m in length, and the good result was obtained.