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Efficient Finite Element Modelling

and Simulation of Welding


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Division of Computer Aided Design

1999:20 • ISSN: 1402 - 1544 • ISRN: LTU - D T - - 99/20 - - SE

Efficient Finite Element Modelling
and Simulation of Welding

Henrik Runnemalm

Akademisk avhandling som med v e d e r b ö r l i g t tillstånd f r å n Tekniska

F a k u l t e t s n ä m n d e n v i d L u l e å tekniska universitet f ö r a v l ä g g a n d e av teknisk
doktorsexamen kommer att offentligt f ö r s v a r a s i L u l e å tekniska universitets sal
D770, D-huset, fredagen den 1 oktober, 1999, k l 09.00.

Doctoral Thesis 1999:20

ISSN: 1402 - 1544
ISRN: L T U - DT - - 99/20 - - SE
Efficientfiniteelement modelling and
simulation of welding

Henrik Runnemalm

Division of Computer Aided Design

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Luleå University of Technology
971 87 Luleå, Sweden
The work included in this thesis has been performed at the Division of Computer Aided Design
at Luleå University of Technology.
I started my research studies in 1994 knowing very little of what was expected from me. Since
then a number of persons have been involved in my research studies and no one is forgotten
although just a few are mentioned here.
I ' m most grateful to my supervisor, professor Lars Erik Lindgren who always has shown
enthusiasm over new challenges that have been found during my thesis work. Thank you Lars-
I ' m also grateful to professor Lennart Karlsson who initiated the project. He has also worked as
a co-supervisor during my thesis work. Thank you Lennart!

I have spent six month of my research studies at Carleton University, Canada, at two separate,
three month periods during 1996 and 1997. These months have been very inspiring to me and the
opportunity to work in a different research environment is something I wish everyone would
have the chance of. A visit to a new research group can't be successful without a host, full of
entusiasm. Professor Moyra McDill is such a persons. Thank you Morya for giving me this
opportunity! During this periods I also got the privilege to work together with Dr. Alan Oddy.
Many valuable discussions were giving me strength to continue our struggle to find a new
element formulation. Thank you Alan!

The papers included in this thesis have been prepared together with many skilled persons. I'm
happy to have had the oportunity to work together with them all, they are: Professor Lars Erik
Lindgren, Dr. Mats Näsström, Dr. Conny Lampa, Dr. Ru Lin, Professor Moyra McDill, Dr. Alan
Oddy, Seokjeong Hyun and Dr. Ola Isaksson

The financial support for the work included in this thesis have been provided by The Swedish
Research Council for Engineering Sciences and Luleå University of Technology. M y visit to
Carleton University was partly founded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering
Sciences, IVA, through the "Hans Werthén - fonden". All are grately acknowledge.

The working conditions and environment at the Division of Computer Aided Design have been
the best I could ever ask for. Thank you every one for an enjoyable time.

My wife, Anna and daughter, Julia have always supported me in my struggle to complete this
thesis. You are the best I have, thank you for always being there for me.

Luleå in August 1999

Henrik Runnemalm
Increased competition between manufacturing companies is making the product development
process become more and more efficient. The use of numerical tools in the prediction of the
functionality of a component is well established. However, the simulation of manufacturing
processes is not seen very often. There are several possible reasons for this observation, two of
which are more likely. First, the use of the Finite Element Method (FEM) is by tradition more
frequently seen in design, in comparison with manufacturing. Secondly, modelling and
simulation of the manufacturing process are regarded as more complicated tasks, since a design
analysis of manufacturing is often a subtask of the actual manufacturing analysis.
This thesis presents the development of methods, methodologies and tools for efficient finite
element modelling and simulation of welding. Four different areas are considered, which all
contribute to improving the usability of FEM. These four areas are the mixing of solid and shell
elements, the adaptive control of mesh generation, material addition in multipass welding and
methodology for computation assessments.
A novel 8- to 16-noded solid shell element has been developed. It uses only displacement
degrees of freedom and can thus be easily connected with a regular brick element. The element
has proved to perform well in standard tests for shells, as well as in geometrical and material non-
linear problems.
To minimise the number of elements in an analysis and at the same time use the available
elements in an optimal way, an error-based adaptive remeshing scheme has been developed. It is
found that the combination of the two error measures, based on the heat flux and the effective
stress, predicts an accurate mesh for a plate and a pipe welding case.
To improve the efficiency of material addition in multipass welding, two different strategies
were compared. These two strategies, named the quiet and the inactive element techniques, were
used in a welding simulation of a very thick plate. The results showed that the inactive element
strategy was preferable in terms of numerical efficiency.
A generic process methodology is used to identify and develop critical activities in the
modelling and simulation of welding. The methodology is used to compare the simulation results
of elementary case studies with the results of more refined analysis. The elementary case studies
are suggested for supporting decision-making in the early design phase of product development.

Finite element method, welding, remeshing, error measure, shell element, multipass welding
This thesis comprises a survey and the following papers.

Paper A
Runnemalm H., Lindgren L.-E., Näsström M.O. and Lampa C , "Accuracy in thermal analysis of
laser welding", in Proc. of Computer Methods and Experimental Measurements V I I , eds. G.M.
Carlamagnoo and C A . Brebbia, Computational mechanics publications, Southampton, 1995, pp.

Paper B
Runnemalm H. and Lin R., "Investigation of residual stresses in a laser welded pipe by finite
element simulations and neutron diffraction measurements", in the fifth international conference
on residual stresses, ICRS-5, Linköping, Sweden, 1997, pp. 183-188

Paper C
McDill J.M.J, Runnemalm K.H. and Oddy A.S., " A n 8- to 16-node solid graded shell element
for far-field applications in 3-D thermal-mechanical FEA", Presented at the 12th International
Conference on Mathematical and Computer Modelling and Scientific Computing, Chicago, 2-4
August, 1999 and sent for publication in Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Scientific

Paper D
Runnemalm H. and Hyun S., "Three dimensional welding analysis using an adaptive mesh
scheme", accepted for publication in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering

Paper E
Lindgren L.-E., Runnemalm H. and Näsström M.O., "Simulation of multipass welding of a thick
plate", International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol. 44, 1999, pp. 1301-

Paper F
Isaksson O. and Runnemalm H., "Computationally supported assessment of welding
distortions", Submitted for publication.
1. I N T R O D U C T I O N 1
2. P R O D U C T D E V E L O P M E N T 2
2.1 Design for manufacturing (Digital Prototyping) 2
3. M O D E L L I N G O F W E L D I N G 4
3.1 Material aspects 6
3.2 Geometry aspects 8
3.3 Aspects of load and boundary conditions 8
3.4 Numerical aspects 9
4.1 Mixing solid and shell elements 11
4.2 Adaptive control of mesh generation 11
4.3 Material addition in multipass welding 13
4.4 Methodology for computation assessments 14
5. S U M M A R Y O F PAPERS 15

References 19

Appended papers
Paper A: Runnemalm H., Lindgren L.-E., Näsström M.O. and Lampa C , "Accuracy
in thermal analysis of laser welding"
Paper B: Runnemalm H. and Lin R., "Investigation of residual stresses in a laser
welded pipe by finite element simulations and neutron diffraction
Paper C: McDill J.M.J, Runnemalm K.H. and Oddy A.S., "An 8- to 16-node solid
graded shell element for far-field applications in 3-D thermal-mechanical
Paper D: Runnemalm H . and Hyun S.,"Three dimensional welding analysis using an
adaptive mesh scheme"
Paper E: Lindgren L.-E., Runnemalm H. and Näsström M.O., "Simulation of
multipass welding of a thick plate"
Paper F: Isaksson O. and Runnemalm H., "Computationally supported assessment
of welding distortions"
H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

In the beginning of history all fabrications were produced by "trial and error". People working in
a specific area became skilled and learned to control their manufacturing processes by doing. In
some civilisations this knowledge became a ritual and the practice of such knowledge became a
high status job, sometimes even believed to be conducted by gods. The Bible assigns
manufacturing technology to Tubal-Kain, son of Lemmek [1]. In Greek mythology the god of
steel manufacturing is Hefaistos and in Roman mythology this corresponds to Vulcanus [2].
During the development of human civilisation more and more sophisticated methods have
been used to enrich the knowledge of how to manufacture a certain component, when to
manufacture it, and which materials should be used in the manufacture. Today the measures of
successfully manufactured components are cost, lead time, quality and customer satisfaction.
Still the questions of "how to", "when to" and "which materials" have to be answered.
During the second half of the 20th century a change in manufacturing technology has
evolved. The introduction of numerically controlled machines has made it possible to
manufacture components at greater speed, with higher precision, and with a minimum of human
interaction. A major drawback of numerically controlled manufacturing is the loss of skilled
people. Today a machine operator is more familiar with the operation of the machine than the
actual process performed by the machine. To compensate for this information drain and
eventually increase the process understanding, computers are introduced in the area of simulating
manufacturing processes. To perform the task of simulating a manufacturing process, tools and
methods are developed and implemented in software. One frequently used method is the Finite
Element Method (FEM) [3-6], which has been used since the beginning of the 70's in the analysis
of thermo-mechanical manufacturing processes such as welding [7-9].
Efficiency in numerical simulation mainly concerns the wall clock time spent by a computer to
finish the simulation task. However, the modelling of manufacturing is in many cases the most
time-consuming part of an analysis, and includes problem identification, geometry
simplification, discretization and material characterisation. The three terms, efficiency,
modelling and simulation will have the following meaning in this thesis.

Efficiency: The capacity of producing a satisfactory result without wasting time.

Modelling: The breakdown, simplification and preparation of the present problem.
Simulation: The actual computation using all the rules implemented into software codes.

The contents of this thesis can be divided into four parts. The first part will present the
modelling and simulation of manufacturing, which plays an important role within what is called
product development. Secondly an introduction to the modelling of welding is given. A number
of different aspects of the modelling and simulation of welding are outlined and reflections on
work performed in the research community are presented. Thirdly there is a chapter treating
techniques for improving the modelling and simulation capability of the finite element method
in welding applications. This chapter presents the original contributions delivered in this thesis.
In the chapter entitled "Summary of papers", the connection between the included papers is
given. The original contribution of each separate paper to efficiency in the modelling and
simulation of welding is also summarised. Finally a discussion on and conclusions drawn from
the presented work are given and suggestions for future work in the area of modelling and
simulation of welding are outlined.

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

Product development is an interdisciplinary activity requiring contributions from nearly all
functions of a company. The core of the product development process is mainly built on
contributions from marketing, design and manufacturing. To ensure efficient product
development it is essential to guarantee good co-ordination and communication between these
functions. No peak performance of any single group will in general enhance the team itself. The
main tasks characterising successful product development are according to Ulrich and Eppinger

Table 1: Characteristics of successful product development

Task Driving force

Product quality Possibility of increasing market share

Possible price setting

Product cost Possibility of increasing accrued profit

Development time Faster response to customers' needs.

Economic response time for new products

Development cost Possibility of increasing accrued profit

Development capability Faster response in future development projects

High performance within these five tasks should ultimately lead to economic success.
Realising this high performance requires, in addition to good communication and co-ordination
between the groups, a high degree of overlapping between the activities carried out in each
separate group. Hence, the development should be carried out in parallel rather than sequentially.
Other important features of a product development team are, for example, empowerment by team
managers, allegiance to the project and adequate resources (staff, knowledge, money and tools).

2.1. Design for manufacturing (Digital Prototyping)

As indicated above, the development of new products requires intensive communication between
the participants of a product development team. The information communicated within the team
will contain different kinds of information. However, only information regarding aspects of the
product response to design and manufacturing changes will be considered in the following.
Traditionally Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been used among design engineers for
verification of the functionality of products. In many areas (e.g. the space, aero and nuclear
industries) it is more a rule than an exception that FEA is used to validate a product. Among
manufacturing engineers, tools like robot path programming [11] and material flow control in a
factory [12] are used. One major restriction is that the available tools used today in both these
fields primarily support the activity within each group separately. In order to support and increase
communication between the members of a product development team, tools have to be developed
which could give answers to questions that connect the different functions in a company. Some
questions that relate to welding manufacturing could be:

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

• What are the residual deformations and stresses after manufacturing?

• What is the strength of the material after manufacturing?
• Is it possible to manufacture a product using this material?
• I f we change the manufacturing method, will this affect the functionality of the

Figure 1 shows an overview of some of the activities that will be performed during the
product development cycle. The design engineers will use different tools, specialised to improve
the product and its functionality as much as possible. The manufacturing engineers will,
correspondingly, use tools specialised to improve the manufacturing sequence and flow of
material in the factory to increase the revenue from the manufactured product. However, the
development of tools dedicated to supporting the evaluation of manufacturing effects has been
Tools for functional evaluation

Concept Preliminary Detailed

design design design

Tools for evaluation of manufacturing effects

Inventory of
Preliminary Detailed
Known methods preparation preparation

Tools for planning of manufacturing

Figure 1. Tools in product development

There exists a need for efficient design methods [13] in the different stages of the product
development process. To make these methods efficient, clearly there is a need for fast responses
from manufacturing. For instance, personnel engaged in concept design will in many cases be
satisfied with an answer of "yes" or "no" to a question to be answered by the manufacturing
people. While during detailed design, on the other hand, all possible data, such as residual
stresses generated by manufacturing the component will be usfull. This means that
manufacturing also has a need for methods and tools to be able to deliver fast answers, as well as
answers containing more details. The possible gain in succeeding with an efficient product
development process is obvious when considering that the early stage of designing a component
is estimated to commit about 80% of the future cost of any project or product [14].
To develop efficient tools, supporting the evaluation of manufacturing effects, a number of
research questions need to be answered. The topics range from design and manufacturing
methodology to the constitutive relations of materials and numerical algorithms for solution of
equation systems. Although it is a tremendous task to perform all this research , new
developments are continously beeing reported.

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

3. M O D E L L I N G O F W E L D I N G
Computational Welding Mechanics (CWM) has been a research issue since the early 70's. Many
research papers have been presented and a review of this field would be very long. However,
some valuable texts exist that describe major achievements in C W M , [15-17]
The modelling and simulation of welding using FEM are far more often considered to provide
a tool to investigate effects that will change the structural behaviour of the welded component,
in comparison with investigations made to support the manufacturing planning. Radaj [18]
distinguishes between the assessment of deformations and stresses, as "residual stresses are
primarily of interest as a base for assessing strength, whereas welding distortions, by contrast,
are primarily considered as phenomena in planning manufacturing activities".
The reason for focusing on design-related problems rather than on manufacturing-related
problems is twofold. First, design engineers are by tradition more familiar with FEM as a tool to
simulate non-linear processes. Secondly, it is in many cases easier to perform analysis supporting
design. This claim is supported by the fact that all simulations performed to support
manufacturing in detail using FEM will, as a sub-set, deliver the same type of results as produced
by a design-related analysis. The following example may clarify this:

Consider the joining of two plates of different thickness which will be the
initial plate before being formed to a car door. The design engineer is
interested in the residual stresses generated during welding as well as
during forming. These will be accounted for in a subsequent crash analysis,
as well as in an acoustical response analysis of the door. The normal
procedure would be to simulate the welding by applying the heat input
along the weld path and accounting for the material response. The
boundary condition of the model would be as close as possible to the one
used when manufacturing the part.
Now, when the manufacturing engineer sets up the manufacturing
process for the "tailored blank", he would, for instance, like to know what
type of welding fixturing is needed to successfully keep the gap between the
two plates as small as possible. This question on its own would require
calculating the actual joining of the material. If this analysis is successful,
residual deformations and stresses can be extracted and included in a
subsequent functional analysis.

Modelling all the details of the physics of welding would be a tremendous task. In all analysis
performed so far a high degree of simplification is introduced, both regarding the physics of each
separate field and in coupling the different fields. Figure 2 together with Table 2 describes the
coupling between the different fields in the modelling of welding. In this thesis the efficient
simulation of global deformations and stresses is of primary interest.
There is at least one publication which shows the results of a simulation where all four
different fields are connected [19]. However, a number of simplifications are normally
introduced when performing deformation and stress analysis. The modelling of the fluid flow is
excluded, as the effect of the fluid flow on the global deformation and stress field can be
considered as negligible. However, i f geometrical changes close to the weld are of primary
interest, modelling the fluid flow will be essential.

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

Figure 2. Fields in welding analysis

Table 2: Coupling between different fields in welding analysis

Coupling Explanation

1 Deformations generate heat in the material

2 Temperature changes drive the mechanical deformations

3 Temperature changes material characteristics

4 Phase changes release latent heat

5 Phase changes generate plastic strain

6 Stress state affect phase change dynamics

7 Temperature drives the fluid velocity

8 Fluid-flow alters the heat transfer process

9 Deformations change flow patterns

10 Pressure in fluid generates deformation

11 Flow patterns change material behaviour

12 Material changes alter the flow pattern

To be able to exclude some of the couplings between the different fields shown above, the
modelling of welding needs to incorporate different aspects. Below this will be divided into
material aspects, geometry aspects, aspects of load and boundary conditions and numerical
aspects. The more detailed the consideration given to each separate aspect is, the more likely one
is to achieve a successful analysis. However, "a chain always breaks at its weakest link", i.e. there
is almost never any point in modelling one phenomenon much better than any other. As always,
it is important to have a clear objective for the analysis, specifying what type of question it should

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

3.1. Material aspects

The properties of many materials are dependent on the thermal history as well as the deformation
history. These effects have been introduced in welding analysis by giving appropriate material
data as input to the mechanical and thermal modelling. For instance, the latent heats released
during phase changes can be included in the curve describing the specific heat [20] (see Figure
3a). In addition to being temperature-dependent, the thermal conductivity (see Figure 3b) usually
includes a rapid increase in the conductivity at the melting temperature. This is a common way
to model the stirrer effect in the molten pool when the simulation of fluid flow is excluded [20].
One important material parameter in the modelling of welding is the thermal dilatation, which
includes both thermal expansion and volume changes related to phase transformations. This is
the parameter that couples the mechanical and thermal models. The dilatation curve (see Figure
3c) can be very different depending on what type of material is being analysed. A material that
is not forming martensit, will in principal follow curve 1-2-3-4 during heating and 4-3-2-1 during
cooling. However, if martensite is formed, the cooling dilatation curve will be curve 4-3-5-1. The
possible different paths available between point 3 and 5 are dependent on the peak temperature
of a material point. A higher peak temperature will move the path towards point 5. The cooling
rate of the material will also change the dilatation behaviour. This is normally measured by the
time spent between 800°C and 500°C, i.e. A T . A short time means faster cooling and that the

amount of martensite formed is higher than that for a longer time. Welding simulation that uses
this type of dilatation curve has been presented in Ref. [20-21]

AT 22»c.

1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 400 600 800 1000 1200
Temperature [°C] Temperature [°C] Temperature [°C]

Figure 3. Specific heat [Paper A], Heat conductivity [Paper B], Thermal dilatation [21]

Young's modulus (Figure 4) has similar values at room temperature for a large range of steel
materials. The value at room temperature is roughly between 200 and 220 GPa. Low alloyed steel
will respond with a relatively sharp softening at transformation temperature A c l (i.e. from ferrite
to austenite) [18]. Poisson's ratio (Figure 4) is in the range of 0.25 to 0.35 for most steels. In many
simulations performed, the value of Poisson's ratio has been raised sharply to 0.5 at the melting
temperature [20, 22]. However, Oddy et al. [23] argue that this is not physically correct, since
there is no support for the consequence that the bulk modulus becomes infinite in the solid.
The large uncertainties concerning material properties at high temperature are a problem
when modelling welding. However, the use of "cut-off temperatures as a way to improve the
convergence of the numerical solution will also simplify the material description at elevated
temperature. The "cut-off" temperature could be a single temperature at which all mechanical
material data evaluation is performed i f the computed temperature in a point exceeds the
specified temperature. Separate "cut-off" temperatures can also be defined in order to deal with
specific problems in the numerical solution (see numerical aspects). Values of the cut-off
temperature between 700°C [8] up to the melting temperature exist in the literature, but a value

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

of 900°C - 1100°C is recommended [23].

