Microstructure evolution and nucleation mechanism of Inconel 601H alloy welds by vibration-assisted GTAW

  • Ze-long Wang
  • Zhen-tai ZhengEmail author
  • Li-bing Zhao
  • Yun-feng Lei
  • Kun Yang


Nickel-based alloys exhibit excellent high-temperature strength and oxidation resistance; however, because of coarse grains and severe segregation in their welding joints, these alloys exhibit increased susceptibility to hot cracking. In this paper, to improve the hot-cracking resistance and mechanical properties of nickel-based alloy welded joints, sodium thiosulfate was used to simulate crystallization, enabling the nucleation mechanism under mechanical vibration to be investigated. On the basis of the results, the grain refinement mechanism during the gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) of Inconel 601H alloy under various vibration modes and parameters was investigated. Compared with the GTAW process, the low-frequency mechanical vibration processes resulted in substantial grain refinement effects in the welds; thus, a higher hardness distribution was also achieved under the vibration conditions. In addition, the γ' phase exhibited a dispersed distribution and segregation was improved in the welded joints with vibration assistance. The results demonstrated that the generation of free crystals caused by vibration in the nucleation stage was the main mechanism of grain refinement. Also, fine equiaxed grains and a dispersed γ' phase were found to improve the grain-boundary strength and reduce the segregation, contributing to preventing the initiation of welding hot cracking in nickel-based alloys.


mechanical vibration nickel-based alloy grain refinement microstructure hot cracking 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province, China (No. E2017202011).


  1. [1]
    J.C. Lippold, S.D Kiser, and J.N. Dupont, Welding Metallurgy and Weldability of Nickel-Base Alloys, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2009, p. 100.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Y. Sharir, J. Pelleg, and A. Grill, Effect of arc vibration and current pulses on microstructure and mechanical properties of TIG tantalum welds, Met. Technol., 5(1978), 1, p. 190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    B.B. Wei, Unidirectional dendritic solidification under longitudinal resonant vibration, Acta Metall. Mater., 40(1992), 10, p. 2739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Y. Cui, C.L. Xu, and Q.Y. Han, Microstructure improvement in weld metal using ultrasonic vibrations, Adv. Eng. Mater., 9(2010), 3, p. 161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    S.P. Tewari and A. Shanker, Effects of longitudinal vibration on tensile properties of weldments, Weld. J., 73(1994), 11, p. 272.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    A.S.M.Y. Munsi, A.J. Waddell, and C.A. Walker, Modification of welding stresses by flexural vibration during welding, Sci. Technol. Weld. Joining, 6(2001), 3, p. 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    T. Watanabe, M. Shiroki, A. Yanagisawa, and T. Sasaki, Improvement of mechanical properties of ferritic stainless steel weld metal by ultrasonic vibration, J. Mater. Process. Technol., 210(2010), 12, p. 1646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    C.W. Kuo, C.M. Lin, G.H. Lai, Y.C. Chen, Y.T. Chang, and W.T. Wu, Characterization and mechanism of 304 stainless steel vibration welding, Mater. Trans., 48(2007), 9, p. 2319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    B.P. Pearce and H.W. Kerr, Grain refinement in magnetically stirred GTA welds of aluminum alloys, Metall. Mater. Trans, B, 12(1981), 3, p. 479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    X.B. Liu, F.B. Qiao, L.J. Guo, and X.E. Qiu, Metallographic structure, mechanical properties, and process parameter optimization of 5A06 joints formed by ultrasonic-assisted refill friction stir spot welding, Int. J. Miner. Metall. Mater., 24(2017), 2, p. 164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    L. Shi, C.S. Wu, and X.C. Liu, Modeling the effects of ultrasonic vibration on friction stir welding, J. Mater. Process. Technol., 222(2015), p. 91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    W.L. Dai, Effects of high-intensity ultrasonic-wave emission on the weldability of aluminum alloy 7075-T6, Mater. Lett., 57(2000), No. 16–17, p. 2447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    X.C. Liu and C.S. Wu, Material flow in ultrasonic vibration enhanced friction stir welding, J. Mater. Process. Technol., 225(2015), p. 32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    X.C. Liu and C.S. Wu, Elimination of tunnel defect in ultrasonic vibration enhanced friction stir welding, Mater. Des., 90(2016), p. 350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    S. Kou and Y. Le, Improving weld quality by low frequency arc oscillation, Weld. J., 1985, p. 51.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    W.T. Wu, Influence of vibration frequency on solidification of weldments, Scripta Mater., 42(2000), 7, p. 661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    T. Yuan, Z. Luo, and S. Kou, Grain refining of magnesium welds by arc oscillation, Acta Mater., 116(2016), p. 166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    R.H. Mathiesen, L. Arnberg, P. Bleuet, and A. Somogyi, Crystal fragmentation and columnar-to-equiaxed transitions in Al−Cu studied by synchrotron X-Ray video microscopy, Metall. Mater. Trans, A, 37(2006), 8, p. 2515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    D. Ruvalcaba, R.H. Mathiesen, D.G. Eskin, L. Arnberg, and L. Katgerman, In situ observations of dendritic fragmentation due to local solute-enrichment during directional solidification of an aluminum alloy, Acta Mater., 55(2007), 13, p. 4287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    A. Hellawell, S. Liu, and S.Z. Lu, Dendrite fragmentation and the effects of fluid flow in castings, JOM, 49(1997), 3, p. 18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    T. Yuan, Z. Luo, and S. Kou, Mechanism of grain refining in AZ91 Mg welds by arc oscillation, Sci. Technol. Weld. Joining, 22(2017), 2, p. 97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    J.R. Welty, C.E. Wicks, R.E. Wilson, and G.L. Rorrer, Fundamentals of Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer, 5th Ed., John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2007, p. 144.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    L.X. Zhuang, X.Y. Yin, and H.Y. Ma, Fluid Mechanics, University of Science and Technology of China Press, HeFei, 1991, p. 321.Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    H. Schlichting and K. Gersten, Boundary-Layer Theory, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1979, p. 24.Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    J. Campbell, Effects of vibration during solidification, Int. Metall. Rev., 26(1981), 1, p. 71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    S. Kou, Welding Metallurgy, 2nd Ed., John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2003, p. 170.Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    S.S. Ao, Zhen Luo, P. Shan, and W.D. Liu, Microstructure of inconel 601 nickel-based superalloy laser welded joint, Chin. J. Nonferrous Met., 25(2015), 8, p. 2099.Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    A.R.P. Singh, S. Nag, J.Y. Hwang, G.B. Viswanathan, J. Tiley, R. Srinivasan, H.L. Fraser, and R. Banerjee, Influence of cooling rate on the development of multiple generations of γ′ precipitates in a commercial nickel base superalloy, Mater. Charact., 62(2011), 9, p. 878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. [29]
    O.A. Ojo and M.C. Chaturvedi, On the role of liquated γ′ precipitates in weld heat affected zone microfissuring of a nickel-based superalloy, Mater. Sci. Eng, A, 403(2005), No. 1–2, p. 77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© University of Science and Technology Beijing and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ze-long Wang
    • 1
  • Zhen-tai Zheng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Li-bing Zhao
    • 1
  • Yun-feng Lei
    • 1
  • Kun Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringHebei University of TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.Beiyang Chemical Equipment of Tianjin University Co., Ltd.TianjinChina

Personalised recommendations