The Effect of Weld Reinforcement and Post-Welding Cooling Cycles on Fatigue Strength of Butt-Welded Joints under Cyclic Tensile Loading
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This research deals with the fatigue behavior of butt-welded joints, by considering the geometry and post-welding cooling cycles, as a result of cooling in quiet air and immersed in water. ASTM A-36 HR structural steel was used as the base metal for the shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) process with welding electrode E6013. The welding reinforcement was 1 mm and 3 mm, respectively; axial fatigue tests were carried out to determine the life and behavior in cracks propagation of the tested welded joints, mechanical characterization tests of properties in welded joints such as microhardness, Charpy impact test and metallographic analysis were carried out. The latter were used as input for the analysis by finite elements which influence the initiation and propagation of cracks and the evaluation of stress intensity factors (SIF). The latter led to obtaining the crack propagation rate and the geometric factor. The tested specimens were analyzed, by taking photographs of the cracks at its beginning in order to make a count of the marks at the origin of the crack. From the results obtained and the marks count, the fatigue crack growth rate and the influence of the cooling media on the life of the welded joint are validated, according to the experimental results. It can be concluded that the welded joints with a higher weld reinforcement have a shorter fatigue life. This is due to the stress concentration that occurs in the vicinity of the weld toe.