Towards the establishment of weldability test standards for hydrogen-assisted cold cracking

  • R. Kurji
  • N. ConiglioEmail author


Industry and research have long desired the establishment of standards for weldability testing in regards to hydrogen-assisted cold cracking formation. This would have the obvious advantage of allowing data to be reliably compared between different research labs. But making decisions regarding standards requires some careful thought and agreement on i) how test parameters affect test results, ii) what exactly needs to be measured, and iii) how test results should be interpreted and reported. Our depth of understanding on these points has matured significantly over time and, while there is not always universal agreement, it is at least possible to start highlighting factors important to standards. This paper examines these factors, including the welding parameters, restraint, hydrogen, and cracking index. When comparing different alloys having different thermal characteristics, the use of constant welding parameters (common practice) will result in variable weld penetration and weld pool shape, which can influence grain shape and microstructural features, which can result in inequitable weldability comparisons. Welding on test coupons having different dimensions can affect restraint, which will influence the residual stresses around the weldment. High restraint usually results in higher crack susceptibility. Also, hydrogen content present in a weldment depends on the thermal history, welding parameters, and surrounding atmosphere humidity, with high hydrogen contents associated to great cracking susceptibility. Finally, the selection of an appropriate cracking index is required for data analysis. Quantifications of crack length and minimum preheat temperature are common indexes used for comparison. Critical stress and hydrogen content are other indexes. But how well these indexes actually represent weldability are contentious issues. This paper will examine and quantify these issues in detail, thus providing the reader with an appreciation of all things that must be considered when preparing a standardized procedure for weldability testing.


Weldability tests Restraint Stress Welding parameters Hydrogen-assisted cold cracking 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.MSMP LaboratoryArts et Metiers ParisTechAix en ProvenceFrance

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