Effect of Process Variables on the Flash Butt Welding of High Strength Steel

  • Kim, Y. S. (Reliability Assessment Center, RIST) ;
  • M. J. Kang (Advanced Welding & Joining Technology Team, KITECH)
  • Published : 2003.12.01


This study was aimed to evaluate the quality of flash welded joints and optimize the welding process for flash butt welding of 780MPa grade high strength steel. And then the relationship between the welding process variables and the joint quality would be established. The effect of process variables between flashing and upsetting process was elucidated. Microstructure observation of the joint indicated that the decarburized band was mainly changed with upsetting process. Width of HAZ was also related to the upsetting conditions rather than the flashing conditions. Generally maximum hardness at HAZ was correlated with Ceq of steel and the empirical relationship was obtained to estimate the HAZ properties. Tensile elongation at the joint was usually decreased with increasing the initial clamping distance. Investigation of fracture surface after tensile and bending tests reveal that the origin of cracking at the joint was oxide inclusions composed of $SiO_2$, MnO, $Al_2O_3$, and/or FeO. The amount of inclusions was dependent on the composition ratio of Mn/Si in steel. If this ratio was above 4, the amount of inclusions was low and then the resistance to cracking at the joint was enough to maintain the joint performance. It was obtained that the flashing process influenced the conditions for the energy input to establish uniform or non­uniform molten layer, while the upsetting conditions influenced the joint strength. Heat input variable during flashing process was also discussed with the joint properties.