Cracking in the welding of cupro-nickel alloys
The problem of variation in weld crack susceptibility caused by small variations in alloy and impurity elements for the 70-30 cupro-nickel alloy has been investigated. Both wrought and cast versions of the alloy have been studied, the main techniques employed being the Varestraint test and weld thermal simulation. In the wrought alloys, cracking has been found to occur mainly in the weld metal, whilst in the cast alloys cracking is extensive in both weld metal and heat affected zone. The previously reported effects of certain impurities (P,S,Si) in increasing cracking have been confirmed, and it has also been shown that Ti and Zr may both have a crack promoting effect at levels commonly found in cupro-nickels, whilst C can interact with several of the other elements investigated to produce a beneficial effect. The testing carried out using the weld thermal simulator has shown that a relationship does exist between hot ductility and weld cracking. In particular, the absence of the peak in ductility in the range 1100°C-900°C on cooling from a temperature near to the solidus is indicative of a highly crack susceptible alloy. Principal practical implications of the investigation concern the relationship of weld metal cracking to alloy composition, especially the level of certain impurities. It would appear that the upper limits permitted by the alloy specifications are unrealistically high. The introduction of lower impurity limits would alleviate the current problems of variability in resistance to cracking during welding.