Weldability of materials .. Nickel and nickel alloys

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Weldability of materials .. Nickel and nickel alloys

مُساهمة من طرف Argon في الأحد مارس 30, 2008 6:31 pm

Weldability of materials

Nickel and nickel alloys

Nickel and nickel alloys are chosen because of their:

  • corrosion resistance
  • heat resistance and high temperature properties
  • low temperature properties
Types of nickel alloys are identified and guidance is given on welding processes and techniques which can be used in fabricating nickel alloy components without impairing their corrosion or mechanical properties or introducing defects into the weld.

Material types

The alloys can be grouped according to the principal alloying elements. Although there are National and International designations for the alloys, trade names such as Inconel and Hastelloy are more commonly used.
In terms of their weldability, these alloys can be classified according to the means by which the alloying elements develop the mechanical properties, namely solid solution alloys and precipitation hardened alloys. A distinguishing feature of precipitation hardened alloys is that mechanical properties are developed by heat treatment (solution treatment plus ageing) to produce a fine distribution of particles in a nickel-rich matrix.

Solid solution alloys

Solid solution alloys are pure nickel, Ni-Cu alloys and the simpler Fe-Ni-Cr alloys. These alloys are readily fusion welded, normally in the annealed condition. As the heat affected zone (HAZ) does not harden, heat treatment is not usually required after welding.

Precipitation hardening alloys

Precipitation hardening alloys include Ni-Cu-Al-Ti, Ni-Cr-Al-Ti and Ni-Cr-Fe-Nb-Al-Ti. These alloys may susceptible to post-weld heat treatment cracking.


Most nickel alloys can be fusion welded using gas shielded processes like TIG or MIG. Of the flux processes, MMA is frequently used but the SAW process is restricted to solid solution alloys and is less widely used.
Solid solution alloys are normally welded in the annealed condition and precipitation hardened alloys in the solution treated condition. Preheating is not necessary unless there is a risk of porosity from moisture condensation. It is recommended that material containing residual stresses be solution-treated before welding to relieve the stresses.
Post-weld heat treatment is not usually needed to restore corrosion resistance but thermal treatment may be required for precipitation hardening or stress relieving purposes to avoid stress corrosion cracking.

Filler alloys

Filler composition normally matches the parent metal. However, most fillers contain a small mount of titanium, aluminium and/or niobium to help minimise the risk of porosity and cracking.
Filler metals for gas shielded processes are covered in BS EN 18274:2004 and in the USA by AWS A5.14. Recommended fillers for selected alloys are given in the table.

Table 1: Filler selection for nickel alloysParent AlloyFiller designationsCommentsAlloyBS EN ISO 18274AWS A5.14Trade names
Pure nickel
Nickel 200Ni 2061ERNi-1Nickel 61Matching filler metal normally contains 3%Ti
Nickel Copper
Monel 400Ni 4060ERNiCu-7Monel 60Matching filler metal contains additions of Mn, Ti and Al
Nickel Chromium
Brightray SNi 6076-NC 80/20Ni-Cr and Ni-Cr-Fe filler metals may be used
Nimonic 75Ni 6076-NC 80/20
Alloy 800Ni 6625ERNiCrMo-3Inconel 625
Thermanit 21/33
Usually welded with Ni-Cr-X alloys, but more nearly matching consumables are available which contain higher C and also Nb
Alloy 600Ni 6082ERNiCr-3Inconel 82Matching filler metal contains Nb addition
Alloy 718Ni 7718ERNiFeCr-2Inconel 718Matching filler metal can be used but Inconel 625 is an alternative consumable offering increased crack resistance
Alloy 625Ni 6625ERNiCrMo-3Inconel 625Filler metal is also used widely for cladding and dissimilar welds
Hastelloy C-22Ni 6022ERNiCrMo-10Hastelloy C-22
Hastelloy B-2Ni 1066ERNiMo-7Hastelloy B-2Corrosion resistant alloys require matching fillers
High Temperature Alloys Ni 6002ERNiCrMo-2Hastelloy X,
Mechanical properties required in joints dictate whether matching precipitation hardening fillers or solid solution alloys such as Inconel 625 are used

Imperfections and degradation

Nickel and its alloys are readily welded but it is essential that the surface is cleaned immediately before welding. The normal method of cleaning is to degrease the surface, remove all surface oxide by machining, grinding or scratch brushing and finally degrease.
Common imperfections found on welding are:

  • porosity
  • oxide inclusions and lack of inter-run fusion
  • weld metal solidification cracking
  • microfissuring
Additionally, precautions should be taken against post-welding imperfections such as:

  • post-weld heat treatment cracking
  • stress corrosion cracking


Porosity can be caused by oxygen and nitrogen from air entrainment and surface oxide or by hydrogen from surface contamination. Careful cleaning of component surfaces and using a filler material containing deoxidants (aluminium and titanium) will reduce the risk.
When using argon in TIG and MIG welding, attention must be paid to shielding efficiency of the weld pool including the use of a gas backing system. In TIG welding, argon-hydrogen gas mixtures tend to produce cleaner welds.

Oxide inclusions and lack of inter-run fusion

As the oxide on the surface of nickel alloys has a much higher melting temperature than the base metal, it may remain solid during welding. Oxide trapped in the weld pool will form inclusions. In multi-run welds, oxide or slag on the surface of the weld bead will not be consumed in the subsequent run and may cause lack of fusion imperfections.
Before welding, surface oxide, particularly if it has been formed at a high temperature, must be removed by machining or abrasive grinding; it is not sufficient to wire brush the surface as this serve only to polish the oxide. During multipass welding, surface oxide and slag must be removed between runs.

Weld metal solidification cracking

Factors which control solidification cracking include alloy, welding process and welding conditions. For example, solidification cracking is a factor which limits the application of submerged arc welding, both with respect to applicable alloys and welding conditions. More generally, this type of cracking leads to restriction of weld shape, welding speed and technique.


Similar to austenitic stainless steel, nickel alloys are susceptible to formation of liquation cracks in reheated weld metal regions or parent metal HAZ. This type of cracking is controlled by factors outside the control of the welder such as grain size or impurity content. Some alloys are more sensitive than others. For example, some cast superalloys are difficult to weld without inducing liquation cracks.

Post-weld heat treatment cracking

This is also known as strain-age or reheat cracking. It is likely to occur during post-weld ageing of precipitation hardening alloys but can be minimised by pre-weld heat treatment. Solution annealing is commonly used but overageing gives the most resistant condition. Alloy 718 alloy was specifically developed to be resistant to this type of cracking.

Stress corrosion cracking

Welding does not normally make most nickel alloys susceptible to weld metal or HAZ corrosion. However, when the material will be in contact with caustic soda, fluosilicates or HF acid, stress corrosion cracking is possible.
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تاريخ التسجيل : 07/09/2007

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رد: Weldability of materials .. Nickel and nickel alloys

مُساهمة من طرف ENG_3ALIM في الإثنين مارس 31, 2008 11:45 pm

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تاريخ التسجيل : 08/03/2008

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