, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 596-603

Strengthening materials specifications

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Abstract

Continuing efforts to strengthen materials specifications readily recognize that a mere compliance with a materials specification only assures a material meeting or exceeding the minimum expectations explicitly detailed in the specification. Implicitly, such efforts also recognize that additional and specific client needs must be addressed as supplementary requirements and introduced during material procurement to reduce risks and assure enhanced performance. This article describes two U.S. Navy-related case studies that allowed further strengthening of the materials specification process, using newer methods and renewed understanding. The first case demonstrates the use of a constraints-based modeling approach to specify the chemical composition of high-performance welding electrodes for critical U.S. Navy applications. This approach helps to distinguish high-performance welding electrode chemical compositions from rich and lean welding electrode chemical compositions that might limit the operational envelope, reduce performance, or both, while increasing overall cost of fabrication but otherwise meet electrode specification requirements. The second case identifies that the size of an ingot could be an important factor while specifying the aluminum and sulfur contents of very large-size, heavy-gauge plates. Renewed understanding of melt fluidity issues associated with the solidification of very large-size ingots shows that deficiencies in through-thickness ductility of heavy-gauge plates are related to controlling aluminum and sulfur contents of the voluminous melt, notwithstanding explicit compliance with specification requirements.