200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Temperature ("Q

Figure 4. Young's modulus and Poisson 's ratio (Paper E)

400 \ Tangent modulus

\ . . . .
Yield strength
350 , \ 3.5
, \
\ \
• 300' \ \ 3
250 \ N
\\ N \
' 200 \\ S\ 2
\ \
150 \\ X
100 \ 1
V \
50 0.5
\ .
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
Temperature (°C)

Figure 5. Yield strength and tangent hardening modulus (Paper E)

Material that has been subjected to phase transformations has been modelled by including the
volume change of the material in the thermal dilatation curve and the yield strength hysteresis in
the yield strength curve [24]. However, poor results in the HAZ and FZ were reported for this
type of analysis. The author points out that neglecting transformation plasticity could be one
reason for the discrepancy between numerical and experimental results.
Josefson et al. [25-26] and Oddy et al. [27-28] have shown the importance of transformation
plasticity as a phenomenon in welding analysis. In Ref. [27] it is shown that neglecting
transformation plasticity can lead to the erroneous appearance of compressive longitudinal
stresses in the H A Z and FZ.
The transformation plasticity is normally introduced by adding an extra term to the strain
decomposition. The relation by Leblond is recommended for modelling the strain generated by
transformation plasticity [29]. Even i f most material behaviour can be modelled by the proper
input of material data, it should be pointed out that including microstructure modelling would
increase the flexibility of the simulation tool. Algorithms for modelling microstructural
development were implemented in Ref. [30-31]. To make this type of prediction useful it is
necessary to find some relation that can represent mechanical and thermal material data as a
function of the current phase content in the material. The normal approach is to apply a linear
rule of mixture [32-33].

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

3.2. Geometry aspects

Analysing welding residual stresses and welding distortions in a general form may be difficult
and time-consuming. Therefore, simplifications are not only made regarding different physical
phenomena (see above) but also the dimension in which the analysis takes place.
A l l simplifications of the geometry close to the weld must be performed with great care, and
the loss of useful information has to be compared with the possibility of performing a successful
analysis. The most common reason for geometrical simplifications is the lack of computer
resources. Selection between one-, two- or three-dimensional analysis must therefore be
considered for every new analysis.
A one-dimensional rod element describes the global response of welding poorly. However, it
can to some extent be used to clarify questions about the influences of different parameters. Tall
[34] was probably the first to make numerical predictions of the residual stresses created by
welding. The model consisted of a one-dimensional rod element and a 2D thermal model.
Two-dimensional models of plates and axi-symmetrical objects have been used to analyse
both deformations [35-38] and residual stresses [39-40]. A cross-section of the welded material
is discretized, and plane strain, generalised plane strain or plane deformation is used to simulate
the welding of thick plates. The assumption made is that a plane cross-section will remain plane.
The weld is assumed to travel across the plate at infinite speed. This approach gives no
opportunity to analyse the start and stop effects of welding.
To analyse the so-called seam welding of plates, a plane stress assumption is made. Different
results for this type of analysis can be found in the literature. For instance, Lindgren et al. [41]
analyse the gap opening between two plates and Brown et al. [42] analyse the residual stress field
of two joined plates.
The first three-dimensional analysis of large welds including both thermal and mechanical
solution was performed by Lindgren and Karlsson [24]. Their analysis was performed using a
shell element. This 3D shell analysis was followed by a 3D analysis by Karlsson and Josefson
[43] of the same problem using a solid brick element. Full 3D models have the capability to
include the true 3D effect of welding and thus the capability to produce more detailed
information about the material response.
One possibility of performing 3D analysis in a cost-efficient way is to use a so-called moving
frame or Eulerian formulation. This formulation is implemented in a number of commercial
codes, e.g. SYSWELD. Using this strategy made it possible to permit the analysis of perturbation
effects on 3D resultant residual stress fields [44]. The drawback is that no start and stop effects
can be analysed using this method. Goldak [45] has presented work where a Lagrangian start and
stop procedure was combined with a Eulerian formulation for the rest of the analysis. Goldak
indicates a tremendous increase in computational speed by using this method. However, the
restrictions of this method make it less useful in a general context.
Recently a large 3D welding simulation of a pipe was presented by Dike et al. [46]. They used
17760 nodes and 12960 elements to discretize a pipe with an outer diameter of 38 mm, a wall
thickness of 2.3 mm, and a total length of 203 mm. This is, to the authors knowledge, the largest
weld simulations performed so far.

3.3. Aspects of load and boundary conditions

One crucial part of the modelling of welding is to successfully model the thermal load or heat
input to the material. Different levels of sophistication in methods for describing the heat input

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

are available in the literature and only some of them are outlined below.
The first and perhaps most crude alternative is to prescribe the temperature or heat flux in a
predefined area or volume corresponding to the fusion zone (FZ). This method requires rigorous
correlation with experimental data to justify the resulting thermal field. This is the approach used
in all papers presented in this thesis. A more sophisticated method, the double ellipsoid, is
presented by Goldak et al. [47]. In this model, the volume of the heat input is specified by the
distribution of heat to all material points according to a double elliptic function.
Even more detailed modelling of the FZ and HAZ has been presented by Sudnik [48-49]. He
includes the radiation and reflections of a laser beam inside the generated "key hole". The
resulting calculated shape of the H A Z is very similar to the measured shape. Using this method
will increase the possibility to predict an accurate thermal field in novel welding situations.
The boundary conditions involved in the simulation of welding are of course both thermal and
mechanical. In the thermal part of the solution, free convection and radiation from the material
is normally included. However, in many situations fixturing of the part, especially close to the
weld zone, will affect the thermal response. Wikander [40] included the fixturing in the thermal
analysis by assuming a high heat transfer coefficient of 300 W/m °C. This can be compared with
12 W/m °C between the part and air.
Mechanical boundary conditions are essential for accurate prediction of both deformations
and stresses. Work has been presented where changes to the mechanical boundary conditions
have been made and significantly different responses of the material have been found [37]. The
residual stresses for two identical weld situations are presented in Figure 6. The first, case (a),
has rigid fixturing at x=-6.0mm and the second, case (b), has a fixed point in x=-6.0mm and y=-
4.0mm and a restraint in y movement of point x=6.0mm and y=-4.0mm.

Figure 6. Welding of nozzle tubes with different fixturing (results extracted from
simulations in paper F)

3.4. Numerical aspects

Performing a welding analysis with at least the mechanical and the thermal fields included
requires some kind of coupling between those two fields. There are three different ways in which
this type of coupling can be performed. The first alternative is the fully decoupled approach,
where the thermal solution is performed prior to the mechanical solution. This is acceptable if the
mechanical boundary condition does not affect the thermal response of the structure. This
alternative has been used in Ref. [50], for example. The second alternative is a so-called

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

staggered approach. In this approach the geometry of the thermal solution lags one step behind
the mechanical solution. Since the time steps during a welding simulation often are relatively
small, this is believed to be a good alternative. The staggered coupling of the thermal and
mechanical solution has been used in all the papers included in this thesis. The third and most
rigorous approach is a fully coupled analysis where solutions are made for both the thermal and
the mechanical variables simultaneously.
When adopting the finite element method as a tool for structural problems, either an explicit
or an implicit code has to be selected. The overwhelming majority of welding problems has so
far been solved using implicit formulation, but there are explicit solutions available in the
literature, e.g. Ref. [51].
Usually some Newton-Raphson method is used in the iterative search for the solution. A
description of this iterative solution process is outlined in Ref. [52], for example. The solution to
the linear equation system is usually performed using some direct solver strategy such as
Cholesky factorization. Some papers have been published where iterative conjugate gradient
methods have been used [53]. The advantages of iterative methods are pronounced in large
problems and it is therefore believed that a move from direct to iterative solvers will gradually
be performed.
The material modelling often includes a "cut-off" temperature for the mechanical properties.
This "cut-off" temperature is useful concerning the numerical aspects of welding simulation.
Excessively large differences between the material data in different parts of a geometry
introduce, for some cases, numerical problems in the simulation of welding. The numerical
problems usually reveal themselves either as convergence problems in the solution of the
elastoplastic stiffness matrix or as excessively large deformations of separate elements, which
might be crashed. Extremely large hydrostatic stresses could also be introduced into the model
[23]. The "cut-off temperature is selected so that these type of problems are avoided.
When selecting the element type to be used in the analysis one has to bear some aspects in
mind. Welding analysis requires a non-linear solution process. It has been shown that
quadrilateral and hexahedral elements are preferable to triangular and tetrahedral elements in
plasticity analysis [54-55]. In all simulations included in this thesis, the 4-8 noded quadrilateral
element or the corresponding 8-26 noded hexahedral element created by McDill [56] has been


The task of performing a welding simulation in an efficient way requires strategies that are highly
developed and easy to use. Depending on what problem is to be analysed, different strategies can
be adopted. In this thesis four specific areas are explored and new strategies are developed to
simplify the future use of FEM as a tool to assess welding deformations and stresses. These four
areas are mixing of solid and shell elements, adaptive control of mesh generation, material
addition in multipass welding and methodology for computation assessments. Solutions to
problems in these four areas can dramatically improve numerical performance as well as
simplifying the modelling work, making modelling and simulation of welding more efficient.

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

4.1. Mixing solid and shell elements

The discretization of the components that are to be welded will in general require too many three-
dimensional elements. The zone close to the heat source and its surrounding field will in
particular require many elements. Therefore, it would be preferable i f shell elements could be
used in the far field instead of three-dimensional continuum elements. It is generally accepted
that the weld zone will have a three dimensional thermal and mechanical responce, thus it
requires solid elements. However, the far field regions can in many cases be modelled by shell
elemenets. Gu et al. [57] have shown the possibility of improving the efficiency and accuracy of
the transient thermal analysis of welding by mixing shell and solid elements. They implemented
a so-called transition element that solves the compatibility problem that occurs between shell and
brick elements. It was shown that one advantage of combining shell and solid elements is that the
boundary conditions can be more accurately defined, since a larger area of the structure can be
modelled with the same number of elements. The work of Gu et al. [57] did not follow up this
implementation by including the mechanical solution.
A different type of solid and shell mixing is presented by Näsström et al. [58]. They include
the mechanical response in their simulation and a slightly different approach to connect the solid
and shell element was adopted. Compared with Gu et al. [57], Näsström et al. [58] implement a
constraint on the existing solid element nodes to create compatibility between the solid and the
shell elements. This implementation requires that no changes take place through the thickness of
the element at the transition position. In Ref. [58] it was concluded that this restriction might be
the reason for the relatively large discrepancy between the pure solid mesh and the combined
solid and shell mesh. Both techniques mentioned above require separate algorithms for selecting
whether a specific element should be a solid, shell or transition element. Mixing solid and shell
elements also requires the mixing of different degrees of freedom when considering the
mechanical analysis, i.e. 6 translations will be transformed to 3 translations and 2 or 3 rotations.
In Paper C a solid shell element is developed. The new element satisfies standard tests for
shell elements [59]. It has also been shown to deliver correct results in geometrical and material
non-linear tests, as well as for complex thermo-mechanical problems. A solid shell element is an
element that has the same geometrical properties as a solid element but behaves as a shell
The decision was taken to avoid the cumbersome rotational degrees of freedom seen in a
regular shell element. Keeping only displacement degrees of freedom would render connecting
the new element to standard brick elements straightforward. A degeneration factor is introduced
to improve the element performance during thinning. Selective reduced integration is used to
alleviate any transverse shear and membrane locking. The increase of the simulation efficiency
is significant when this new element is used in comparison to a solid element. The element is
preferably used in the far field region of a welded structure and in thin wall applications. We
recommend that the element is used were the aspect ratio between the length and the thickness
of an element is more than eight and less than 100. However, the new element has shown to give
accurate results for much higher aspects ratios.

4.2. Adaptive control of mesh generation

Much effort is given to the task of creating automatic meshing algorithms in close connection
with solid modelling software products. Significant progress has been made in this area and
complex structures can be meshed with minimal user interaction. Most automatic mesh

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

generators will deliver triangular or tetrahedral meshes. However, the modelling of non-linear
processes is preferably analysed using hexahedral elements, since they have been found to
deliver more accurate solutions than tetrahedral elements [54-55].
Mesh refinement can be performed using a number of different methods, all of which have
different preferable characteristics. In all the work included in this thesis, the h-refinement
strategy has been used. Figure 7 shows the refinement and coarsening of a mesh using the "h-
strategy". Other available strategies are p-refinement, r-refinement, s-refinement and d-
refinement. A short description of all these methods can be found in [60]. Combinations of these
strategies are also available.


Figure 7. Refinement (a) and coarsening (b) of a mesh using the "h-strategy"

Adaptive control of the mesh generation is usually built on an existing mesh and solution. The
solution is analysed using some error measure, which will be used in the subsequent remeshing
operation. A number of different error measures have been proposed in the literature since the
first paper in this area was published by Zienkiewicz and Zhu [61]. Their theory is frequently
used and implementations are available in many commercial FE codes.
Some adaptive refinement can also be applied prior to a solution i f the problem has some
known specific characteristic. This is the case in welding analysis. It is clear that the area/volume
close to the weld spot should have some level of refinement. However, there is no guarantee that
this mesh will produce a solution within a specific tolerance.
Two main advantages are gained when using adaptive control of element generation. First, it
is possible to obtain an indication of the global error of the solution. Secondly, it is for most
welding applications impossible to generate an optimal mesh which will track the thermal and
mechanical response without using an adaptive scheme. In Paper D, it can be seen that the
adaptive control of the mesh generation has to include both mechanical and thermal responses.
Figure 8 shows the mesh generated according to a combined heat flux and effective stress error

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

Figure 8. Adaptively generated mesh (from Paper D)

The heat flux-driven mesh generation can intuitively be implemented for the weld spot, as it
is more easy for the user to know where the temperature gradients will exist in comparison with
the mechanical gradients. However, thermal boundary conditions might change this behaviour,
especially if forced convection is used to alter the residual stress field created during welding
[62]. The stress-driven mesh generation is much more difficult to predict prior to the analysis.
This is therefore the most important error measure derived from the global solution.
When using adaptive remeshing, the generation of excessively small elements and
excessively large elements has to be controlled. This is controlled by user input in Paper D. It is
not possible to deliver a distinct answer to the question of the time allowable for a solution.
However, for practical reasons many industrial users state that a solution should be delivered in
15 hours (i.e. overnight solution). By using adaptive remeshing, possibility to f u l f i l this
requirement is closer to be meet.
Another great potential of adaptive mesh generation is the possibility of keeping the model
size to a minimum level. It has been shown in Ref. [63] that a significant decrease in
computational time can be gained through the use of adaptive mesh generation compared with a
static mesh, while maintaining the same accuracy. Secondly, using the proposed remeshing
scheme, modelling efficiency is improved through the possibility to build a mesh which, purly
describe the geometry of the component.

4.3. Material addition in multipass welding

The first multipass weld analysis was published by Ueda et al. [64] in 1976. Most of the early
multipass weld analyses used some kind of lumping technique to reduce the number of weld
passes to be analysed. In Ref. [64] a case consisting of 7,43 and 83 welds was analysed using 5,
10 and 17 lumped passes, respectively. For the lumped passes only the thermal solution was
computed and the mechanical response was only computed for the last pass. Publications in the
field of multipass welding show different levels of success in performing simulation using
lumped passes [16]. The successful prediction of stresses and deformations using lumping passes

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

can therefore by no means be guaranteed. However, the improved efficiency of the simulation is
obvious when appropriate lumping sequences are found.
Another technique used to improve the computational efficiency in multipass welding
involves translating and superimposing the residual stress field from a single pass to the other
passes. This technique was used in Ref. [65].
The modelling of multipass welding is considered to be one of the "TEN grand challenge"
problems in computational welding mechanics defined by Goldak et al. [45, 66]. A number of
phenomena, in addition to those found in single pass welding, will make multipass welding a
challenging task. Those challenges are seen in Table 3..

Table 3: Challenges of multipass welding

Challenges Task

Addition of filler material Model the addition of filler material

with minimum interference in the
numerical solution.

History dependency of material Model the microstructure, residual

stresses and deformations for a separate
pass to have correct initial conditions
for subsequent passes.

Computer resources Minimise computer model to decrease

wall clock time from start to stop of
analysis with minimal loss of accuracy.

Two main strategies have been adopted to overcome the first challenge. The two methods
used have been named the quiet and the inactive element techniques in Paper E. The most
frequently used technique is the quiet element technique, which was used in Ref. [67], for
example. This technique is also referred to as the element birth technique.
The inactive element technique is a more correct approach, but it requires more facilities from
the FE code used. It has been shown in Paper E that the same results are obtained using both
techniques. There are small differences in the run time of the simulations, despite the fact that a
smaller equation system is solved when applying the inactive element technique. This is due to
the fact that the gain from solving a smaller equation system is cancelled by the extra cost of the
bandwidth optimisation that is executed every time new elements are added to the model. I f a
sparse matrix solver was adopted, the run time difference would increase, since the bandwidth
optimisation would not be needed.

4.4. Methodology for computation assessments

Using computational techniques to assess the behaviour of complicated phenomena requires a
number of different building blocks. A l l of them have to be included and the order is, for a skilled
engineer, most of the time obvious and straightforward. However, when new problems are to be
analysed or new engineers involved in a new area of competence, it is useful to have a clear
methodology to follow. Alvin et al. [68] argue that errors in computational predictions are driven

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

more by modelling simplifications than by solution errors. A clear methodology would decrease
the possibility of making fatal errors in modelling situations.
One methodology available that focuses on computational support in product development
has been developed and described by Isaksson [69]. He describes a possible way to separate
situation-dependent from situation-independent information in a design area where
computational support is used. This methodology has been tested in Paper F, where it has been
applied to the modelling and simulation of welding.

The work included in this thesis contributes to the areas of methodology development, theory
development, validation by measuring and application. The work performed in each separate
paper is related to these different areas as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Contents of separate papers

Paper Method Theory Experiments Application

A • •
B • •
C • •
D • •
E • • •
F • •

The first two papers, A and B, mainly concern the modelling and simulation of thin-walled
structures. In Paper A and B the application is laser welding. Experimental measurements of
temperatures as well as residual stresses is performed using thermo-couples and neutron
diffraction measurements and the values are compared to the numerical results.
The developed solid shell element (Paper C) is shown to be applicable to the modelling of
welding, especially when thin-walled structures are modelled. This element is therefore of
special interest in the modelling and simulation of laser welding applications. The element
developed in Paper C is generic in the sense that it is not restricted to use in welding analysis.
Paper D includes a strategy for the adaptive refinement of a mesh using an error measure,
based on both the mechanical and the thermal field. This combined error measure is important
for welding analysis and it can be used in all types of thermo-mechanical analysis. The use of this
error measure strategy together with the new element (Paper C) appears to be straightforward.
Modelling and simulation of multipass welding are performed in Paper E. The simulation of
multipass welding would directly gain from the theories developed in Paper C and D.
Experimental verification of temperatures and residual stresses is performed using thermo-
couples and the incremental hole-drilling method.
In Paper F a structured method for the analysis of welding problems is presented. Paper F also
investigates the possibility of simplifying models (i.e. geometrically, and with respect to

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

boundary conditions, loads, etc.), to be able to perform parametric studies for a large number of
different weld cases in a relatively short time. A Welding Response Matrix is introduced as a tool
to store numerical data for future use in product development.

Paper A: Accuracy in thermal analysis of laser welding

Summary: High accuracy for the thermal results in finite element simulation of welding is
crucial, since the thermal field is the driving force for the creation of deformations and stresses
in welding. Laser welding is becoming a relatively widely used manufacturing method. A
detailed understanding of what is needed to model and simulate laser welding is therefore
Relation to thesis: In this paper the modelling and simulation of the thermal response in a
laser welding application is performed.
Results: The paper shows the possibility of tracking the thermal history using prescribed
temperature as the heat input. Thermal material data available in the literature is validated. A
suitable element size in the region of heat input is found and a strategy for defining the heat input
from a laser beam is developed. These results improve the modelling capability of FEM.

Paper B: Investigation of residual stresses in a laser welded pipe by finite element

simulation and neutron diffraction measurements

Summary: In this paper the creation of residual stresses in the laser welding of pipes is
simulated. The numerical results are compared to neutron diffraction measurements.
Relation to thesis: In this paper modelling and simulation of a coupled thermo-mechanical
problem is performed.
Results: Clear evidence of through wall thickness variation of strain is shown for laser-welded
pipes. Good correlation between measured and calculated results is found. The results of this
paper improve the modelling capability of FEM.

Paper C: An 8- to 16-node solid graded shell element for far-field applications in adaptive
3-D thermal-mechanical FEA

Summary: A solid shell element is developed. It is shown to be useful in linear, non-linear and
thermo-mechanical problems. It passes the standard tests proposed by McNeil and Harder [59].
The elements have only displacements as degrees of freedom, which makes the use of a special
solid shell transition element unnecessary. The element can have variable number of nodes which
make the element suitable for adaptive remeshing schemes.
Relation to thesis: The use of this element makes it possible to significantly decrease the
number of elements used in the modelling and simulation of thin-walled structures in comparison
to using solid element only. This will increase the efficiency of welding simulation to a large
Results: A solid shell element has been developed and shown to perform well in standard tests
for shells as well as in the coupled thermo-mechanical simulation of welding. This development

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

increases the modelling capability of FEM by increasing the possibility of including a large
structure of the analysed component and boundary conditions can thus be represented more
accurately. The development also increases the simulation capability of FEM, since the new
element can represent thin-walled structures in a more efficient way than regular brick elements.

