Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 45, Issue 16, pp 4390–4400 | Cite as

The influence of salt fog exposure on the fatigue performance of Alclad 6xxx aluminum alloys laser beam welded joints

  • A. T. Kermanidis
  • A. D. ZervakiEmail author
  • G. N. Haidemenopoulos
  • Sp. G. Pantelakis


Laser welding is increasingly used for the fabrication of lightweight and cost-effective integral stiffened panels in modern civil aircraft. As these structures age in service, the issue of the effect of corrosion on their damage tolerance requires attention. In this work, laboratory data on the influence of salt fog corrosion on the fatigue behavior of cladded 6156 T4 aluminum alloy laser welded specimens are presented. The experimental investigation was performed on 6156 T4 laser butt welded sheets. Prior to fatigue testing the welded joints were exposed to laboratory salt fog corrosion exposure for 720 h. The results showed that the clad layer offers sufficient corrosion protection both on base metal and the weld. Fatigue testing was followed by standard metallographic analysis in order to identify fatigue crack initiation sites. Crack initiation is located in all welded samples near the weld reinforcement which induces a significant stress concentration. Localized corrosion attack of the clad layer, in the form of pitting corrosion, creates an additional stress concentration which accelerates crack initiation leading to shorter fatigue life relative to the uncorroded samples. The potency of small corrosion pits to act as stress concentration sites has been assessed analytically. The above results indicate that despite the general corrosion protection offered by the clad layer, the localized attack described above leads to inferior fatigue performance, a fact that should be taken under consideration in the design and maintenance of these structures.


Fatigue Weld Metal Fatigue Crack Initiation Clothe Layer Partially Melt Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work has been supported by EU Wel-Air program under contract AST3-CT-2003-502832. The help of Mrs. Polina Taiganidou with metallography work is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Kermanidis AT, Zervaki AD, Haidemenopoulos GN, Pantelakis SpG (2010) Mater Des 31:42Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zhang Da-Q, Li J, Joo H, Lee K (2009) Corros Sci 51:1399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Petroyiannis PV, Pantelakis SpG, Haidemenopoulos GN (2005) Theor Appl Fract Mech 44:70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Velterop L (18–22 May 2003) Phosphoric sulphuric acid anodising: an alternative for chromic acid anodising in aerospace applications? NLR Report,NLR-TP-2003-210. National Aerospace Laboratory NLR, Structures Technology Department, Aluminum Surface Science and Technology, in Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davis JR (ed) (1993) ASM speciality handbook: aluminum and aluminum alloys. ASM International, OH, USAGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Simulation Based Corrosion Management (SICOM) EU funded Project, FP6 Contract No. 030804, 2007–2010Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Karlashov AV, Tokarev VP, Batov AP (1965) Fiziko-chimicheskaya Mekhanika Materialov 1(6):707Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Genkin JM (1996) PhD thesis, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Duquesnay DL, Underhill PR, Britt HJ (2005) Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 28:381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Merati A (2005) Int J Fatigue 27:33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bray GH et al (1997) In: Van Der Sluys WA, Piascik RS, Zawierucha R (eds) Effects of the environment on the initiation of crack growth ASTM STP 1298. American Society for Testing and Materials, PA, USA, pp 89–103Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chubb JP, Morad TA, Hockenhull BS, Bristow JW (1995) Int J Fatigue 17(1):49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kermanidis AT, Petroyiannis PV, Pantelakis SpG (2005) Theor Appl Fract Mech 43:121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wang QY, Kawagoishi N, Chen Q (2003) Scripta Mater 49:711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jones K, Hoeppner DW (2006) Corros Sci 48:3109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    ASTM E466-82 (1994) Annual book of ASTM standards, metals—test methods and analytical procedures, Section 3, vol 03.01, Metals-mechanical testing; elevated low-temperature tests; metallography. ASTM, PA, USAGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    ASTM Β117-94 (1995) Annual book of ASTM standards, metals—test methods and analytical procedures, section 3, vol 03.02, wear and erosion; metal corrosion. ASTM, PA, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    ASTM G1-90 (2000) Standard practice for preparing, cleaning, and evaluating corrosion test specimens. American Society for Testing and Materials, PA, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zervaki AD, Haidemenopoulos GN (2007) Weld J 86:211Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Masubuchi K (1980) Analysis of welded structures. Pergamon, Elmsford, NYGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brandt U, Lehrke H-P, Sonsino CM, Radaj D (1999) Anwendung des Kergrundkonzeptes für die schwingfeste Bemessung von Schweißverbindungen aus Aluminumknetlegierungen. Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Betriebsfestigkeit (LBF), Darmstadt (Final-Report)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lehrke H-P (1999) Berechnung von formzahlen fuer Schweißverbindungen Konstruktion 51(1/2):47Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ushirokawa O, Nakayama E (1983) Stress concentration factor at welded joints. Ishikawaj ima-Harima Gihou (Technical Report) 23(4) (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cole AG, Brown AFC (1958) J R Aeronaut Soc 62:597Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Petroyiannis PV, Kermanidis AlTh, Kamoutsi E, Pantelakis SpG, Bontozoglou V, Haidemenopoulos GN (2005) Fatigue Fract Eng Mater Struct 28:565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pantelakis SpG, Haidemenopoulos GN (2002) In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference on new challenges in mesomechanics, Aalborg University, DenmarkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. T. Kermanidis
    • 1
  • A. D. Zervaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. N. Haidemenopoulos
    • 1
  • Sp. G. Pantelakis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Technology and Strength of Materials (LTSM), Department of Mechanical Engineering and AeronauticsUniversity of PatrasRion, PatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations