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Title: Plasma arc welding fabrication using thin titanium sheet
Author: Xu, Lei
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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This work was motivated by the industrial and academic needs for process development of automated keyhole plasma arc welding (K-PA W) in thin Ti- 6AI-4V sheet and the control required for the process to be suitable for aerospace components. K-PAW, is a high energy density precision welding process which is a lowcost alternative to laser and electron beam welding. It is potentially capable of fabricating high integrity titanium alloy welds in aero-engine thin panel structures. However, the process has always represented a challenge owing to the complexity of welding torch configurations and the associated large number of process parameters to take into consideration. Three types of weld joint, which represent the welding fabrications in a simplified aero-engine casing component, were manufactured in the work: flat bead-on-plate, flat Tjoint and curved T -joint. A new welding procedure was developed to produce thin sheet T-joints by K-PAW, which has overcome the difficulty of operating the structurally complicated welding torch in limited space. An analytical model was experimentally validated and was employed to identify the process parametric envelopes for valid keyhole welding modes from the numerous possible parameter combinations. Weld joints were characterised in tenns of thermal history, micro-hardness and metallurgical microstructure. Distortion and residual stresses are maJor concerns associated with fusion welding fabrication. While distortions can lead to geometrical inaccuracy, paIticularly in the thin panel stl11ctures, residual stresses can combine with applied stresses to reduce the life of components. In this thesis, the out-of-plane l distortions of welded thin Ti-6AI-4V bead-on-plate and T-joint welds were measured using contact and non-contact coordinate-measuring techniques, from which the effects of welding sequence on the distortions can also be identified. Residual stress distributions in the welded sheet were detennined by synchrotron X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques. The use of synchrotron X-ray methods is relatively newly developed as titanium alloys respond weakly to neutron beams. These not only have provided improved understanding of residual stresses in thin sheet welds but also have greatly contributed to validation of finite element (FE) modelling work undertaken by other researchers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available