Paper D: Three dimensional welding analysis using an adaptive mesh scheme

Summary: This paper introduces the combined use of error indication and adaptive
refinement in 3D welding applications. The developed theory is tested on a plate and a tube
welding case.
Relation to thesis: The use of adaptive remeshing in the simulation of welding is developed.
This development will enhance the efficiency in both modelling and simulation of welding.
Results: The development presented in this paper shows that it is important to include both the
thermal and the mechanical field in the error evaluation phase. The use of adaptive remeshing is
also shown to significantly decrease the number of elements in the model. The remeshing scheme
presented will increase the modelling capability, since only the initial geometry of the structure
needs to be meshed manually. The simulation capability of FEM is increased by minimisation of
the number of elements used in the analysis.

Paper E : Simulation of multipass welding of a thick plate

Summary: In this paper the modelling and simulation of multipass welding is performed. Two
different methods for including welding filler material in the numerical model are compared. The
two methods are named the inactive element method and the quiet element method.
Relation to thesis: A detailed description of the FE formulation used for the simulation of
multipass welding is given. Two different strategies for modelling the filler material in multipass
welding are also described. The possible gain in efficiency by using the inactive element
technique is shown. By using either of the described techniques, the modelling of the filler
material is improved.
Results: Two methods for the introduction of new elements are investigated. A decrease in the
simulation time is found for the inactive element strategy. The modelling capability of FEM is
increased since no user interaction is needed during an analysis. The modelling capability is also
increased since we have shown that both the available methods produce the same results. Hence
the user is free to select the method preferable for a specific situation.

Paper F : Computationally supported assessment of welding distortions

Summary: A generic computational support process is applied to the modelling and

simulation of welding. The paper discusses the possibility of using results from elementary case
studies to assess the deformation behaviour during the welding of large structures. A welding
response matrix (WRM) is introduced to collect characteristic data that can be stored for later use
when assessing welding deformations.
Relation to thesis: To perform efficient modelling of welding in different phases of the

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

product development, it is important to use a clear methodology. This enhances the possibility of
communication between team members, as well as increasing the possibility of doing the right
thing the first time.
Results: The use of a generic computational support process (GCSP) is shown to be useful in
the modelling and simulation of welding deformations. The possibility of reducing geometrically
complex structures to simple elementary cases is presented. Using the GCSP will increase
modelling capability in FE analysis by prescribing a methodology. By following this
methodology it is believed that refinement of a model, as well as error tracking within the model,
will be more efficient.


The modelling and simulation of manufacturing processes such as welding are considered to
provide a potential tool for achieving an efficient product development process. The efficient use
of such a tool would ultimately lead to the possibility of finding an optimal manufacturing
In order to increase the use of the finite element method in the modelling of manufacturing,
especially welding, a number of potential areas of research have been explored. In this thesis new
developments in four of these areas are presented, namely the adaptive control of mesh
generation, the mixing of solid and shell elements, material addition in multipass welding and
methodology for computational assessments.
The developed solid shell element has been shown to be efficient in standard tests as well as
in a complex thermo-mechanical test case. The new element only has displacement degrees of
freedom, which makes it possible to couple the element to a regular solid brick element. This type
of transition between a solid and a shell region in an FE-mesh will dramatically increase the
possibility of performing welding simulations of geometrically large structures.
The error measure of combined heat flux and effective stress has been shown to generate
meshes that accurately trace both the thermal and the stress gradients generated by welding. This
development will enhance the efficiency of modelling and simulation in two ways. First,
generating a good mesh of a complex geometry is time-consuming and will in the end just be a
"best guess". Using adaptive error-based remeshing will make it possible to start a simulation
using a much coarser mesh, and this development will therefore increase modelling efficiency.
Secondly, the refinement procedure will keep the number of elements in a mesh to a minimum.
This will decrease the run time of a simulation, which is a development that will improve the
simulation efficiency.
Multipass welding has been analysed using two different strategies, namely the quiet and the
inactive element techniques. It has been shown that either method can be used to describe the
addition of filler material and that similar results are delivered by both techniques. A new
technique for including the inactive elements in the model is also developed.
The use of a well-defined methodology to follow when using computational tools in product
development is believed to be preferable. A generic computational process is adopted and its
implementation demonstrated on a welding example where a geometrically complex welded
structure is analysed. A clear working route can be followed and the limitations of the simulations
can be identified. A strategy to collect information in a Welding Responce Matrix (WRM) from
elementary case studies is presented and the possibility of using such a strategy is shown.

H. Runnemalm, Efficient finite element modelling and simulation of welding

The WRM is one possible way to store data for future use and could easily be increased with new
elementary cases and characteristic measures.
There are no direct concerns that would complicate the combination of the new solid shell
element with the developed adaptive meshing scheme in a multipass welding simulation. This
implies that a large increase in the modelling and simulation efficiency can be expected using the
development presented in this thesis.

7. F U T U R E W O R K
The possibility of supporting manufacturing design by numerical predictions will be a key
research area in the near future. A focus on predicting geometrical changes rather than stresses
in the welded material will increase the use of simulation results. To succeed with this
development, further work needs to be performed to increase the capability of FEM in this area.
To make welding simulation an attractive tool in industry, an increase in model size would be
beneficial. This might in some sense seem an unnecessary development. Still the argument, "Our
product is not a plate or a tube, it's a will be heard until geometrically complex components
can be analysed. Specifically, introducing parallel computation in welding simulations would
dramatically increase the possibility of increasing model sizes. Further development of
substructuring in combination with adaptive remeshing will also be of interest to increase the
possibility of modelling more geometrically complex structures.
Integrating different types of simulations to follow the manufacturing chain of a component
will make it possible to identify bottlenecks in the manufacturing chain in a much more early
phase in the product development than is possible today. The coupling of these tools would also
make it possible to optimise the product, since a step-by-step modelling sequence will ultimately
be able to incorporate all the effects of manufacturing, together with a subsequent performance
analysis or life prediction analysis. Methods and methodology to perform analysis of complete
manufacturing chains are therefore important areas of future research.
This step-by-step analysis will also require further development and implementation of
standards for model data exchange such as STEP. An efficient step-by-step modelling of
manufacturing with a subsequent functional analysis would be practically impossible without the
infrastructure provided by developments in line with STEP. This is therefore an important area
for future work.
The lack of reliable high temperature data is an area of research that will always be of great
importance. Finding and compiling material data for a welding simulation constitute today one
of the most time-consuming and most costly parts of computational welding analysis. Further
experimental and analytical work in this area is therefore needed.
Further development of the new solid shell element in combination with an adaptive
remeshing scheme is believed to be useful not only in welding simulations but also in simulation
of other applications.

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Accuracy in thermal analysis of laser welding
Accuracy in thermal analysis of laser welding
H . Runnemalm*, L . E. Lindgren*, M . O. Näsström* & C. Lampa**
^Department of Mechanical Engineering, Luleå University of
Technology, S-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
** Department of Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, Luleå
University of Technology, S-971 87 Luleå, Sweden

The paper focus on the problem of obtaining accurate thermal fields despite the
u n c e r t a i n t y o f the t h e r m a l heat i n p u t and t h e r m a l p r o p e r t i e s at h i g h
temperatures. The net heat input is the primary factor f o r obtaining an accurate
temperature field. A good correlation between simulations and experiments is
obtained. The net heat input during laser welding a bead on a thin plate made of
an austenitic stainless steel is determined using a water calorimeter. Transient
temperature is measured by thermocouples. The finite element method is used in
the numerical simulation of the process.

In some cases, laser welding is a very cost effective manufacturing method
compared to regular joining methods. Laser welding also has the advantage of
producing a relatively small heat affected zone which minimizes degenerating
effects on the welded structure. However, laser welding a thin walled structure
can still cause deformations that affect the global structure behaviour. I t is
therefore of importance to use an effective simulation strategy to lower the
computational cost. This study is the first part i n a project concerned with
effective and accurate finite element simulation of laser welding of thin walled
structures. It consists of accurate simulation of the thermal and mechanical
behaviour and efficient computational models. The global mechanical behaviour
is the main focus, i.e. we do not study local defects like liquation cracking. This
paper deals with the problem of obtaining accurate thermal fields despite the
uncertainty of the thermal heat input and thermal properties at high
temperatures. The net heat input is the primary factor for obtaining an accurate
temperature field. A good correlation between simulations and experiments is
obtained. The net heat input during welding is determined using a water

calorimeter and the transient temperature is measured by thermocouples. The
finite element method is used in the numerical simulation of the process.
Computed temperatures are matched with measured ones. Finally, the net heat
input obtained in the numerical model is compared with the experimentally
determined value.
Laser welding thin structures like for e.g. thin walled pipes involves scales
of several order of magnitude, Figure 1. The heat affected zone can be less than
one millimetre and must be modelled accurately. The degree of accuracy
required depends on the aim of the study. I f for e.g. liquation cracking should be
studied, then the computational model must have a spatial resolution less than
0.1 m m . I f the global structure behaviour is the focus, then the model only have
to outline the heat affected zone. On the other hand, in the mechanical analysis,
the model must cover a large part of the structure for a correct mechanical
response. To overcome the problem of different scales the finite element
simulation is performed using 2 D graded finite elements [1]. They alleviate the
making of a mesh with fine spatial resolution near the weld and a coarser mesh
Results f r o m different number of elements and different number of time
steps i n the simulations are evaluated and the result are compared with measured
values of temperature and net heat input. From this evaluation the number of
elements and the time step size in the finite element analysis, needed to achieve
an accurate model of the thermal response is found.

bcc Grain HAZ Structures

H I 1 I II 1

1 I 1 1 1 1 1 1 I I ! I I I »

-10 -9 -8 -7 -6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 0 1 2 3 4
log(size) [m]

Figure 1. Geometric scales to consider in simulation

Experimental setup
The experiment is setup to investigate what portion of the original laser output
power that contribute to the welding process. As welding equipment a Rofin-
Sinar 6000 laser is used. The focusing mirror focal length is 270 mm. The
Nozzle diameter is 5 m m and the Nozzle-material standoff is 10 m m . The
experiment is performed on a large number of plates with the size o f
100x100x2mm. The plates are made of a stainless steel SS2333 (i.e. A I S I 3 0 4 L ) .
During production of the welds a water calorimeter is used to establish how
much power that is absorbed by the workpieces during welding. This method of

using a water calorimeter is also used by Lampa et al. [2] in a study o f factors
affecting the efficiency of laser welding. The sample is immersed into a water
container immediately after completion of the weld and the increase in
temperature of the water is measured. From this measurement the neat heat input
is calculated. The laser welding efficiency is then calculated as the measured
heat input divided by the laser power at the material surface.
The thermal history is also measured for two o f the plates. Thermocouples
are attached to the surface o f the plates. Each plate has one thermocouple at 2
m m and one at 4 m m away f r o m the centre o f the weld. The temperature is
recorded and plotted by a Wokogawa LR4210 printer. The thermal history is
measured for two different laser power and welding speed settings. The first
experiment is performed with a laser power of 1375W and a welding speed of
1.7 m/min. and the second with corresponding values of 2700 W and 2.7 m/min.

Computational model and method

Simulations are performed using the Finite Element Method. The analysed cross
section is shown i n Figure 2.

B=100 m m

Figure 2. Welding configuration and analysed cross-section. Note that the size of
the thickness is exaggerated.

The graded element described by M c D i l l et al. [1] is used in order to lower

the computational cost of the problem. This element is a 4 to 8 node element
with piecewise linear variation of temperature and geometry between nodes
along edges. Thus, f o r e.g. one element with three nodes along one edge can be
connected to two elements with two nodes along their edges without any
incompatibility. Normally variable node elements, e.g. Bathe [ 3 ] , requires an
extra constraint on the midside node to ensure this compatibility. A fine mesh is
therefore applied near and i n the fusion zone of the weld. The mesh is then
gradually coarsened further away f r o m the fusion zone. A typical mesh is shown
in Figure 3. Heat flow i n the z direction (i.e. the welding direction) is neglected
This is shown by Andersson [4] to be a good assumption i n welding


Figure 3. Typical mesh used in the simulation. Marked nodes has prescribed

The geometry of the molten metal is measured f r o m the plates in the

experiment. This geometry w i l l then give the relation between d and W , (dl
b o t t o m

W = 2 ) . The value of d is approximated to be the value o f the laser beam

b o l t o m

diameter at the surface of the material. This gives the area where the temperature
is prescribed during a short time to simulate the welding. There after the
temperature in this case is not prescribed any more but computed. The duration
of prescribing this temperature, A r , is calculated by dividing the diameter of the

laser beam by the welding speed, v, eqn. (1). Finding the focal spot diameter o f a
high C 0 laser beam is extremely difficult unless using some empirical test. The

diameter, d, of a Gaussian distributed beam is calculated knowing the focal

length,/, diameter of the original unfocused beam, D, and the wave length of the
laser, X, (1=10.6 urn).
4Xf 4 • 10.6 • 10~ • 0.27
nP _ n • 0.018
A? = - = 0.0045 sec. (1)
m v v ~ 0.045

During laser cutting it is found that the theoretical diameter, d, should be

increased 2 to 5 times, to correlate to experimental data, Powell [ 5 ] . We are
using a diameter corresponding to doubling the theoretical diameter, d, through
out the calculations.
The plate is placed on two supports at the end of the plate. Since the area
in contact between the support and the plate is negligible compared to the free
surface area, it is assumed that all of the surface area of the plate is cooled by
free convection and radiation.
The material parameters for almost every steel is known well as long as i t
concerns temperatures close to the room temperature. But when the temperature
is rising material data is becoming more and more uncertain, i f there is any to
find. Thermal material data for SS2333 is found in Ref. [6] f o r temperature up to
8 0 0 ° C and in Ref. [7] up to 1 1 0 0 ° C . The conductivity is extrapolated 1100° C
and the resulting conductivity is shown in Figure 4. The specific heat is modified
to contain the latent heat, Ref. [8], absorbed and released during melting as well
as boiling. The latent heat is calculated using a linear rule o f mixture, eqn. (2).

Number -of - phases
L = y x L (2)
n= i

Here L is the latent heat, x is the weight fraction of the phase and n is the

phase considered. The latent heat considered are due to melting/solidification

and evaporation/condensation. The chemical composition of SS2333 is shown in
Table 1. Only the values for Cr, Fe, N i and M n are used, which represent 99% of
the material.
It is assumed that the specific heat is not affected by the latent heat
released at phase transformations i n the material (e.g. martensite, bainite e.t.c).
This is a good assumption since the steel SS2333 is a austenitic stainless steel.
The latent heat is then included i n the specific heat as a peak, forming a triangle
starting at T and ending at T
s o l i d u s . The melting range is f r o m
l i q u i d u s

T = 1 4 2 5 ° C to T
s o l i d u s = 1 5 0 8 ° C , ref. [9]. The latent heat for solid-liquid
l i q u i d u s

transition is 4076 J / k g ° C . The boiling temperature is defined around T ^ p

2827 ° C , starting 2 0 0 ° C below and ending 2 0 0 ° C above. The value o f the
corresponding latent heat is 16416 J / k g ° C . This is a approximation o f the
boiling point f r o m the evaporation point of the alloys. The resulting curve o f the
specific heat is shown i n figure 4.

Table 1: Chemical composition of SS2333 ( A I S I 304L).

c% Si% Mn% P% S% Cr% Ni%

0.05 1.0 2.0 0.045 0.030 17.0-19.0 8.0-11.0

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500
Temperature [°C] Temperature [°C]
Figure 4. Specific heat and Conductivity for SS2333.

The value of the prescribed temperature i n the molten metal is adjusted

until the calculated temperatures matches the measured temperatures. Special
emphasis is placed on obtaining correct temperatures around 50 seconds after
the arc passes the studied cross-section. Thereafter the total heat input to the

plate is calculated.
The finite element solver is controlled by an adaptive time stepping
algorithm. The time step is allowed to vary as shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Time step size allowed in the simulation

Time [sec] 0.0 0.1 1.0 100.0 3000.0

At min. [sec] 0.0001 0.0001 0.01 1.0 50.0

At max. [sec] 0.001 0.001 0.10 10.0 100.0

It is important to be able to vary the time step size in a very wide range
since the heating rate during laser welding is very rapid i n contrary to the
cooling rate which is thousand times smaller.

The transient temperature is measured at two locations. They are located at 2.0
and 4.0 m m away f r o m the centre of the weld. The measurement are performed
for two different welding speeds. For the first case it is 1.7 m/min. and a laser
power setting of 1375W and for the second case it is 2.7 m/min. and 2700W. The
measured temperatures are shown in Figures 5 and 6. The corresponding calcu-
lated temperatures, using 690 elements and the time step size shown in table 2
are also shown in these Figures. The prescribed temperature i n the simulation is
2 5 0 0 ° C and 2 6 7 0 ° C, the higher value corresponds to the higher laser power
450 Measured at x=2mm. o
400 Measured at x=4mm. +
Calculated at x=2mm.
350 Calculated at x=4mm.
^ 300
I 250 -

§ 200
I 150 - ^ ^ ^ ^

0 10 20 30 40 50
Time [sec]
Figure 5. Measured and calculated temperature at a welding speed of 1.7 m/min.

450 Measured at x = 2 m m . o
400 - Measured at x = 4 m m . +
Calculated at x = 2 m m .
350 Calculated at x = 4 m m .
^ 300
§ 250 -
I 200

I 150 f - -
50 -

0 10 20 30 40 50
Time [sec]
Figure 6. Measured and calculated temperature at a welding speed o f 2.7 m/min.

The computed and measured net heat input are shown i n table 3.

Table 3: Efficiency of laser welding

Laser Power at Measured net Calculated net Efficiency Efficiency

material surface heat input heat input Measured Calculated

1375 W 851 W 797 6 2 ± 2% 58%

2700 W 1478 W 1307W 5 5 ± 1% 48%

Discussion and future work

There is an agreement within a few percent between the measured and calculated
net heat inputs. The mesh density is altered between 50 and 2000 nodes and no
significant deviation between the results is found when more than 300 elements
is used. The mesh must however be dense enough to describe the weld zone
where the temperature is controlled.
The results shows that the temperature history o f laser welding can be
predicted with a accurate result through using a linear rule of mixture to
calculate the specific heat. It is also shown that the density o f the mesh is less
important. On the other hand the time step size is strongly affecting the result as
it affects the accuracy especially during melting/solidification. This result is an
important result for the future work of predicting the residual stresses and shape
distortion o f the laser welding process when more complex structures is welded.
Investigation of the effect of a gap between the material to be joined is an
ongoing project. The question of the importance o f obtaining correct peak
temperature depends on the objective of the study. I t should however be pointed

out that comparison of calculated and measured temperatures is difficult close to
the high temperature gradient near the arc. I t is about 5 0 ° C/mm, 2 m m away
f r o m the centre of the weld. This gives an error in displayed peak temperature as
the exact position of the thermocouple is uncertain and it has a finite diameter.
Since special emphasis is given to obtain correct temperature around 50 seconds
after the arc passes the analysed cross section, agreement between calculation
and measurement is only strongly affected by the thermal properties at lower
temperatures. These are more accurate than properties at high temperatures.

Financial support for this work was provided by the Swedish Research Council

[1] M c D i l l , J. M . J., Goldak, J. A . , Oddy, A . S. & Bibby, M . J. Isoparametric
quadrilaterals and hexahedrons for mesh-grading algorithms, Communications
in Applied Numerical Methods, 1987,VoL 3, 15-163.
[2] Lampa, C , Powell, J., Ivarson, A . & Magnusson, C. Factors affecting the
efficiency of laser welding, Accepted for publication in Lasers in Engineering.
[3] Bathe, K . J. & Wilson, E. L . Numerical methods infinite element analysis, pp
131, Prentice-Hall, 1976
[4] Andersson, B . A . B . , Thermal Stresses i n a Submerged-Arc Welded Joint
Considering Phase Transformations. Journal of Engineering Materials and
Technology, vol. 100, pp 356- 362, 1978.
[5] Powell, J. C 0 laser cutting, Chapter 10.6, Notes on the Focusing
2 Character-
istics of CO2 Lasers, Springer-Verlag, London, 1993.
[6] Swedish standard, SS14 23 33, Metallnormcentralen.
[7] Touloukian, Y. S., Powell, R. W., Ho, C. Y. & Klemens, P. G.
Thermophysical properties of matter, Thermal conductivity, Metallic Elements
and alloys, vol. 1, M / P l e n u m , New York-Washington, 1970
[8] Gray, D . E. (ed.). American institute of physics handbook, 3:ed, McGraw-
H i l l Book Company, 1972.
[9] Hoyt L . S. Materials Properties, A S M Handbook, McGraw-Hill, 1954.

