An Integrated Modeling Approach for Predicting Process Maps of Residual Stress and Distortion in a Laser Weld: A Combined CFD–FE Methodology

Richard P Turner, Chinnapat Panwisawas, YOGESH SOVANI, Bama Perumal, Mark Ward, J.W. Brooks, Hector C Basoalto

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    Laser welding has become an important joining methodology within a number of industries for the structural joining of metallic parts. It offers a high power density welding capability which is desirable for deep weld sections, but is equally suited to performing thinner welded joints with sensible amendments to key process variables. However, as with any welding process, the introduction of severe thermal gradients at the weld line will inevitably lead to process-induced residual stress formation and distortions. Finite element (FE) predictions for
    weld simulation have been made within academia and industrial research for a number of years, although given the fluid nature of the molten weld pool, FE methodologies have limited capabilities. An improvement upon this established method would be to incorporate a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model formulation prior to the FE model, to predict the weld pool shape and fluid flow, such that details can be fed in to FE from CFD as a starting condition. The key outputs of residual stress and distortions predicted by the FE model can
    then be monitored against the process variables input to the model. Further, a link between the thermal results and the microstructural properties is of interest. Therefore, an empirical relationship between lamellar spacing and the cooling rate was developed and used to make predictions about the lamellar spacing for welds of different process parameters. Processing parameter combinations that lead to regions of high residual stress formation and high
    distortion have been determined, and the impact of processing parameters upon the predicted lamellar spacing has been presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2954-2962
    Number of pages9
    JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B
    Issue number5
    Early online date11 Jul 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


    • Finite Element Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Modelling
    • Beam
    • Weld Pool


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