Paper B
Investigation of residual stresses in a laser welded pipe
by finite element simulations and
neutron diffraction measurements
Investigation of residual stresses in a laser welded pipe by
finite element simulations and neutron diffraction

Henrik Runnemalm Ru Lin

Division of Computer Aided Design The Studsvik Neutron Research laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering Uppsala University
Luleå University of Technology

Email: Email:

This paper deals with the residual stresses and strain introduced in a thin walled pipe by laser
welding. The pipe had an inner radius of 50 mm and a thickness of 2 mm and was made of AISI
304 stainless steel. Both radial, axial and hoop strain were compared and discussed. The finite
element method is used in the simulations and neutron diffraction measurement is used in the

1 Introduction
Laser welding of thin walled structures gives a smaller heat affected zone than other welding
processes. However, residual stresses and distortion may still be large enough to affect the
performance of the structures and in certain cases may lead to rejection of the products. The
distortions may also lead to failure during welding as the welding process is sensitive to the gap
width between the parts to be joined. Simulation of welding could therefore give indications if the
welding procedure or the design should be reconsidered. Residual fields can also be used as input
for a subsequent performance analyse of the created part. The usefulness of this kinds of tools
relies on three basic fundament that is, they should be fast, they should be accurate and finally
easy to use.
In this article focus is given to the accuracy of predicting residual strain in welding of thin walled
structures. Computed residual stresses or strain are compared with measured strains. The finite
element method is used in the simulations and neutron diffraction measurement is used in the

2 Experimental Details
The welding was performed on a pipe with a height of 400 mm, inner diameter of 100 mm and a
wall thickness of 2 mm. The pipe material was stainless steel AISI 304. The weld was made by
scanning with a laser beam around the circumference of the pipe. No filler material was used.
Details of the welding experiment and the neutron diffraction measurements are described below.

2.1 Welding experiment

The laser welding experiments were carried out using a Rofinar-Sinar 6000 laser with the
following characteristics. The welding speed was set to 2.7 m/min with 2700 W as output power
of the laser equipment. The focal length of the focusing mirror was 270 mm. The nozzle diameter
and nozzle-material standoff were 5 mm and 10 mm respectively. During welding, Helium was
used as shielding gas at a flow of 50 1/min. The pipe was placed on a table with the z-axis (see
figure 1) pointing up wards. The weld was placed at mid height of the pipe.

2.1 Neutron diffraction measurements
Strain measurements were carried out using the neutron diffractometer REST at the R2 reactor in
Studsvik, Sweden. The basic configuration and features of the instrument were described in [1].
Using the austenitic (220) planes, the three principal components of elastic strains, mainly axial,
radial and hoop strains were mapped through the wall thickness and along the axial direction. The
neutron wavelength was 1.76 A and the diffraction angle for the (220) reflection was found at
about 87.6° (20).

The location for measurement were chosen to be far away from the stopping point of the
circumferential weld so that the obtained strains would represent the overall strain distribution.
For both radial and axial measurements, the pipe was in a horizontal position and this diffraction
geometry allowed the use of an elongated neutron beam slit, 0.6 mm wide and 4 mm high, with
the height of the slit lining up with the tangent of the pipe. Such a choice of slit ensures a fine
spatial resolution in the strain gradient direction and a reasonable diffraction intensity. For the
hoop measurements, however, the height of the slit had to be decreased as the pipe was in vertical
position and the slit height defined the spatial resolution along the axis of the pipe. The width of
the slit was thus increased to ensure an adequate neutron intensity for strain measurements. A slit
of 1.2 mm wide and 1 mm high was finally used. Due to the large dimension of the pipe, the
incident beam slit had to be placed far away from the probed volume and the beam divergence
resulted in a larger beam spot at the sample position. The actual width of the neutron beam size,
measured by scanning a thin pin of stainless steel or a nylon thread across the neutron beam, was
found to be 1.3 mm for measurements in all the three directions and the beam height was 1.8 mm
for the hoop measurements. It has been pointed out by several authors, see for example reference
[2], that peak shifts can be introduced when a gauge volume is located partly outside the specimen
and thus leads to errors in the calculated strains. In order to correct for this type of errors,
measurements were made by scanning a flat Fe powder sample through the gauge volume. Peak
shifts corresponding to a partially embedded gauge volume were measured and corrections could
therefore be made for strains measurements at 0.4 mm and 1.6 mm depth.

A small sample cut from another pipe made of same material was annealed and used as reference
for strain calculations. Standard deviations in the strains are typically less than 80.10" .

3 Numerical Details
The Finite Element Method (FEM) has been used to calculate the thermal and mechanical
response of the pipe during laser welding. It was assumed that the welding process could be
modelled by rotational symmetry as well as symmetry in the centre of the weld. The FE model are
shown in Figure 1. It consists of 3382 elements.

Figure 1: Axisymmetric mesh of pipe with symmetry in the centre of the weld.

The element used in the simulation was a variable 4 to 8 noded isoparametric quadrilateral
element described by McDill et al. [3]. This element has some preferable characteristic when it
comes to mesh generation. No irregular nodes or constraint nodes or associated matrix operation
such as those used by Somervaille [4] are needed for the mid-edge nodes, since compatibility is
inherent in the basis functions. This means that all degrees-of-freedom are active in the model.
Since the welding experiment was performed by heating a pipe in the circumferential direction
using no filler material there were no need for extra logic in the code to add new material. The
simulation was performed by taking 713 time steps. The heating time corresponds to the time for
the focused laser beam to pass a cross section of the material. This time was found to be 0.0178
sec. During this time the temperature was prescribed at 2900°C

The material was assumed to be thermo-elasto-plastic with temperature dependent material

properties. The thermal data was taken from [5-7]. and are shown in Figure 2. The latent heat for
melting and solidification was 4076 J/kg°C and the latent heat for evaporation was set to 16416
J/kg°C. These values were found by mixing the latent heat of each alloy of the steel with the
weight percent corresponding to each alloy. The steel used was a fully austenitic stainless steel,
AISI 304. The increase in thermal conductivity, to a value of 130 W/m°C, at melting is included
in order to model the stirrer effect. This has been used in many investigations of welding see e.g.

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500
Temperature [°C] Temperature [°C]
Figure 2. Specific heat and Conductivity for AISI 304.

The mechanical properties was found in [6, 9-10] and are shown in Figure 3. The thermal
6 6
expansion coefficient was increasing from 17.10" at room temperature to 20.10" at 806°C and

4 Results and Discussions
Measurements of the fusion zone (FZ) showed that it had an average width of 2.3 mm at the top
surface. The calculation gave a width of 2.16 mm of the FZ. The mechanical strains derived from
residual stresses obtained by the FEM calculations are presented in Figure 4, together with the
lattice strain distributions obtained by the neutron diffraction measurements. Relatively small
changes were observed through the thickness. The largest compressive strains were observed at
1.0 mm depth. As for the axial and radial strains, however, their distribution was found to change
gradually through the thickness. At 0.4 mm below the outer surface, the axial strains were large
in compression at the FZ and medium tensile strains were found some millimetres outside the
weld. At 1.0 mm below the surface, the magnitude of both compressive and tensile strains
decreased towards the neutral line and finally switch signs at 1.6 mm depth. The radial strains
were the smallest and their distribution was opposite to the axial strain distribution.

The comparison is justified only if one bears in mind the inherent difference in the strains obtained
by the two methods. In calculating strains from the residual stresses, the material was considered
as continuum and bulk elastic properties were used. Thus the strains represent the general
mechanical states of the materials. In the neutron diffraction measurements, however, the strains
were measured using a particular crystallographic direction and the magnitude of these lattice
strains, though their average over all the crystallographic orientation should be equal to the
mechanical strains, may vary somewhat depending on the deviation of the Young's modulus from
the bulk property. As the (220) used for the experiments in this study is the closed packed
crystallographic orientation with a Young's modulus, 211 GPa according to calculation by Kröner
model, which is larger than the bulk Young's modulus, 200 GPa, it may explain that the measured
strains were somewhat smaller than the calculated strains. In addition to these difference in the
nature of strains, the spatial resolution was also different. For the FEM modelling, it was chosen
to vary according to the anticipated thermal gradient so that local variation could be more closely
followed. The size of the smallest elements were 0.03 mm. For the neutron measurements, the
spatial resolution was determined by the neutron beam size and it was about 1.3 mm along the
radius and axis except for the hoop strains which was 1.8 mm along the axial direction. Thus the
measured strains distribution seems to be smoother than those of calculation. With a smaller step
size and a finer spatial resolution in the axial direction, small changes in strain at the weld centre
were also detected by the measurements, as is shown in Figure 4 for the axial and radial

In general, strain distributions predicated by the FEM model agree well with the neutron
diffraction measurements. The discrepancy in the normal and axial strains were small. However,
the difference in the hoop strains was larger than what can be accounted for by the discrepancies
mentioned above. The hoop strains were larger in the FE solution in the FZ, in particular at 1.0
mm depth. This can be due to lack of good material parameters at elevated temperature. It should
also be noticed that the assumption of axial symmetry made the model to stiff in the hoop
direction. A too stiff model over estimate the stresses in the welding direction which gives too
high elastic strain in that direction. Simulation of the welding process in 3D would probably
decrease this problem. In work done on laser surface treatment by Bergheau et al. [11], comparing
2D (plain strain and generalized plain strain) and 3D simulation, indications of significantly
decreased strain in the direction of the heat source for the 3D case are shown.

In Figure 4c and 4f one can see large divergence between measured and calculated strains at -20
mm from the weld. There is no clear explanation to this, but results from measuring the
geometrical changes of a welded pipe [12] indicates that a bending component could be locked
into the material during welding. This is also a topic that could be investigated by 3D analysis.

'(3 0
-20 -10 0 10
z (mm)
Figure 4. Masured and
calculated elastic strain
close to the weld.
Continuous line
corresponds to calculated
values and "+"
corresponds to neutron
measurements. First row
of diagrams corresponds
to thickness 04 mm,
second to 1.0 mm and
third to 1.6 mm below the
the outher surface . First
column of diagrams gives
the normal strain, second
the hoop strain and third
the longitudinal strain.
-10 0
z (mm)
5 Conclusions
Residual radial, axial and hoop strains were obtained both by numerical simulation and
experimental measurements in a laser welded thin-walled pipe. The overall good agreement
between experiment and the used axisymmetric model can be seen in Figure 4. The hoop strains
introduced by welding were highly tensile in and close to the FZ, and compressive outside this
region. The axial strain distribution was the opposite, i.e. predominantly compressive at and close
to the FZ. The normal strains were much smaller.

The authors would like to thank Prof. K. Sköld for advice regarding neutron diffraction
measurements and Conny Lampa for performing the laser welding.

[I] Lin R., Sköld K., The neutron diffraction facility for residual stress measurements in
Studsvik, Proc. of ECRS 4, Cluny en Bourgogne, France, 1996
[2] Webster P. J., Mills G., Wang X. D., Kang W. P., Holden T. M., Impediments to efficient
through-surface strain scanning, J. Neutron Research, Vol. 3, pp. 223-240, 1996
[3] McDill, J. M. J., Goldak, J. A., Oddy, A. S. & Bibby, M. J. Isoparametric quadrilaterals and
hexahedrons for mesh-grading algorithms, Communications in Applied Numerical
Methods, 1987,Vol. 3, 15-163.
[4] Somervaille I. J., A technique for mesh grading applied to conforming plate bending finite
elements, Int. j . num. methods eng., 6, 310-312, (1972).
[5] Hoyt L. S. Materials Properties, ASM Handbook, McGraw-Hill, 1954.
[6] Swedish standard, SS14 23 33, Metallnormcentralen.
[7] Touloukian, Y. S., Powell, R. W., Ho, C. Y. & Klemens, P. G. Thermophysical properties
of matter, Thermal conductivity, Metallic Elements and alloys, vol. 1, BFI/Plenum, New
Washington, 1970
[8] Andersson B. A. B., Thermal stresses in a submerged-arc-welded joint considering phase
transformations, J. Eng. Mater. Technol. (ASME) vol 100, 356-362, 1983
[9] Gray, D. E. (ed.). American institute of physics handbook, 3:ed, McGraw-Hill Book
Company, 1972.
[10] Rothman M.F. High Temperature Property Data: Ferrous alloys, ASM International, 1988
[ I I ] Bergheau J. M., Pont D., Leblond J. B., "Three-Dimensional simulation of laser surface
treatment through steady state computation in the heat source's comoving frame", Karlsson
L., Lindgren L.-E., Jonsson M., (eds): Mechanical Effects of Welding, IUTAM 1992,
Springer-Verlag, pp. 85-92, 1992
[12] Jonsson M., Josefson B. L., Näsström M., Experimentally determined deformations and
stresses in narrow-gap and single-U multipass butt-welded pipes, Trans. ASME, Vol. 115,
pp. 116-122, 1993

An 8- to 16-node solid graded shell element
for far-field applications in 3-D
thermal-mechanical FEA
A N 8- T O 1 6 - N O D E S O L I D G R A D E D S H E L L E L E M E N T F O R
F A R - F I E L D A P P L I C A T I O N S I N 3-D T H E R M A L - M E C H A N I C A L F E A

1 2 1

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University

1125 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, On., KIS 5B6, Canada
Division of Computer Aided Design, Luleå University of Technology
Luleå, Sweden

ABSTRACT. Finite element analysis (FEA) of manufacturing processes such as welding

is computationally demanding. Typically, small regular brick elements are used in the
near field in the vicinity of the rapidly changing gradients and larger elements are used
further away. In many cases the larger elements in the far field have poor aspect ratios
and the limitations of thin brick elements, particularly locking and ill-conditioning of
the stiffness matrix, may be a problem. In these areas, a solid shell element which can
be graded and used in adaptive FEA is needed. The development of an 8- to 16-node
solid shell for far field applications in adaptive FEA is presented. The element is a
novel adaptation of an 8- to 26-node brick element and therefore integrates naturally
with existing FEA and adaptive FEA software. No special shell-to-brick transition
elements are required and rotational degrees of freedom, often seen with shell elements,
are avoided. The element satisfies standard tests for a variety of aspect ratios. Linear,
geometrically and materially nonlinear tests are presented for validation purposes. A
practical application of a thermal-mechanical problem, specifically a weld on a plate, is
also presented and demonstrates that the solid shell element can be used successfully in
the far field when mixed with brick elements.

KEYWORDS. FEA, shells, adaptive, thermal-mechanical, welding


FEA of manufacturing processes such as welding requires advanced computational tech-

niques. In the case of thermal-mechanical analysis, the authors use an updated Lagrangian
formulation in which thermal histories are used to compute thermal expansion, stresses and
strains. The constitutive model embedded in the stress analysis includes elastic, plastic and
thermal strains as well as strains due to volume changes and the transformation plasticity which
occur during phase changes. The large strains and rotations that may occur are accommodated
in a finite deformation algorithm which uses the Green-Naghdi stress and centred strain. A
direct frontal solver and an iterative conjugate gradient solver are available.

The 8- to 26-node brick developed by McDill [1] is an effective element for three-dimensional
(3-D) thermal-mechanical FEA; e.g., [2][3]. It is similar to the familiar 8-node linear brick but
constraints associated with grading are embedded in the element's basis functions to guarantee
interelement compatibility. The element is naturally suited to adaptive h-methods and can be
made nonconforming (subparametric) through the introduction of bending modes [4]. Typically,
the authors model critical areas; e.g., a weld, with well formed 3-D nonconforming brick elements
or, alternatively, linear bricks with selective reduced integration. However, the bulk of the field
is modelled with thinner brick elements. The limitations of linear brick elements in applications

where thinness is needed are well understood; e.g., [5][6]. The authors' experience has shown
that the problems of locking and ill-conditioning are reduced to some extent if the nonconforming
elements are used. Nevertheless, if larger structures are to be considered, a solid graded shell is
needed for modelling in the far field.

In large problems, adaptive techniques have proved to be useful; e.g., [7]. In a dynamically-
adaptive situation, the mesh refines and coarsens [8][9] to follow some sort of temporal effect;
e.g., a moving arc. Prom a computational perspective, shell and brick elements should co-exist
within the mesh without the requirement- for special shell-to-brick transition elements. At the
same time, mesh grading, with its attendant advantages, is needed in both types of elements.

A solid far-field shell element is clearly required for thermal-mechanical FEA for use in the
far field. Analyses performed by the authors in the past, suggest the new shell need not handle
extraordinarily thin applications. The authors propose that a shell with an aspect ratio,(AR =
dimension hj thickness t), of up to about 100 to 200 would be sufficient. A major goal of the new
shell element is that it must integrate naturally with existing thermal-mechanical and adaptive
FEA software.


In a manner similar to the approaches of Parisch [6] and Kanok-Nukulchai [10], it was
decided to avoid the cumbersome rotational degrees of freedom seen in the familiar Hughes and
Liu shell [11]. Displacement degrees of freedom alone are more practical from an implementation
point of view, particularly when integrating the shell element with existing adaptive software for
bricks. Nevertheless, it was desirable to incorporate as many of the advantages of the degenerate
Hughes and Liu shell as possible; i.e., it is incrementally objective so that rigid body rotations do
not generate strains, it includes finite transverse shear strains, and a through-thickness thinning
capability can be incorporated [12].

With the selection of displacement degrees of freedom, a novel modification of McDill's [1] 8-
to 26-node brick to an 8- to 16 node shell as shown in Figure 1, was proposed. Eight mandatory
vertex nodes are accompanied by pairs of midedge nodes on the upper and lower surfaces of
the shell; e.g., 9 and 13. The optional node pairs permit mesh grading and may be used in any
desired combination. A pair of midedge nodes alters the basis functions of the corner nodes on
two edges and creates smooth (C°° continuous) subelements within the element. Within each
subelement the basis functions are linear. However, the basis functions for the midedge nodes
as well as their adjacent corner nodes, are creased at the junction of the subelements and are,
therefore, only C° continuous. More specific issues related to grading are explained in McDill

11 3


Fig. 1 8-16 Node Solid Shell Element

In a typically degenerated shell, the static constraints are those of zero-normal stress and
zero-normal stress rate [13]. To accommodate the static constraint in the formulation of the
stiffness matrix, it was decided to use a modified plane stress D matrix [10]. It was intended that
the element also be compatible with the effective stress function [14] critical for the analysis of
creep and other similar phenomenon; e.g., [15]. In materially nonlinear cases, a modified version
of the iterative approach suggested by Hallquist [16] is used.

The kinematic constraints are those of straight normals and incrementally-rigid normals
[13]. Since rotational degrees of freedom are not used, special consideration must be given to
the kinematic constraints. Kanok-Nukulchai [10] applies a fictitious coefficient to the through-
thickness term in the elastic stress-strain matrix, D. The authors, instead, opted to apply a
through-thickness degradation factor, based on ATZ to the strain-dispacement matrix, B. This
allows the element to become thin and avoids ill-conditioning of the stiffness matrix. Transverse
shear locking and membrane locking that also occur in thin bricks, are eliminated by reduced
integration [11].

2.1 Element Description

To improve integration of the 8- to 16-node shell in regular FEA software, the formulation
is carried out in the isoparametric style with the normal global (x, y, z) to isoparametric (f, n, Q
relationship preserved through the standard Jacobian relationship. The shell is initially defined
by a reference surface at C = 0. Laminae are established at the planes of the Gauss points
parallel to the reference surface. One limitation imposed upon the isoparametric style is that (
must be oriented in the thin direction of the element.

Each subelement uses a 2 x 2 x 2 Gaussian quadrature scheme. A local lamina co-ordinate

system is established at each Gauss point. The transformation from the global coordinate system
to the local (and vice versa) is constructed from two base vectors tangent to the lamina and
the normal. The lamina surface base vectors are as close as possible to the £ and rj directions
[16][17]. In the formulation used by the authors, the stress and strain are evaluated in the lamina
system and rotated back to the global system as required.

A fibre co-ordinate system is also required for the application of the degradation factor and
is shown in both Hallquist [16] and Hughes [17]. A fibre is a line in the £ direction for a fixed £
and Tj. At each node pair a unique local co-ordinate system is constructed in which one direction
coincides directly with the fibre direction.
2.2 Strain-Displacement M a t r i x B

The displacement of a point is simply the displacement of the reference surface plus the
displacement relative to the reference surface. This approach is similar to that of Surana [18]
and Kanok-Nukulchai [10]. The latter uses relative displacement degrees of freedom. Here,
modified relative displacements [Ui ] are used to improve the through-thickness behaviour of
the element as it thins:
n n
[U} = J2- >(t,V,0)[Ui]
+ X>i(£,7,,0)C[c7/] (1)
i=i i=i
Ni are the basis functions for nodes i, where i = 1 to n, for 8 < n < 16 , of a graded brick [1],
evaluated at the reference surface (C = 0). For an 8-node shell:

^=1/8(1 + 0(1+^(1 + 0 (2)

For graded elements, midedge nodes are included; e.g., if nodes 9 and 13 and 12 and 16 are

JVi = 1/8(1 + 0(1 + r?)(l + C) - 1/2(JV + iV ) 9 12 (3)

JV = 1/4(1 - |£|)(1 + n)(l + Q
9 N 12 = 1/4(1 + 0(1 - M)(l + C) (4)

Improved behaviour during thining is provided by a degradation factor. It is a function of AR

and determined using the Jacobian evaluated at the centroid of the element. The characteristic
dimension, h, and the thickness, t, are extracted from the Jacobian using Kerlick [19]. A
parametric study [20] using a number of standard tests [21] showed that the degradation factor
should vary smoothly, and always have a value between 0 and 1. Martinez [20] showed that for
AR. of up to about 50, the degradation factor, d f , should be 1. As AR increases, df decreases.

df = 2500 x ART (0 < df < 1) (5)

The degradation factor is applied to the relative displacement, [Üi], in the fibre direction. This
requires a rotation into the fibre system, application of the degradation factor, and a rotation
back to the global system. The rotation algorithm, [16][17], is straight forward.

[Ui]=li[Ui (6)


10 0
iUi} = lm°*-u ° )]
i zi=[»f 0 1 0 (7)
0 0 d f

[Sr.] is a 3 x 3 rotation matrix. If the element is well formed and if the fibre coordinate system
is lined up with the global axes then df = 1 and Xi = / , the identity matrix.

In a linear 8-node brick, [B] for node 1 for strain as a vector [e xx e yy t z z -y
xy j
yz y]
zx is:

r Ml 0 0
dy 0
0 0 dz
Bi ajvt dN, 0)
dx 0
dy dN, dN,
0 dz dy

top bot
In eq. (8), [U ] refers to the top node of the node pair; e.g., node 1, and [U ] refers to the
bottom; e.g., node 5. The presence of top and bottom nodes is critical when developing [B].
To some extent it is simplified because at ( = 0, the basis functions for nodal pairs are the
same; e.g., Ni = Ns. Nevertheless all relevant terms, including those contributed by 1, must be
collected. For the new shell element, B is: x

dN, , 8 W ; ) ; aWC) „ T aWC) j
+ X n X x
dx Si öi 12 9 l 13
d(NiQj SJV,
gjVj . a(jvic)
a(jV,fl T g WC) T
Sy 83/
^ 3 2
ajv, , awc) 7- i W O T , M J I ^a wXc ) T „ ,
+ W O awo , aWQ
a» +
ay X n +
ax X 2 1
Si + — § 7 — x2 2 22 + + ^ ' XT i 2 i 1
3 + ^ i 2

a Wc) 7- , awc) SiVl

M i 8WC) 7-
awc) 7- i
02 +
4. öz 2 2 +, X awo-r M i _i_ a WC)-7- , awc) T

ajvi , awc) T , i awo-r awo T swo T M i ^ £Wc) T , a WO 7-

+ X X X H X X X
ez Sz ll + Si 31 SZ 12 Öx~ 32 "g^ + e 2 . 33 + 5 z 13
2.3 D Matrix
The modified plane stress D matrix is identical to that of Kanok-Nukulchai [10] except there
is no fictitious coefficient for D ( ) . In the lamina system: 33

Ev 0 0
E 0 0
E s 0 0
D= 0 0 (11)
2(1 + 1/)
g 0
symmetric 2(1+;/)

E and i/ are the elastic modulus and Poisson's ratio respectively. Since B is in the global
system, D is rotated from the lamina co-ordinate system to the global co-ordinate system when
the stiffness matrix is calculated.

2.4 Selective Reduced Integration

Selective reduced integration is required to alleviate any transverse shear and membrane
locking. The standard B approach is used. In typical shell formulations; e.g, Hallquist [16], B
is in the lamina system. Rather than rotate all the global B into the lamina, the authors choose
to deal only with those terms in the lamina which require reduced integration. The transverse
shear and membrane strains in the lamina system are treated as components of the strains in
the global system much as any vector can have components in another co-ordinate system. Both
vector and tensor definitions of strain are needed.

A local abc system is established in each lamina so that 7 and % are transverse shear a c c

strains and 7 6 is^the membrane strain. Consider a lamina transverse shear strain of interest;
e.g., 7J . In the B approach this strain is replaced by 7° ° where 00( refers to the lamina
c c


The global strain tensor is converted to find the tensor shear strain in abc. Consider the
scalar e . 6c

e bc = [P] • [e ] xyz (12)

where: [P] and [e ] are 3 x 3 tensors and : is the scalar product notation. Since [P] involves

[b] and [c], it describes the direction of e(, in the strain space. c

[P] = \ {[d C2 c f { h 62 6s] + [h b ö f [ci c cs})

3 2 3 2 (13)

where; e.g, c is the x component of [c].


*-xx *-xy
X £yy (14)
_ ^xz €yz

where; e.g., e
xz = -y /2

After expansion it can be shown that:

76C = 2 [Pil P 2 P33 Pl2 P23 P3l][CxX

2 tyy e 2 Z J y fX y Z ~j Z X ] T

The global strain vector e = [e e e ^ j xx ^zxY is simply [P][f/]. 7& is the magnitude
yy zz x y yz c

of the component of the global strain in the be direction and should be removed from [e] and
replaced by 7 • The tensor (or direction) of f is now required.
6c bc

= [P]lbc (16)

Further expansion gives:

^zz Ixy lyz "Jzx [Sbc][B]{U] (17)

S is a 6 x 6 matrix which takes the strain in xyz, finds the magnitude of the component of the

global strain e in the 7& direction; i.e., the direction of y in the strain space, and then creates
c bc

the tensor for the strain component that should be removed from the global strain e.

i,From the Gauss point strain in xyz; i.e., [B][J7], remove the local contribution of ji, and c

add 72?:

00 00
[e] = [B][U] - [S ][B][U] + [5°f ][B <][U] = [[/] - [S ][B] + [S°f ][B <}] [U]
bc be (18)

Repeating the above for other transverse shear strain and the membrane strain:

[/ - [S ] - [S ] - [S ]\ [B] + [[S°?} + [S° °J] +

ie ac ab a rø] [B° ] [U] 0C

More simply: [e] = [P][f7]. The FEA implementation is fairly straight forward, [a], [6] and [c]
( c
are constructed at the lamina centroids and [S°° ], [5°?] and [P°° ] are evaluated. [S ], bc
a n
[Sac], [Sab] d [B] are evaluated at each Gauss point.
2.5 Effective-Stress-Function

Given a set of displacements calculated by a frontal solver or the conjugate gradient solver,
strains, stress, internal loads and residual loads can be determined. The authors' algorithm uses
a temperature-dependent yield criterion (von-Mises) with isotropic-kinematic work hardening.
From an estimate of the deviatoric total strain increment, the deviatoric stress is found using the
effective-stress-function (ESF) approach [14] for standard elasto-plasticity and creep. For finite
deformation, all plasticity correction is done in the initial orientation and then transformed to
final orientation.

For the 8- to 16-node shell, there is an iteration, similar to that used by Hallquist [16],
around the ESF routine to satisfy the static constraint related to plane stress. In addition, the
strains are determined in the laminae and then stresses are calculated. These stresses are then

rotated back to the global system. Then, finally, the stress, incremental strain, and plastic strain
are rotated forward onto final orientation.

The special input to the ESF for shells, is the through-thickness (normal) strain, €33, for a
plane stress elastic step. The ESF detects whether the problem is materially linear or materially
nonlinear. In a linear problem; e.g., when there is no plasticity or creep, the through-thickness
stress from the ESF is modified using the D matrix (eq. 11) and the through-thickness strain
from [£][[/]. This stress is then used in the calculation of the stress divergence, J [B] [a]dü,

and in the convergence of the increment.

If the problem is materially nonlinear, the stress is based on guesses of strain which are
bounded by the through-thickness strain for a fully elastic step and a strain based on a fully
plastic step. Iteration around the ESF is based on these two limits. Convergence is checked
using a strain-based check similar to that of Hallquist [16].

< KT (20)

where: j is the current iteration around the ESF.

It is possible for the strain-based check to fail especially in thermal-mechanical problems. In

a strict shell, the normal stress must be zero but in a thermal-mechanical problem this may not
be the case if material is restrained by adjacent material. For this reason an additional check
based on the change in stress, 033, is also implemented and is placed just before the strain-based

^ J 3 3
' 1
< lO" (21)
Note, there is a requirement for two iterations per increment; i.e., load step, in a linear thermal
stress test. This is a natural consequence of using the ESF and is partly due to the need to
determine the internal force components to compute thickening; i.e., [B] EaAT where, a is the
linear coefficient of thermal expansion and T is the temperature.


The new shell element must be useful in linear, nonlinear and thermal-mechanical problems.
The basis of the initial validation is from standard tests [21] in which normalized displacement
is plotted against »47?.. In curved problems the ATZ is from the most ill-formed element(s). In
keeping with MacNeal [21], the validation tests were performed with 8-node shells. Graded
meshes with node pairs added to a number of elements were also successfully tested. Shells were
limited to .47?. > 8 since well formed brick elements will be used, in practical applications, when
modelling full 3-D behaviour is essential.
3.1 Linear

Rectangular Plate

The rectangular plate shown in Figure 2a is symmetric and one quarter of the geometry is
modelled. The outer edges are clamped. Plate dimensions are: d = 2.0 and e = 2.0. Poisson's
ratio is 0.3 and the modulus of elasticity is 1.7472 x 10 . A downwards point load is applied
at the centre of the plate. The magnitude of the total load was 4.0 x 10~ . A variety of plate
thicknesses were tested for meshes with mxm elements, one element thick. Mesh densities with
m = 4 and m = 10 were used. Graded meshes and mixed meshes of linear bricks and shells were


Aspect Ratio
-»- 8 Node Brick
- ° - Nonconforming 8 Node Brick
8 Node Shell

Fig. 2a. Rectangular Plate Test 2b. Normalized Displacement vs. ATZ

also tested successfully. Naturally, in the thinner cases, the best response was observed with
shell elements alone.

Figure 2b shows locking in regular 8-node bricks at very small ATZ. The nonconforming
elements perform well to ATZ < 15. The new shell element has outstanding performance;
e.g., for t - 0.0001 and a 10 x 10 mesh, giving ATZ = 1000, the FEA software predicted the
displacement of the centre node to be 5.598. The analytical solution is 5.6. In fact, correct linear
answers were predicted for ATZ of up to 30,000 before round-off damage occurred. Clearly the
latter is well beyond any sensible limit but it illustrates the effectiveness of the degradation
factor in eliminating ill conditioning of the stiffness matrix associated with thin bricks.

Scordelis-Lo Roof

The Scordelis-Lo roof is a more difficult problem which incorporates aspects of extension,
in-plane and out-of-plane shear, twist, bending and higher order stress gradients [21]. Simo [22]
states that it is a membrane-dominated problem involving complex states of membrane stress.
Figure 3a shows some of the conditions for the test. The radius of curvature, R, and the length,
L, are 25.0 and 50.0 respectively. The angle from the apex of the roof to the free edge is 40°
while t = 0.25. One quarter of the roof is modelled. The elastic modulus is 4.32 x 10 while
Poisson's ratio is 0. A downward load of 90/unit area was applied. Mesh densities of 4 x 4,
6 x 6, 9 x 9 and 30 x 30 are used for meshes one element thick.

The accuracy of the solution is based on the displacement at the midside node on the free
edge. The classical linear solution is 0.3086 although most authors including MacNeal [21]
normalize by 0.3024. In Figure 3b shows the results normalized by the 0.3086. Locking of
simple 8-node bricks is clearly evident at even small aspect ratios. The nonconforming elements
perform well to about ATZ = 10. The new shell does not lock for AR < 20 which is associated
with a 4 x 4 mesh. If fewer elements are used, the geometry of the roof cannot be captured. For
comparison, results by Simo [22] are also plotted.

Spherical Shell

A quadrant of a hemisphere, with an 18° hole is modelled as shown in Figure 4a. The problem
parameters; e.g., in-plane shear etc.. are the same as for the Scordelis-Lo roof. In addition, it has
double curvature and according to Simo [22] it assesses the ability of the formulation to capture
inextensional bending and rigid body modes. The radius of curvature is 10.0 and t = 0.04. An
elastic modulus of 6.825 x 10 and v = 0.3 are used. Two unit point loads, one compressive and
one tensile, are applied to the quadrant in a pinching fashion. Mesh densities of 10 x 10, 30 x 30,

Fig. 3a. Scordelis-Lo Roof 3b. Normalized Displacement vs. ATZ

Fig. 4a. Spherical Shell 4b. Normalized Displacement vs. ATZ

and 40 x 40 are used for meshes one element thick. Mesh densities of less than 10 x 10, do
not adequately capture the geometry of the problem. The accuracy of the solution is based on
the displacement at the loaded nodes. Figure 4b shows the results normalized by 0.0924, the
analytical lower bound suggested by MacNeal [21]. Locking of simple 8-node bricks is again
evident. The nonconforming elements perform well to about ATZ =15. The new shell does not
lock for .47?. < 40. For comparison, Simo's [22] solutions are shown.
3.2 Geometrically Nonlinear - Scordelis-Lo Roof

Although it is not often explored, the Scordelis-Lo roof is a geometrically nonlinear problem.
Kanok-Nukulchai [10] show a similar effect for a clamped cylindrical shell. Here, the Scordelis-Lo
roof was run as a large deformation problem. The regular bricks and the nonconforming bricks
used a full Newton-Raphson technique. The shell elements required a modified Newton-Raphson
approach in combination with line search. The convergence was set for a force norm of 1.5%. For
the 4 x 4 mesh, the shell element requires nine iterations to satisfy the convergence criterion. The
nonconforming element requires only 4 iterations to converge to an inferior solution. The results
are normalized to the best solution obtained by the nonconforming elements with ATZ < 2; i.e.,
0.2613. Figure 5 shows locking of regular bricks while nonconforming elements perform well for
ATZ < 10. The new shell element has not locked at ATZ < 20.

0 5 10 15 20
Aspect Ratio
- * - 8 Node Brick
Nonconforming 8 Node Brick
• 8 Node Shell ;

Fig. 5 Normalized Displacement vs. ATI for Nonlinear Scordelis-Lo Roof

3.3 Materially Nonlinear — Uniaxial Tests

The materially nonlinear problem of a uniaxial test is also considered. Three elements are
fixed at one end with either prescribed loads or prescribed displacement applied to the free end
in the plane of the shell. Several cases including low and high hardening modulus, with and
without mesh grading and with various aspect ratios were tested with good results. Care must
be taken though for cases with low hardening modulus in which Considere's condition, or plastic
collapse, occurs at ATZ « 25. In this condition, thinning reduces the load capacity more rapidly
than strain hardening increases the load capacity.

Figure 6 shows the results for the case with a high hardening modulus and ATZ « 15. It uses
12 8
an elastic modulus, E, of 0.2 x 10 ; Poisson's ratio of 0.3; a uniaxial yield strength of 5.5 x 10
and a hardening modulus; i.e., %Z.%\ where the tangent modulus, E = 0.1E. t

The prescribed load of 750 MPa is applied over 12 increments. The total prescribed dis-
placement is 0.025 and is applied over 20 increments. A modified Newton-Raphson technique
is used (without line search in these cases) for convergence based on a 5% force norm. Elastic
increments require one iteration. Plastic increments require fewer than five iterations. The
analytical solution is e = < a and e = -g + ",er
v > a where a is the yield strength.
y y

There is excellent agreement between the three cases.

0.000 0.002 0.004 0.006 0.008 0.010 0.012

Strain (m/m)
Prescribed displacement
Prescribed load
Analytical solution

Fig. 6 Stress vs. Strain for a Uniaxial Test

Weld Path

I WPTT/ I I I I i I \ \

Fig. 7 36-Element Mesh for an Arc Weld

3.4 Thermal-Mechanical Analysis of a Weld on a Plate

In the thermal-mechanical analysis of large structures, the principal benefit of the 8- to 16-
node shell will be in the far field of combined and graded brick and shell meshes. To illustrate
the functionality of the shell in such cases, a thermal-stress analysis of a submerged arc weld on
a slice of HY-80 plate is examined [23]. The dimensions of the slice are 216 mm x 12 mm x 1
mm and the weld conditions are 32 V, 475 A, 6.14 mm/s with a welding efficiency of 95%. An
elliptical heat source 20 mm long, 20 mm wide and 7 mm deep is used. The weld is active for
the first 8 of 94 increments. All external surfaces are initially prescribed to 20°C. The surface
2o - 4 1 6 1
convection coefficient, h , (W/m C)
c is described by h = 24.1 x 1 0 e T . The emissivity,

£, is 1.0 and T is the surface temperature. The role played by phase transformations in the
development of residual stresses is significant. The martensite transformation start for HY-80
is assumed to be at 400°C. The assumed yield strength of the transformation products is 550

For simplicity, a very coarse 36-element mesh modelled the thin slice of half of a larger plate
as shown in Figure 7. The aspect ratios of the elements vary from 3 near the centreline to 46
at the far end of the plate. It is known that this slice tends to overpredict the experimental
solutions especially within the heat-affected zone and weld area [23]. Nevertheless it allows a
comparison of brick and combined and brick and shell meshes with grading. In the first case,
only linear brick elements are used. In the second case, a mixed mesh of brick and shell elements
is used and in the third case, only nonconforming elements are used. In first two cases the linear
bricks use selective reduced integration on the hydrostatic terms of the stiffness matrix using
the B approach. This improves the behaviour of linear bricks during plastic deformation [4].

A thermal FEA of the HY-80 slice provided the nodal temperature histories required by the
mechanical analysis to compute thermal expansion, stresses and strains. A modified Newton-
Raphson technique (with line search when required) is used for convergence based on a 10% force
norm. Both longitudinal and transverse stress are examined using a simple averaging technique
for the nodes at z = 0 and z = 12 mm.

Figure 8a shows the longitudinal residual stresses predicted. There is excellent agreement
beyond 50 mm from the centreline. Shell elements are employed in this area demonstrating
that they can be used in tandem with the brick elements in complex thermal-mechanical fields
particularly in the far field. The brick-to-shell interface to the left of the 50 mm mark shows
some variation between the combined mesh and the brick mesh. However the combined brick
and shell mesh shows a much closer correlation in this area to the results from the nonconforming
elements. Results from previous tests have shown that nonconforming elements are known to
behave better for the aspect ratios of just under 8 seen in this part of the mesh. Towards the

centreline, the brick and combined meshes agree well. The aspect ratios in this part of the mesh
are about 3, suggesting that it might be appropriate to use nonconforming elements in this area.

Figure 8b shows the transverse residual stresses predicted. Again there is very good agree-
ment beyond about 50 mm from the centreline. In the transition region the brick and combined
meshes show good agreement. The nonconforming mesh appears to be more able to capture
changing gradients near the centreline where the existence of a non-zero stress is an artifact of
the simple averaging of a bilinear field.


1 1 1 r _
-100 -400 1
: —
0 50 100 150 20C 0 50 100 150 200
Distance from Centreline (mm) Distance from Centreline (mm)
— 8- to 26-Node Brick 1
— 8- to 26-Node Brick "f- 8- to 26-Node Nonconforming Brick j
~"~ 8- to 26-Node Nonconforming Brick 8- to 26-Node Brick & 8- to 16-Node Shell
-8-8- to 26-Node Brick & 8- to 16-Node Shell

Fig. 8a. Longitudinal Stress 8b. Transverse Stress


The 8- to 16-node shell element is limited to a minimum aspect ratio of 8 since better 3-D
prediction can be obtained with a well formed nonconforming brick element. Although the shell
element works well with larger aspect ratios, the authors limit its aspect ratio to about 100 in
complex materially nonlinear problems.

In linear problems, the 8- to 16-node shell is computationally as expensive as a noncon-

forming brick element; i.e., about 20% more expensive than a regular linear brick [4]. However,
there is a substantial improvement in performance. In geometrically and materially nonlinear
problems, the shell is more expensive, requiring more iterations but converging to a superior
answer justifying the increased costs provided it is used in the high aspect ratio areas of the
mesh only.

The 8- to 16-node shell functions in tandem with 8- to 26-node brick elements in graded
meshes and provides excellent answers in complex thermal-mechanical problems including those
with phase transformations. The analysis of the weld suggests that a combination of noncon-
forming elements and shell elements may provide improved prediction of residual stresses.

The extension to adaptive methods; e.g., Lindgren [7], appears to be straight forward. Both
the shell and brick elements have nodes with three degrees of freedom. Software currently in
use by the authors for refining and coarsening bricks, can be directly implemented for use with
shells. In the near future, the 8-to 16-node shell element will be extended to a nonconforming
formulation. The authors expect this to improve the performance of the shell in problems in
which there is significant bending.


An 8- to 16-node solid shell element which satisfies linear, geometrically nonlinear and ma-
terially nonlinear test cases as well as complex thermal-mechanical analyses has been developed.
No special shell-to-brick transition elements are required and rotational degrees of freedom are
avoided. The 8- to 16-node shell can be used in tandem with bricks in graded meshes and
integrates naturally with existing FEA and adaptive FEA software.


The financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
(NSERC) of Canada (Operating Grant 41745) and the Swedish Research Council (TFR)
is gratefully acknowledged.


[1] J.M. McDill, J.A. Goldak, A.S. Oddy and M.J. Bibby, Isoparametric Quadrilaterals
and Hexahedrons for Mesh-Grading Algorithms, Comm. Appl. Num. Meth., 3,
155-163, 1987.

[2] A.S. Oddy, J.A. Goldak and J.M. McDill, Numerical Analysis of a Transforma-
tion Plasticity Relation in 3D Finite Element Analysis of Welds, European J. of
Mechanics A, 9, 253-263, 1990.

[3] A.S. Oddy, J.M. McDill and J.A. Goldak, Consistent Strain Fields in 3D Finite
Element Analysis of Welds, J. Press. V . Tech., Trans. ASME, 122, 309-311, 1990.

[4] J.M.J. McDill and A.S. Oddy, A Nonconforming Eight to 26-Node Hexahedron
for Three-Dimensional Thermal-Elasto-Plastic Finite Element Analysis, Comp. &
Struct., 54, 183-189, 1994.

[5] T.J.R. Hughes, R.L. Taylor and W. Kanok-Nukulchai, A Simple and Efficient Finite
Element for Plate Bending, Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng., 1 1 , 1529-1547, 1977.

[6] H. Parisch, A Continuum-Based Shell Theory for Non-Linear Applications, Int. J.

Numer. Meth. Engng., 50, 1855-1883, 1995.

[7] L-E Lindgren, H-Å. Häggblad, J.M.J. McDill and A.S. Oddy, Automatic Remeshing
for Three-Dimensional Finite Element Simulation of Welding, Comp. Meths. in
Appl. Mech. & Engng., 147, 401-409, 1997.

[8] J.M.J. McDill, A.S. Oddy and J.A. Goldak, An Adaptive Mesh-Management Algo-
rithm for Three-Dimensional Automatic Finite Element Analysis, Trans CSME, 15,
57-70, 1991.

[9] J.M.J. McDill and A.S. Oddy, Arbitrary Coarsening for Adaptive Mesh-Management
in Three-Dimensional Automatic Finite Element Analysis, J. Math Modelling and
Sei. Computing., 2, 1072-1077, 1993.

[10] W . Kanok-Nukulchai, R.L. Taylor and T.J.R. Hughes, A Large Deformation For-
mulation for Shell Analysis by the Finite Element Method, Comp. & Stuct., 13,
19-27, 1981.

T.J.R Hughes and W . K . L i u , Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis of Shells: Part I,
Three-Dimensional Shells, Comm. Appl. Num., 26, 331-362, 1981.

P.C. Gallbraith and J.O. Hallquist, Shell-Element Formulations in LS-DYNA3D:

Their Use in the Modelling of Sheet Forming, J. Materials Processing Technology,
50, 158-167, 1995.

G.M. Stanley, K.C.Park and T.J.R. Hughes, Continuum-Based Resultant Shell El-
ements, Finite Element Methods for Plate and Shell Structures, ed. T.J.R Hughes
and E. Hinton, Pineridge Press, Swansea, 1, 1 - 45, 1986.

M . Kogic and K-J. Bathe, The Effective-Stress-Function Algorithm for Thermo-

Elasticity and Creep, Int. J. Numer. Meths. Engng., 24, 1509-1532, 1987.

A. Svobda, L-E. Lindgren and A.S. Oddy, The Effective-Stress-Function Approach

for Pressure-Dependent Plasticity Applied to Hot Isostatic Pressing, Int. J. Numer.
Meth. Engng., 43, 587-606, 1998.

J.O. Hallquist and D.J. Benson, A Comparison of an Implicit and Explicit Imple-
mentation of the Hughes-Liu Shell, Finite Element Methods for Plate and Shell
Structures, ed. T.J.R Huges and E. Hinton, Pineridge Press, Swansea, 1, 395-431,

T.J.R. Hughes, The Finite Element Method, Linear Static and Dynamic Finite El-
ement Analysis, Prentice Hall N.J., 383-417, 1987.

K.S. Surana, Transitional Finite Elements for Three-Dimensional Stress Analysis,

Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng., 15, 991-1020, 1980.

G. Kerlick and G.Klopfer, Assessing the Quality of Curvilinear Coordinate Meshes by

Decomposing the Jacobian Matrix, Numerical Grid Generation ed. J.F. Thompson,
Applied Mathematics and Computation, North-Holland, 787-807, 1982.

M . Martinez, A Parametric Study of the Behaviour of a New Shell Element, Directed

Research Study, Mech. & Aero. Engng, Carleton University, 1998.

R.H. MacNeal and R.L. Harder, A Proposed Standard Set of Problems to Test F.E.
Accuracy, Finite Element Anal. Design. I , 3-20, 1985.

J.C. Simo, M.S. Rifai and D.D. Fox, On a Stress Resultant Geometrically Exact Shell
Model Part IV: Variable Thickness Shells with Through-the-Thickness Stretching,
Comp. Meths. in Appl. Mech. & Engng.,
8 1 , 91-126, 1990.

[23] J.M.J. McDill, A.S. Oddy and J.A. Goldak, Comparing 2-D Plane Strain and 3-D
Analysis of Residual Stresses in Welds, 3rd Int. Conf. Trends in Welding Research,
Gatlinburg, T N , 1992.

Paper D
Three dimensional welding analysis
using an adaptive mesh scheme
Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive

Mesh Scheme
1 2 2
H. Runnemalm ' and S. Hyun

Volvo Aero Corporation, 461 81 Trollhättan, S W E D E N
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, S W E D E N

One major problem arising in finite element analysis of welding analysis is the long
computer times required for a complete 3D analysis. An adaptive strategy for
coupled thermo-mechanical analysis of welding is applied in order to reduce the
computer time. The paper describes a generic posteriori error formulation that
evaluate both the thermal and the mechanical error distribution. It is combined with
a hierarchie remeshing strategy using a so called graded element. The error
indicator together with the known movement of the local heat source is used to
predict areas of refinement. An increased accuracy is abtained with a reduced
computational effort.

1. Introduction
Experimental procedures are used for the development of weld processes and schedules,
material selection and weld joint design when starting the manufacturing of a new product. The
problems associated with these experimental procedures are costly and time consuming.
Therefore their use in an optimisation process is limited. Combining the experimental procedure
with numerical analysis will enhance the process of forming a welding procedure specification
(WPS). It will make it possible to also consider residual stresses and deformations. It may even
be possible to perform simulation as part of an optimisation process. However, then it is
necessary that the required computational time for a simulation is small.
Researchers have developed the Finite Element Method (FEM) since early 1970 in order to
predict the material response due to welding. The computer power have increased with several
orders of magnitude. Still, the computational cost of a three dimensional welding analysis is
high i f a fine mesh is used near the weld.
A number of improvements of the finite element method have been made during the last decade.
The development of grading elements is one of the improvements that significantly have
enhanced modelling of welding. It facilitates the creation of a graded mesh. This is needed due
to the moving, concentrated heat source and the local effects in the vicinity of the Heat Affected
Zone (HAZ). Formulation of grading finite elements have been proposed by [1] and the use of
these elements have been demonstrated in a number of welding applications [2,3,4]. Elements
with varaiable number of nodes and using conctraint equation to make the element conformable
is described by [5]. This type of elements was used by[6] in analysing of welding.
In recent years three dimensional models in analysis of welding have become more frequent,
but still geometrical complex structures are rarely, if ever, seen. In 1988 the first full scale three
dimensional model of a weld using shell elements [7] was presented and in 1990 an analysis
using solid element [8] of welds was presented. The same application, a circumferential weld
on a pipe was studied in these models. More recently researcher have presented results from
multi pass welding analysis of three dimensional pipes [9,10].

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

2. Basic notation
The finite element formulation used in this work is implemented in an in-house code, SIMPLE.
The reason to use this code is manly because it includes a large number of tools that are specially
designed to deal with problems arising when setting up welding analysis. Some of them are;

• Staggered thermo mechanical solution process.

• Automatic mesh refinement and coarsening.
• Error indication to control the adaptive meshing (this work).
• Automatic assignment of properties to the element in the weldpath, either by the
quiet or inactive element technique [11].
• The ability to assign cut off temperatures for material properties.
• Geometry based user input for model definition.
• Analysis of the microstructure evolution for hypoeutectoid steels [12].

2.1 Welding analysis

Prediction of stresses induced in material during welding using FEM has been a research task
since the beginning of 1970 [13,14]. A solution to this problem requires the consideration of
several processes. First of all the thermal history of the weld must be predicted. Several authors
have used FE analysis to predict accurate thermal fields, some of those are [9,15,16]. Secondly
the mechanical behaviour must be predicted accurately. In this paper we follow the strategy
outlined by Lindgren et al. [11]. The main steps of the staggered coupled thermo mechanical
analysis performed in this study are shown in BOX I .

Box 1: Main steps in themo-elasto-plastic analysis using a staggered approach

Step 1. Initialize analysis and start increment stepping

Step 2. Assemble the conductivity and heat capacity matrix for thermal analysis
Use geometry of last converged mechanical solution
Use effective heat capacity matrix
Compute thermal load
Step 3. Solve for the temperature field
Iterate until convergence is reached (Step 2).
Step 4. Assemble the stiffness matrix for mechanical analysis
Use temperature solution to calculate thermal strain (z )
Compute mechanical load
Step 5. Solve for deformations
Perform stress updating
Compute mid point strain
Compute rotation matrices
Rotate all relevant quantities back to unrotated reference
Use an Effective Stress Function (ESF) algorithm to compute stress increment.
Rotate relevant quantities forward to configuration at the end of the time step.
Evaluate residual forces of the solution
Iterate until convergence is reached (Step 4).
Step 6. Go to next time step (Step 2)

Volume changes or transformation plasticity was assumed to be negligible as the material in the
welded parts was a austenitic stainless steel (AISI 304L). The viscous material behaviour at

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

high temperature was neglected. This means that the total strain rate was decomposed into three
components i.e. elastic, plastic and thermal strain rates.

. e l . p l . i h /i\

The material was considered to be isotropic and the yield criterion according to von Mises was
used. The Green-Naghdi objective stress rate was used. We also assumed anisotropic hardening
behaviour. The material data at elevated temperature is uncertain and numerical problems
become more severe at elevated temperature [17], therefore a mechanical cut off temperature at
1000°C was used. The accumulated plastic strain and thermal expansion was set to zero above
this temperature. All mechanical material properties are evaluated at the cut off temperature if
the computed temperature is above 1000°C. It has been shown by Oddy et al. [18], that spurious
stresses might be introduced into the model if the mechanical and thermal field are of different
orders. To prevent this we used a constant temperature evaluated at the centre of each
subdomain within the graded element.

3. The adaptive remeshing scheme

The concentrated heat input that appears in most welding apphcations requires a refined
discretization in the neighbourhood of the weld. The obvious solution to this is to have a mesh
with a fine region that is moving with the heat source. This solution requires some kind of
remeshing capability. Tetrahedral element is frequently used in automatic meshing schemes,
however it have been shown that linear hexahedral element are superior to linear tetrahedral
element in many applications [19,20]. The work in this paper build upon the graded hexahedral
element described by McDill et al. [1]. The initial work of an automated remeshing strategy for
welding applications was performed by Lindgren et al. in [3]. Their work included remeshing
of a moving region but did not use any error measure of the solution to control the remeshing
scheme. They prescribed the refinement/coarsening in the input file so that a smaller distance
to the source gave smaller elements. The size of the element behind the heat source was also

3.1 The error measures

Error measures based on gradient fields are employed in order to devise a procedure for
automatically adjusting the element sizes in the EE analysis. The generic posteriori error
estimator described by McDill et al. [21], is deployed in the present work. These errors are
computed so that they are not influenced by changes of physical dimensions or reference values.

Error measurements of gradient fields, stress and heat flux, are obtained by

ex,a = a
ex-°fe (2)

x,q - Qex'Qfe (3)

ex> Qfe
Cf , qj stress and heat flux by FE analysis
e e

The exact solutions are not available during the FE analysis. Therefore estimated stress errors
e are obtained from a smoothed continuous gradient field a* and q*. This gradient field is

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

obtained by averaging the nodal gradients using least square projections [22,23] from the gauss
Then estimated errors for element i is obtained as,


e% q = (i). (i)
q q (5)

The L norms of stress and heat flux errors for element i are expressed as

ires, at, (6)

Ires, q\L 2
j T
[qW-q%') lq«J-q$ldQ (7)

Then the global error estimate for both stress and heat flux are expressed as
\K\\ = X IK?! 2
where M is total number of elements in the old mesh.

The local and global error estimates are normalized by the smoothed gradient norm. The
smoothed gradient norm for element i is expressed as
j* [c^fto-ciVQ (9)

( 0
? L (10)
><? \\L 2

And their corresponding global values are,

= 2 (ID
i= 1
Smoothed gradient norm (9) and (10) are used to normalize the element error estimates given
by (6) and (7).
The normalized local error estimate for element i is expressed as

E (l)
= W (12)

Then the normalized global error estimate is given as

E = (13)

The average error for the mesh is

II 2 _ \\ es\\ (14)
Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

and its normalized form is

E. - tø OS)

The local normalized error value E> ^ is used to determine where to remesh in the gradient field.

3.2 The refinement strategy

Using the error indicator described above makes it possible to create an optimal new mesh. Two
definitions of an optimal mesh, with respect to the error measure, can be found in the literature.
The first one is proposed by Zienkiewics and Zhu [24] and is based on equal distribution of the
global error between all elements in the mesh. The second is proposed by Bugeda et al [24] and
is based on uniform distribution of the error density in the mesh. This paper will follow the ideas
of Zienkiewicz and Zhu.

It is possible to relate the global accuracy (Equation (16)) and the element accuracy (Equation
(17)) to the characteristic length (h) as

p m+l
\\e\\<C h - e (16)

(i) p m + d
\e \\<C , h - e ) (17)

where the characteristic element length (h) of an element is the maximum length of the
diagonals in an element,is refering to a separate element and d is 1, 2 or 3 depending on the
dimension of the problem, p is the order of the shape function used in the element and m is the
highest order of differentiation in the strain-displacement relation.
Following the ideas of L i et al. [26] we can formulate a relation between the old and the new
characteristic length of an element that is used for analysis in dimension d. We assume that we
have a measure of the normalized element error and the normalized global error in the new mesh
described as
2 2
E* - £ £*('') (18)
i= 1
where the (*) denotes values in the new mesh.
If we assume that we have found a new mesh that is optimal, then the element error should be
identical for all element in order to satisfy the assumption of equal distribution of the global
error in each element, this yield according to Equation (14)

£*(>) = -L-E* (19)

Using Equation (18) to compute the element error in the old and the new mesh gives

p m + d
Eli) _ ch ~ (20)

p m + d
E *(i) = c*h* ~ (21)

We assume that the constant C and C* are equal and rearrange Equation (20), (21) and (22) to
get an expression between the new and the old element sizes

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

\p-m + dj
h* = (^jM*j h (22)

where h and h* are the old and the new characteristic length of an element, E* is the permissible
error in an element given by the user. M* is found by assuming equal distribution of the global
error in each element.
2(p ~m + d)

M E('\p-m + d~ 2p-2m + d
M* = 2 [ £* (23)

The refinement strategy is based on the local element error (17) which is believed to give
advantage result over a strategy based on the global error (18), especially since the error in the
mesh comes from a relatively small region when performing a welding analysis.

A combination of the errors from the thermal and the mechanical fields is used in welding
analysis. This is necessary as the thermal and mechanical fields may have different
requirements on the element sizes. The maximum of the thermal and mechanical error in each
element is used in the remeshing.

= max(\\E($l, | (0|| )
£ ? (24)

The user specifies a lower and an upper element size. Otherwise the automatic refinement/
coarsening procedure may led to extremely small elements or unnecessary large elements.
Furthermore, it is necessary to safeguard against too many elements. The user supply an
maximum element error that we would prefer (E ß in the model. Thus, i f the number of

element in the model increases too much, then we loosen the error criteria up to an upper
maximum element error {E ^). The variable allowable maximum element error is defined as

= E p r e f + (E m a x -E p r e f )e (25)
where N is number of element specified by the user. The characteristic behaviour of Equation
(25) is shown in Figure 1. The curves corresponds to Nof 1000,4000 and 8000 elements. Using
this form of maximum element error is an ad hoc way of making the modelling part more
flexible. It does not guarantee a maximum number of element in the model, but adds on extra
flexibility in completing an analysis. Still the analysis will stop i f the error goes to higher than
a t t n e
Emax maximum possible size of the model.

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

4. Welding simulation using adaptive meshing

Two different geometries have been analysed to highlight the characteristics of the proposed
remeshing strategy in welding applications. The first analysis correspond to circumferential butt
welding of a tube with thickness 2 mm, an inner diameter of 100 mm and a total length of 400
mm. Completion of the circumferential weld was done in 7.26 seconds. Symmetry was assumed
in the weld plane and the tube was considered to be free to expand in all directions. The second
analysis corresponds to a butt weld of a plate with dimensions 230x86x2 mm. Completion of a
230 mm long weld was done in 5.11 seconds. The plate was fixed in all except the welding
direction along one of the long sides of the plate. The material was in both cases AISI 304L, an
austenitic stainless steel. Used material data in the analysis are all temperature dependent and
can be found in [27]. The welding set up was a bead on weld using a C 0 laser with 2700W as

output power and a welding speed of 2.7 m/min. The laser equipment was assumed to deliver
an overall efficiency of 65%. This gave a net heat input of 1755 W.
The tube and the plate welding analysis was performed using the parameters given in Table 1.

Table 1: Refinement parameters

Parameter Tube welding Plate welding

Minimum element size 1.5 mm 1.5 mm

Maximum element size 4.0 mm 4.0 mm

Preferable global error 20% 20%

Max global error 30% 30%
N (elements) 5000 5000

It is shown in Figures 2a and 3a that the automatic mesh refinement using heat flux as error
indication produced an elliptical formed zone in the vicinity of the weld spot. A distinct
different behaviour is found when using purely stress refinement as parameter. It gives more

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

refined elements behind the arc. This region can be difficult to predict by a manual procedure
as in [3].

Figure 2. Remeshing of a tube using (a) only heat flux and (b) only effective stress.

Figure 3. Remeshing of a plate using (a) only heat flux and (b) only effective stress.

The number of elements in the model during the weld analysis is plotted in Figure 4. It can be
seen that the stress driven mesh generation produced significantly more elements than the heat
flux driven. It can also be seen that the stress driven analysis requires more element even after
the heat input is finished. This is due to the residual stress field that will remain in the welded
component. The flux driven remeshing is creating much lower number of elements in the model
this is of course due to a smoother gradient field in the thermal analysis and also because body
cools down to a uniform temperature.
A clear difference between the two cases when using stress in the error indicator can be seen in
Figure 4. The tube analysis increases the number of elements during cooling where the plate
analysis decreases the number of element. This reflects a more complicated deformation
behaviour in the pipe during cooling

Three Dimensional Welding Analysis using an Adaptive Mesh Scheme

5. Conclusions
It has been shown that the suggested posteriori error estimate can be used to control the
refinement strategy in welding applications. We have not been able to complete an analysis with
equal accuracy with a fixed mesh due to lack of physical memory. The tube analysis (using the
combined error estimate) required 25 hours on a I B M SP2 thin node/120 MHz using 512Mb
It is obvious that the different error measure produce totally different meshes. Thus the
combined procedure should be used in welding applications. It can also be seen that the mesh
produced by the proposed error indicator differs to a significant level compared to the mesh
used in [3]. Their choice of remeshing is very similar to the mesh produced by pure heat flux
base error indication which is more easy to foresee by a user. The behaviour of the adaptive
mesh generation depend on geometry and constraint as shown. Thus the error driven mesh
generation is necessary when modelling complex three dimensional welding problems as even
an experienced user may find it difficult to mesh the model efficiently.

The financial support was provided by the Swedish Research Council (TFR) and the Polhem
laboratory at Luleå University of Technology.
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simulations of welding processes", J. of Eng. for Industry, Vol. 115, 1993, pp. 415-423
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1990, pp. 76-84
9. M . L i , D.G. Atteridge, L.L. Meekisho, S.L. West, "A 3D finite element analysis of
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Conf. "Trends in Welding Research", Ed Smartt H.B., Johnson J.A., David S.A., ASM
Int. 1996, pp. 51-65
10. S. Fricke, E. Keim, and J. Schmidt, "Fracture mechanics investigation of root formation
and shrinkage zone during welding", ASME, Fatigue, Fracture, and High Temperature
Design Methods in Pressure Vessels and Piping, PVP-Vol 365, 1998, pp 137-141.
11. L-E. Lindgren, H. Runnemalm, M.O. Näsström, "Simulation of multipass welding of a
thick plate", Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng., 44, 1999, pp 1301-1316
12. L. Börjesson, L-E Lindgren, "Simulation of multipass welding using mixture rules for
prediction of material properties", in Simulation of material processing; theory; Methods
and Applications, Huétink & Baaijens (eds), NUMIFORM '98, 1998, pp 351-357
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subsequent loading of a fabricated structure", Comp. & Struct, Vol. 3, 1973, pp 1145-
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welding by finite elemnet method", Trans JWRI, Vol 2, No. 2, 1971, pp 90-100
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transformations", J. of Eng. Materials and Technology, Vol. 100, 1978, pp. 356-362
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of laser welding", in Carlamagno G.M., Brebbia C.A., eds. Proc. Comput. Methods and
experimental Measurements V I I (Computational mechanics Publications,
Southampton, 1995), pp. 85-92
17. A. Oddy, L.-E.Lindgren,"Mechanical modeling and residual stresses", in "Modeling in
welding, hot powder forming and casting", ed Karlsson L., ASM Int. 1997, pp 31-59
18. A. S. Oddy, J. M . J. M c D i l l , J. A.Goldak, "Consistent strain fields in 3D finite element
analysis of welds", J. of Pressure Vessel Technology, Vol. 112, 1990, pp. 309-311
19. A. O. Cifuentes, A. Kalbag, "A performance study of tertahedral and hexahedral elements
in 3-D finite element structural analysis", Fin. Elem. Anal. Des. 12 (1992) pp. 313-318
20. S. E. Benzley, E. Perry, K. Merkely, B. Clark, G. D. Sjaardama, "A comparison of all
hexagonal and all tetra hedral finite element meshes for elastic and elasto-plastic
analysis", in: Proc. 14th Ann. Int. Meshing Roundtable, Albuquerque, USA, 1995
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dimensional h-adaptive finite element analysis', Journal of Mathematical Modelling and
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24. O. C. Zienkiewicz and J. Z. Zhu, "A simple error estimator and adaptive procedure for
practical engineering analysis', International Journal for Numerical Methods in
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and Topping B. H. V., (Eds.), Advances in post and preprocessing for finite element
technology, CIVIL-COMP Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1994, pp. 77-84
26. L.-Y.Li, P. Bettess, J. W. Bull, "Theoretical formulations for adaptive finite element
computations", Comm. in Num. Meth. in Eng., Vol 11, 1995, pp. 857-868
27. H. Runnemalm, R. Lin, "Numerical prediction and experimental verification of residual
stresses in a laser welded tube", ICRS-5, 1997

Paper E
Simulation of multipass welding
of a thick plate
Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)




Division of Computer Aided Design, Luleå University of Technology, S-971 87 Luleå, Sweden


Multipass butt welding of a very thick steel plate has been performed. Transient temperatures and residual
stresses have been measured. The agreement between calculations and experiments is good. Two different
approaches, quiet and inactive elements, for modelling multipass welding are compared. The first approach
is straightforward to apply in most finite element codes. The inactive element method requires a code that
can regenerate the finite element model automatically or otherwise very tedious manual work is necessary as
the elements are added to the model when welds are laid. It is shown that both techniques give the same
results but the computational effort is reduced by using inactive elements. It also circumvents the problem in
the quiet element approach of choosing properties of elements in the model that represent the case when
welds are not laid. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
K E Y W O R D S : finite element method; welding; residual stresses; hole drilling; strain gauge method; thermocouples

1. I N T R O D U C T I O N

Simulation of multipass welding involves additional modelling aspects compared to single-pass

welding. Decision must be made whether the actual welding procedure should be simulated or if
some simplifications should be introduced. Secondly, the addition of filler material poses some
extra computational inconveniences.
This paper describes the formulation used in simulating multipass welding. Two different
approaches, named quiet and inactive elements, that can be used for simulating the addition of
filler at each weld pass are compared. I t is shown that they give similar results for a 28-pass
butt-weld. The simulations agree well with experimental obtained values. The advantages and
disadvantages of the two methods for the addition of filler materials are discussed.

2. A P P L I C A T I O N
The aim of the project in which the welding simulations are performed is to investigate, by
experiments and simulations, the butt-welding of two 0-2 m thick plates. Large and thick steel

•Correspondence to: Lars-Erik Lindgren, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Division of Computer Aided Design,
Luleå University of Technology, S-971 89 Luleå, Sweden. E-mail:

Contract/grant sponsor: Nya Ursvikens Mekaniska A B

Contract/grant sponsor: N U T E K

CCC 0029-5981/99/091301-16$ 17.50 Received 22 May 1997

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, L t d . Revised 24 March 1998

plates are used at the sides of plate bending machines. They accommodate large forces from
hydraulic cylinders. The total weight of one side can be over 30 ton. There are only a few steel
mills that can produce the largest required plates. I t is therefore of great practical and economic
interest to manufacture a side by joining smaller plates.
The agreement between measured and calculated residual stresses is good. Tensile transverse
stresses were measured and computed at the surface of the plates. The risk for crack propagation
in the interior of the joint was deemed to be negligible due to the combination of compressive
residual stresses from the welding procedure and low tensile stresses from the in-service load. The
large tensile forces on the surface makes this the critical location.

3. F I N I T E E L E M E N T F O R M U L A T I O N

An in-house finite element code, SiMPle, has been used for the simulation of welding.
The theoretical framework for the simulations and its implementation into the code is outlined

3.1. Element formulation

The so-called graded quadrilateral element is used in the finite element discretization. I t is
a four-to-eight node element with piecewise linear shape functions. Thus, an edge with three
nodes can have one element on one side and two elements on the other side with inter-element
compatible fields. This formulation alleviates the creation of a graded mesh. The element integrals
(element matrices, etc.) are solved by the standard Gauss quadrature. The four-node element is
identical to the standard four-node element formulation with 2 * 2 Gausspoints. The element
integrals are evaluated in two or four subdomains if midside nodes are added to the element. Each
subdomain is then integrated using 2*2 Gausspoints.
The volumetric part of the deformation is underintegrated in order to avoid locking due to
the incompressible plastic strains. The volumetric strain is constant within each subdomain
in the numerical integration. The B-bar method is used in order to achieve this. The temper-
ature used to generate the thermal loads is also taken as constant within each subdomain in
order to have consistency between the temperature variation and the strain variation in the

3.2. Staggered approach for coupling thermal and mechanical analysis

The flow diagram for the calculations is shown in Box 1. The coupled temperature and
displacement fields are solved using a staggered approach. Thus, the geometry in the thermal
n + 1
analysis performed from time t to f is based on the geometry at time f", where n is the
time-step counter.

3.3. Thermal analysis

The procedure for the thermal analysis is shown in Box 2. The finite element semi-discretiz-
n + I
ation applied to the heat conduction equation at time t — t" + aAt, 0 ^ a < 1, and a finite

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

Box 1. Program flow for coupled thermomechanical analysis

1. Start simulation
Read type of analysis, time stepping information, convergence criteria, etc.
2. Set f and t n + 1

Depends on how troublesome the previous solution step was and/or user input.
3. Generate or regenerate computational model
The model is generated initially and can be regenerated during the simulation.
+ !
4. Compute temperature field { 7 } " at end of time step
5. Compute mechanical field {D}" at end of time step
6. Update solution
7. Next time step
+ 1
Go to step 2 i f r " is less than finish time.
8. Finish simulation

difference approximation of the rate of temperature change gives

(j- lCl +røj{A7T
t = {QY - IKY{T}" (1)

where Af is the increment in time, [ X ] " is the heat capacity matrix evaluated at the temperature at
+x + 1
time t" , [ C ] is the heat capacity matrix, { A T } " is the current estimate of the increment in
temperature and { g } is a vector of heat generation for time t".
An Euler backward method, a = 1, was used i n the current study. The effective heat capacity is
used in the heat capacity matrix in order to reduce convergence problems when latent heats
exist. I t is computed as

c , f = ^ " ^ _ !
f if^-r-^o (2)

where H is the latent heat.

Contributions from convective and radiative boundary conditions and contributions from
prescribed temperatures are included i n the heat generation vector, {Q}*, and the heat conduc-
tivity matrix, [ i v ] " . Formulae for the matrices and vectors are given in e.g. Reference 6. The
system of equations is modified so that the prescribed temperatures are computed during the
iterative procedure. This makes it possible to switch a node between being unknown or having
a prescribed temperature without recomputing the profile of the matrix. Equation (1) is a non-
linear system of equations which is solved by the Newton-Raphson method. The solution
procedure for the thermal analysis is shown in Box 2.

3.4. Mechanical analysis

Stress updating, which is crucial for an accurate numerical solution of the deformation, is given
in Boxes 3 and 4. The overall solution procedure used in the mechanical analysis is summarized in
Box 5.

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

Box 2. Incremental solution with iterative corrections for thermal analysis

1. Initialize analysis
Set increment counter n = 0.
i n i t
Initialize temperatures {T}° = { T } .
2. Next increment
Set iteration counter i—l. +1
Initial estimate of temperatures for time f " + 1
is set as ;{r}" = n
{T} .
3. Solve system of equations
tiKM^T}'* = fa]

where [ K J = Qp[C] +
f and = {6}' - W { A T } « .

4. Updating
Increment iteration counter i = i + 1.
+ 1 n + 1
,-{T}" = {T}" + - { A T }
i 1

5. Check convergence
If no convergence then go to step 3 else
increment time step counter n = n + 1
Go to step 2 if more time steps should be taken.

+ 1
The principle of virtual work applied at time r" and integrated in the current geometry is the
starting point for the finite element discretization. The deformation is assumed to be quasistatic,
i.e. inertia is ignored. This gives a non-linear system of equations to solve. The inbalance or
residual forces, {R }, should become zero in the solution process.

{Rm} ={ m l
- i m 1
1 1
where { F } " ^ are the external forces and { F } " t the internal forces.

The internal forces are computed on the element level as

T + 1
[B] {c7}" dß (4)

where { ø j is the Cauchy stress and [2?] is the same element matrix used in the relation between
the velocity strains {d} and nodal velocities {«}, written as {d} = [J3] {ti}. I t comes from the
+ l
virtual strains and is evaluated at time f .
An additive decomposition of the elastic and plastic velocity strains is assumed. I t can be
derived from the multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient. This leads to
a hypoelastic stress-strain relation as the increment in stresses are computed from strain
increments. This implies that we assume the elastic strains to be small for the algorithm to define
an elastic material. The Green-Naghdi stress rate is used as it avoids the oscillatory behaviour for
10 11
the shear test case which is due to the hypoelastic formulation. The stress updating is a strain
driven procedure and the midpoint strain increment is a second-order accurate approximation

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

Box 3. Stress updating in reference or unrotated configuration.

Step 1. Compute midpoint strain
+ 1/2
{Ae} = [ B ] " {A«}
The derivative of the shape functions i n [ £ ] are evaluated for the geometry at time
+ 1 / 2
f" . The matrix is modified in order to obtain constant volumetric strain within each
subdomain for the numerical integration of element matrices and vectors.
Step 2. Compute rotation matrices
Use the polar decomposition of the deformation gradient to compute rotation matrices
for geometry at the beginning of the time step, midpoint geometry and at the end of the
time step.
Step 3. Rotate all relevant quantities back to unrotated reference
W " = ["R]" {<r}"
p c R Tpl
W " = c - ]" W"
{Ae } = R URY {As}

where ["R] is the rotation matrix used when the strains and stresses are stored i n vector
Step 4. Compute stress increment and update in unrotated configuration
See Box 4 for the radial return algorithm.
Step 5. Rotate forward to geometry at time f"
+ 1 + 1 + 1
{a}" =["R]" W
+ 1 +i
p'{}"> = r/irr >>{£*}»

of the strain increment during the time step.

+ 1 / 2
{AE}=| {rf}dtw[B]" {Au} (5)

where {Ae} is the strain increment i n an element, {Au} is the increment in nodal displacements
n + 1 / 2
of the considered element and [ i ? ] is the same matrix as in equation (4) but evaluated at
+ 1 2
time f " ' .
The objective Green-Naghdi stress rate is used in the hypoelastic relation. Using tensor
notation it is defined as,
°GN — COG + ceo = Rå PJ R (6)

where [ R ] is the local rotation tensor from the polar decomposition of the deformation gradient,
co = RR and o = R crR is the unrotated Cauchy stress tensor.

The increment in the Green-Naghdi stress rate due to the strain increment is solved in the
so-called unrotated configuration. The procedure is shown in Box 3. The plastic behaviour of the
material is described by the von Mises yield function, the associated flow rule and linear, isotropic
hardening with temperature-dependent properties. The viscous material behaviour at higher

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

Box 4. Radial return method for stress updating

1. Assume thermo-elastic trial stress increment
11 n e + 1 ,h
Compute trial stress {a } R = {a } R + [ £ ] " ({A£ } - Ae {J}) Ä

e + 1 n + 1 th
where [ £ ] " is the Hooke's law in matrix form evaluated at temperature T , Ae is
the increment in thermal strain and {/} = {1 1 1 0 } for two-dimensional stress states.
, r T M r
Compute effective von Mises trial stress d = | { s } R [P ]{s}'
where [P ] is a diagonal matrix. The diagonal is [ 1 1 1 2 ] for plane deformation
tr D t r
{s} = [ P ] { t r } is the deviatoric trial stress and

2 - 1 - 1 0
-1 2 - 1 0
for plane deformation.
- 1 - 1 2 0
0 0 0 6
yo + 1 n+1 pi n
Compute a trial yield limit V = a(T" ) + H'(T ) s
yo n + 1 n+1
where a{T ) is the virgin yield limit and H'(T ) is the hardening modulus at
+1 pl
temperature T" , e" is the accumulated effective plastic strain at time t".
2. Compute increment in effective plastic strain
r r
min(ffk -V ,0)
<"AÉ = n+ 1
3G(T ) + H'(V
+1 + i
where G(T" ) is the shear modulus at temperature T" .
3. Update stress and plastic strains
p!g«+l = Pig" + plAfi

p l + 1 p l 1
W = w + W ^
e + 1 + 1
= {OR}" - [£]" {<A -= £ {cr y R - 2G(T" ){<A - £

where {a} = * is the flow direction,


temperatures is ignored in the analysis. Neither is transformation plasticity included. The
material properties are temperature dependent but no dependency on the temperature history is
included. This means that the changing microstructure is neglected. The radial return method is
used to update the stresses and its implementation is shown in Box 4. The projection matrices for
stress states with or without the Zero Normal Stress constraint (ZNS), [ P ] and [ P ] , are from
14 17
Reference 14. It is an efficient and accurate method for stress c o m p u t a t i o n " and its extension
to cases with ZNS is also given in References 14-17. The accuracy of the method is especially
important as errors introduced here cannot be compensated elsewhere in the analysis.
The Newton-Raphson method is used in combination with line search for solving
equation (3). The Newton-Raphson method is a second-order accurate method to solve a

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

Box 5. Incremental solution with iterative corrections for mechanical analysis

1. Initialize analysis
Set increment counter n = 0.
Initialize {U}° = {U}
and corresponding strains and stresses.
2. Next increment
Set iteration counter i = 1.
n + l n
Initialize estimate of displacements i{U} = {V}
and corresponding initial values for stresses and plastic strains.
3. Solve system of equations
iKM&uy* --i{R } m

o elements *

m } A
™ = W * * J iV,
/elements r* \
i {R } = { f } " m - { F K x V =
m i i + 1
[ A j W.'W"
F d^-Kf}exV
4. Updating
Increment iteration counter i = i + 1

and update stresses and plastic strains.

5. Check convergence
If no convergence then go to step 3 else
increment time step counter n = n + 1
Go to step 2 if more time steps should be taken.

non-linear system of equations if the matrix in Box 5 is a tangent stiffness matrix. It is

denned from
+ 1
[K ]{Al/}"
m = {Atf} (7)

We compute the matrix on the element level as, where the dependency of external loads on the
deformation is ignored,

[fc ]{Ü}At = ( { / }
m i n t - {/}ext)A* x { / } , A t i n

The time derivative of equation (4) gives

[fc ]{u}A£ * { / } A t =
m i m + L J » + [BY{a}jdQ^jAt (8)

The stress rate is replaced by the Green-Naghdi stress rate, equation (6). The stress terms in
equation (8) and those that are present in the definition of the Green-Naghdi stress rate are
ignored, i.e. we ignore the initial stress matrix or geometric stiffness matrix. The Green-Naghdi

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

stress rate is computed from the strain increment giving

[U{"}Af~{/} i n t At* [B] T
[ £ ] d n j {ti}Ar

We thus use only the incremental stiffness matrix

[fe ]=
m [ß] [£][ß]dQ

where [ £ ] = [dcr/de] is the consistent constitutive m a t r i x .

4. M O D E L L I N G OF M U L T I P A S S W E L D I N G
20 22 23 25
Simulation of multipass welding was initially published e.g. by R y b i c k i , " U e d a , " and
L o b i t z . Simulation of multipass welding can be very time consuming and also requires a lot of
work when creating the finite element model. There are two additional aspects in these simula-
tions when compared to simulation of single-pass welds. First, one has to decide if each weld pass
should be simulated in detail or whether some simplifications should be introduced. Second, one
must be able to simulate the addition of filler material.
Each successive weld alters the stresses and distortions caused by previous passes. The effects,
while cumulative, are not precisely additive. Analysing multipass welds as a series of single-pass
welds is certainly the most rigorous, albeit costly process. This approach has been used in the
current study. Lumping successive passes together is one way to reduce the cost. Several forms
exist. Successive passes can be lumped by taking one thermal history to represent all the passes
and then performing a single mechanical analysis. This single thermal history might be the history
from one pass or the history obtained by superimposing several thermal histories and taking the
current temperature of any point from the maximum temperature found at that location, for that
point in time, from any of the histories. Another form involves translating and superimposing the
residual stress or inelastic strain field from a single pass to model the effects of all passes. The
accumulated residual stress field at any point is taken as the largest value at that location from
any single pass. The total distortion is determined as the elastic response of the structure to this
accumulated stress field. Another approach is to merge several passes into groups, i.e. reduce the
number of weld passes. A l l welds in one layer can be merged into one weld pass. A l l of these
lumping techniques involve some loss in accuracy because they limit the way in which the stress
field from one pass may contribute to the stress history of subsequent passes.
Application of the finite element method to multipass welding requires special procedures for
the addition of filler material. Two basic approaches are possible. Either a model is generated
where all welds are included or the model is extended at each weld pass.
The first approach for modelling multipass welding, named quiet elements, means that part of
the structure, the welds that have not yet been laid, is included in the computational model. These
elements are made passive by giving them material properties so that they do not affect the rest of
the model. They are given a low stiffness and low heat conductivity. However, these cannot be
decreased too much as this will give an ill-conditioned matrix. Finding these values may require
some trial simulations. The elements are given normal material properties at the start of the weld
pass. I t is important then to remove all strains and stresses that has possibly accumulated in these
elements up to this point. The approach has two advantages. I t is easy to implement i n most finite

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

element codes and it also allows the nodes in the interior of the passive elements to move with the
structure. This has been used in References 20-22, 27, 28 and has been used in the current paper.
The second approach, named inactive elements, requires the restructuring of data each time the
model is extended. The elements and nodes that correspond to welds not laid are not included in
the finite element model. For example, the profile of the matrices must be recomputed. This is
a more correct approach but requires a finite element code that has this capacity. It reduces the
size of the model during the first weld passes and will reach the full size after the last weld pass.
This approach has been used by Lobitz. Their paper does not give any details about how this
was done. It seems that they interactively add new elements when a new weld is laid. If this was the
case, then their technique will not be practical in the case of 28 weld passes. Free used a restart
facility of a commercial code to extend the finite element model for each weld pass. The initial
strains and stresses of these elements were zero. Michaleris used ABAQUS and a multipoint
constraint technique for placing activated elements at the correct positions. This required double
coincident nodes on the boundary where the new elements were added. It is not clear if nodes in
the interior of the added elements had to be moved due to large deformations at the boundary of the
laid weld. Brickstad also used ABAQUS but they used the quiet element technique.
The addition of filler material has in previous w o r k using SiMPle relied on the quiet element
approach. The inactive element technique has recently been implemented and will be described in
detail below.
The computational model is completely defined at the start of the analysis. All elements
corresponding to welds to be laid are defined at the start of the analysis. Thus, their locations has
to be defined on the original geometry. The user defines the cross-section of each weld pass and
the code will find all elements with their centre within this polygon. These elements, correspond-
ing to welds not laid, are not part of the assembling procedure. They are inactive. Nodes
completely surrounded by inactive elements are not included among the degree of freedoms in the
finite element model, i.e. nodes within the domain Q in Figure 1.

The total time for the laying of a weld is

where / is the length of the weld pool in the welding direction and v is the welding speed.


Tatr^andn« j

Figure 1. Configuration of elements and nodes to be added to the computational model

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

First, each node on the surface where the weld will be laid, i.e. nodes within the domain T in i w

Figure 1, will get a prescribed temperature that starts at its current temperature and rises linearly
up to T , which is a user-defined temperature for the weld. The heat input was performed by
w e I d

prescribing the temperature of the weld metal as this is more convenient than prescribing the heat
i n p u t . This temperature will be reached at time
f preheat t start " b j ' ^weld (10)
where r is the starting time of each weld and / is a user defined factor for the so-called preheat

Thereafter the inactive elements, within the domain denoted fi in Figure 1, are activated. They w

will have the initial temperature T . A t the same time the system of equations is recomputed as
w e l d

new nodes, within fi and on the boundary r , will be part of the model. The temperature T ,
w ew w e W

will be prescribed for all nodes connected to the newly introduced elements until time
tfinish Rstart + t w e l < j (11)
Thereafter the analysis continues with unknown temperature i n these elements. The temperature
of the nodes on the boundary T and the nodes i n the interior Q and on the boundary T are
i w w e w

outlined i n the diagrams in Figure 1.

There is one complication with this approach. All nodes have their initial locations specified by
the user. The structure will deform as the analysis goes on and it is likely that nodes that are
included i n the model when all elements are activated, those within Q and T , will cause these w e w

elements to be too deformed as these nodes are still at their initial positions. Therefore, a
smoothing technique is used in order to move these nodes due to the deformations of the
surrounding, existing material. The smoothing is performed in two steps. First, the nodes along
the boundary T will be moved to appropriate positions. They will obtain displacements that are

linearly interpolated between the displacements of the nodes at locations A and B i n the Figure 1.
This interpolation is based on their locations w.r.t nodes A and B in the original geometry.
Thereafter, a smoothing technique is applied to all nodes within Q . The smoothing algorithm is w

described i n Reference 32.

5. C O M P U T A T I O N A L M O D E L
A plane deformation m o d e l was constructed. This corresponds to ignoring heat flow in
the welding direction. This is reasonable as the welding speed is high compared to the
thermal diffusivity. See References 34 and 35 where this is discussed i n more detail. The finite
element model consists of 3080 elements and 3330 nodes. The analysis required about 3200 time
steps per weld pass. The time step was reduced to 0T s during the heat input. The simulation
continued until the structure had reached room temperature. The total simulation took about 14
CPU-hours on an I B M RS6000, model 590, workstation. The finite element mesh is shown in
Plate 1.
The total width of the analysed plate is 16 m after welding and the thickness is 0-2 m.
The material was assumed to be thermo-elastoplastic using rate-independent plasticity. The
von Mises yield function and the associated flow rule were used. The chemical composition of
the material corresponds to SIS2134, with 0-2 per cent C, 1-6 per cent M n , 0-5 per cent Si, 0T5
per cent V, 0-035 per cent S and P. The used Ae3 and Ael temperatures are 835 and 720°C,
respectively. The material was assigned temperature-dependent material properties. The thermal

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)
Plate 1. Finite element mesh and magnification of weld. The areas with numbers are the collection of elements that make up the
corresponding weld pass. The size of the elements in the welds is the same as in the heat affected zone

Plate 2. Position of strain gauges

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44 (1999)
y Thermocouple 1
I 100

0 5 10 20 25
Time (Sec. x 10 )
Thermocouple 2
2 Calculated
0 20 253
Time (Sec. x 10 )

Plate 3. Thermal history at the top of the plate (see Figure 6 for the location of thermocouples)

U Thermocouple 6
300 Calculated
I 100
0 10 15 20 25
Time (Sec. x 10 )
400 Thermocouple 7
2 Calculated

Time (Sec. x Hr)
Plate 4. Temperature at the bottom of the plate (see Figure 6 for the location of thermocouples)

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44 (1999)

0 0.2 x (m)
Plate 5. Residual transverse stress (a )

0.2 x (m)
Plate 6. Residual stress (Oy) in thickness direction
y w
f I
ol 300
fik 100

-0.1 +
-+- -f- -t-
-0.2 0 0.2 x (m)
Plate 7. Residual longitudinal stress (ov)

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44 (1999)

H 1 1 , ,
-0.2 0 0.2 x(m)
Plate 8. Residual shear stress (cr^)


H 1 1 «• , ,
-0.2 0 0.2 x(m)
Plate 9. Temperature when the 15th weld is laid


-0.2 0 0.2 x(m)

Plate 10. Stresses in the transverse direction just before the 15th weld is laid

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44 (1999)

properties were taken for AISI 1524 in Reference 36. Other sources for material properties were
References 37 and 38. The latent heat of melting was 260 kJ/kg. T was 1480°C and s o l i d u s

Tliquidus was 1530°C.

The thermal properties are shown in Figure 2. An effective heat capacity was computed, as
described in Reference 5, in order to handle the large variations in heat capacity near the melting
and solidification temperatures.
2 o
The heat transfer coefficient for all external surfaces was 12 W / m C and the temperature of the
surrounding air was 20°C. Radiation was also included and the emission factor was assumed to
be 0-5.
The Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio are shown in Figure 3. The temperature-dependent
yield limits as well as the thermal dilatation are shown in Figure 4. The yield limit of the filler
material was only known at room temperature. It was therefore reduced linearly to the yield limit
of the base material at Ae3.
The technique using quiet elements and inactive elements were both used for simulating the
addition of the filler material. The characteristic time for prescribing the temperatures of the
nodes in the weld to 1520°C was based on an estimated length of the weld puddle to 3 cm, which
was divided by the welding speed 15 cm/min. The total number of weld passes was 28.

_ 1300
• u
N sog
I 1100 \
4 5
^1000 V\
\ 40 f
I 900 \
\ J
8 0 0

/ \
BC 600 Conductivity • 30 Q
. Heat capacity 25
500 20
500 1000 1500 2000
Temperature CC)

Figure 2. Heat capacity and thermal conductivity of AISI 1524

200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400

Temperature C O

Figure 3. Young's modulus (minimum value 1 G P a ) and Poisson's ratio of AISI 1524

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)


Temperature ("C)

Figure 4. The yield strength of the filler material and the base material. Thermal dilatation is shown on the right axis

6. E X P E R I M E N T S

Two plates with dimensions 2020 x 1600 x 200 mm have been butt-welded together using sub-
merged arc welding technique. The prepared joint is shown in Figure 5. The joint was such that an
artificial crack existed after welding as the two plate halves were not joint in the interior. No
fixture were needed as the plates had a weight of 5000 kg. ESAB O K A U T R O D 12T0 was used as
the filler material and ESAB O K F L U X 10-80 as flux.
Ten Cr-CrNi thermocouples were spot welded to the surface of the plate, distributed as shown
in Figure 6.
Measuring of the residual stresses due to the welding process was done using the hole-drilling
Strain gauge method. Six gauges were glued to the surface at each side of the plate. The positions
of the gauges are shown in Plate 2.

7. R E S U L T S
The measured and computed temperatures are shown in Plates 3 and 4. The results from the
models using quiet and the model using inactive elements give very similar temperature fields.
During the first 17 passes the measurement was destroyed during the welding due to disturbances
from the welding equipment. It is therefore only possible to follow the cooling in between each
weld pass in the diagrams. At 6000 and 16000s a different weld equipment was used to fill up the
rear end to prevent the flux from disappearing from the groove. This can be seen as a large
disturbance in the graph. It is also possible to see when the plate was revolved. The welded side
shows peaks in temperature whereas the back side just shows a continuous rise in the temper-
ature. It is also possible to see that the weld passes are placed on different sides of the groove when
the last passes are laid.
The results in Plates 5-8 shows the residual stresses in the area close to the welds. In Plate 9 the
temperature field just after weld pass 15 is shown and in Plate 10 the stress field just before weld
pass 15 is started. The results from the models using quiet and the model using inactive elements
give very similar stress fields.
In Figures 7 and 8 the measured and calculated stresses at the top and bottom surface of the
plate are shown. It is believed that the strain gauge at the bottom surface with x co-ordinate equal

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

rical crack Lengths 2020 mm



Figure 5. Initial geometry of weld grooves

1015 15

Number 1,2, 3,4,5

Number 6,7.8,9,10

Figure 6. Position of thermocouples

Values at too surface

— Calculated using quiet elements
200 ••• Calculated using inactive elements
+ Measured
100 Values at bottom surface
Calculated using quiet elements
— Calculated using inactive elements
0 o Measured
-0. 1 -0.05 0 0.05 0.1
Position (m)

Figure 7. Measured and calculated transverse residual stresses. See Plate 2 for location of strain gauges

to — 7-6 mm gave wrong results caused by a poorly attached strain gauge. It is also well known
that the stress field in the weld is not constant throughout the thickness. This makes the
measured data of these points uncertain.

Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)

Valii« at tnp surface

6 5 0 0
Calculated using quiet elements
Calculated using inactive elements
+ Measured
I 300
Valnes at hntlntn surface
Calculated using quiet elements
Calculated using inactive elements
° Measured

-0.1 -0.05 0 0.05 0.1
Position (m)

Figure 8. Measured and calculated longitudinal residual stresses. See Plate 2 for location of strain gauges

8. D I S C U S S I O N S

The agreement between experiments and simulation is good. The simple approach of adding the
heat by specifying the element for a weld to be melted during a characteristic time works very well
as can be seen in Plates 3 and 4.
The geometrical positioning of each weld pass is uncertain. It would have been possible to
represent each weld pass more geometrically correct if the microstructure of a cross-section of the
welded plate had been examined. The position of the last welds will strongly affect the computed
residual stresses at the surface.
The two different approaches, quiet and inactive elements, for modelling the addition of filler
material give very similar results. However, the inactive element approach where the model is
extended each time a weld is laid is somewhat more effective and correct. The computer time is
reduced by 5 per cent. Larger reduction in computer time will be achieved if a better spatial
resolution of the weld metal and the HAZ is required. Then a larger fraction of the total number
of elements are refined in the region of inactive elements.
The compressive stress, see Plate 5, in the interior effectively reduces the risk of crack
propagation from the artificial crack created due to the welding procedure. However, the tensile
residual stresses, see Plates 5-8, on the surface can together with the in-service load promote
cracking. Stress relieving by heat treatment will probably lower the tensile stresses on the surface
but also remove the compressive stress near the interior crack.


The financial and experimental support from Nya Ursvikens Mekaniska AB is acknowledged.
Tage Marklund and Thomas Lundmark have assisted in the experimental work. We would also
like to express our appreciation of their inspiring and encouraging discussions during this work.
The financial support from N U T E K , Sweden, for the C O S T 512 co-operation, in which this
project was a part, is also acknowledged.


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Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 44, 1301-1316 (1999)
Computationally supported assessment
of welding distortions
Computationally Supported Assessment of Welding

1 2 1 2

'Department of Mechanical Engineering, Luleå university of technology, 971 87 Luleå, SWEDEN

Volvo Aero Corporation, 461 81 Trollhättan, SWEDEN

SUMMARY In this paper a generic process methodology is used to identify and develop
critical activities in the computational simulation process. The methodology supports
decision making in both design and manufacturing and is applied on a welding application.
The suggested methodology is based on reduction of the simulation process to a degree
allowing iterative elementary case simulations within a limited time frame. Results from the
elementary case studies are presented in a so-called welding response matrix (WRM). The
resulting trends from the WRM are used to evaluate the behaviour of more complex
geometry's for which simulations also have been conducted. It is demonstrated how this
method can be used to improve the use of computational support when assessing welding
distortions by simplifying the most critical activity of the analysis process (which in this case
is the mechanical simulation).

1. Introduction
This paper presents a methodology for iterative welding simulations that support decision
making in design and manufacturing planning. The main emphasis is to illustrate how a
generic modelling methodology can be used to design a computational model enabling
iterative simulations of welding. The methodology is exemplified on welding of a rocket
engine exhaust nozzle.
Welding is a frequently used manufacturing method that causes residual deformations and
stresses. In aero space the manufacturing part of the product cost is significant, and must be
assessed as early as possible in the development process. Distortions and stresses created by
welding cause problems both from a production point of view and from a designer's point of
view. From a production point of view, the planning, adjusting and optimisation of the
manufacturing operation are often critically dependent on the deformation behaviour.
Predictions of deformations are frequently based on experience, physical experiments and
empirical correlation.
By simulating the welding operation with numerical methods, such as the Finite Element
Method (FEM) [1,2], new opportunities appear. Idealised numerical experiments, in contrary
to physical experiments can be performed repeatedly to a relatively low cost.
In this paper, the process of computational welding simulation support is investigated with
the objective to find an approach to computational supported assessment of welding
distortions. Residual stresses and their post-manufacturing consequences are not studied,
albeit their importance. By studying the FE analysis process it is argued that simplifications
can systematically be introduced. To illustrate the use of the method a simplified
computational support method is defined and applied onto a realistic example - the welding

of quadrilateral pipes used in a rocket engine exhaust nozzle. Such a nozzle is shown to the
right in figure 1.

Figure 1: Right -The exhaust nozzle on Ariane 5

To be beneficial in a production situation the following

aspects have to be met.
• Reduce lead time and cost of process planning, set-up and
operation, which is critical in product development.
• Improve the understanding of the manufacturing (e.g., by
using analytical, computational simulation tools.)
• Improve communication and experimental learning in a
working group, especially in-between computational
engineers and production engineers.
• Increase the (quality) reliability of the weld.

1.1 Computational techniques and limitations

The computational complexity and consequently the limitations in problem size have so far
limited a wide spread industrial use of FE simulation of welding. The limitations originate
partly from the number of different physical phenomena involved in welding, and partly from
the computational effort required to compute these phenomena.
Physical phenomena to be modelled include plasma interaction and electromagnetic
behaviour in the fuze, fluid flow in the weld pool, liquid to solid transformation
characteristics, microstructure evolution during temperature changes and mechanical
response at high temperatures [3,4]. These physical processes have so far been studied
separately and assumptions about the other processes have to be made for each separate
analysis. It should be mentioned that encouraging results have been found for each separate
area. Some resent results in welding research can be found in [5].
Research and development of welding simulations have been tightly coupled to experimental
testing and verification. Most methods are experimentally validated on simple geometry, such
as plates and cylinders. In an industrial situation the geometric problem cannot be avoided.
Deformations of the entire structure due to the (local) welding operation must be analysed for
design of fixturing etc. Deformations also affect the operational function of the component.
Consequently, the geometrical problem size is given higher priority in the industrial situation
than in the development of simulation methods.
The assumption made in this paper is that reduced quantitative predictability can be accepted
in some situations, such as in early design phases, provided that qualitative comparisons
between alternatives can be made. Smaller problem size enables iterative and parametric
studies. There is an opportunity to develop methods with acceptable predictable features if
contribution to productivity can be proven. Another effort to support welding manufacturing
is a knowledge-based approach being developed at Sandia Labs [6]. Successful approaches to

lead time reduction by computational support in manufacturing have also been presented
elsewhere [7].

2. A generic computational support process

The problem solving technique using computational methods can be expressed in generic
terms i f information related to the specific methods, tools and the information situation are
clearly separated. There are a number of steps common to this process that have to be
A Generic Computational Support Process, GCSP, is described in figure 2 [8], where
situation dependent information (data and methods) are separated from the generic activities.

Data Activity Method

Problem Standards &

definition ^ \ procedures
Geometry Geometry
< ^ CAD tool
Data Modelling

1 1
Conditions Computational / Pre
and loads Modelling Processor
1 1
Material \ Computational Equation
Data ^ Simulation \ . Solver
1 1
Reliability \ > Post
Data Processor


Figure 2: A Generic Computational Support Process, GCSP [8]

These five steps must be conducted to perform a computational simulation of a structure.

After the Problem definition a Geometry model is needed as a basis for a Computational
model. After the computational model is defined then the Computational simulation is
performed and finally, an Assessment of the simulation results must be made. Each of these
activities must be performed in succession, although iterations frequently occur. These
iterations are, however, situation dependent and are therefore left out in the generic
Computational processes typically differ within the activities in terms of lead-time
consumption and accuracy (quality). The problem definition activity addresses how to
identify an appropriate analysis strategy and is most important when facing a new design
situation where the most difficult task is to specify which problem to address. For other
computational problems, the problem definition is straightforward whereas the geometry
modelling and reduction is the major problem. A third situation is where the major problem is
the computational simulation activity itself. Most non-linear analyses require advanced
solution methods, for example.
Computational modelling activities, involving derivation of boundary conditions and
discretisation of the geometrical model is often a critical step for aero engine components.
Sometimes the major obstacle is the computational capability and access to material data.

This is typically the case when modelling and simulating physical phenomena involving non-
linear responses.
Consequently, the GCSP can be specified one step further to suit a specific class of
computational problems. Advanced simulation of welding manufacturing is one such area.

3. A generic process for welding simulations

The generic computational support process can be applied to the welding simulation process
used to predict mechanical distortion. This process can be seen as a subset of the GCSP.
Since welding simulation always includes simulation of the thermal and mechanical
behaviour, these have been separated in the generic description. See figure 3.


Figure 3: A generic simulation process for welding problems.

3.1 Analysis of a computational support approach

Suppose that the component to be welded is geometrically complex and involves several
different successive manufacturing operations, including one or several welding operations.
Then, a trial and error approach to find acceptable welding process parameters and fixtures
would require several costly iterations. To successfully support the choice of process
parameters and fixtures we suggest the process parameters to be iterated in a virtual
environment using computational simulation of the welding operation. This would save both
valuable time and money.
After the problem definition, the geometry is simplified as much as possible without loosing
the characteristic features of the component. Despite difficulties in capturing both large scale
and local effects simultaneously, significant efforts have been made and useful results have
been achieved [9]. Due to the highly non-linear computations required to simulate the
welding process, stronger limitations in geometric model size are encountered than for linear
analysis of structures. Often, the geometry problem can be managed by defining a
representative 2D model. Large geometrical simplifications, on the other hand, typically lead
to problems when assigning boundary conditions. The thermal evolution, simulated using
FEM causes large thermal strains and deformations, which are simulated in the mechanical
simulation activity. The mechanical analysis includes both geometrical (definition of new
geometry and contacts) and material non-linearity (plasticity, phase transformation etc.).
Finally, i f there is no experimental support, the quantitative results contain a relatively large

amount of uncertainty, which requires a cumbersome process of iterations to assess the
validity of the results. In figure 4, three levels of geometrical detail for the nozzle example
are shown.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3

Figure 4. Three levels of computational simulation models
The product description level, 'Level 1' has to be simplified. Currently, a geometrical
simplification to a degree as represented in 'Level 2' can be simulated. Still, the single most
cumbersome activity in the level 2 is the mechanical simulation activity that limits the
problem size. Further reductions ('Level 3') are likely to reduce the scope of quantitatively
predicting the mechanical behaviour (deformations and stresses). Requirements on a further
reduced approach are given in table I.

Table I: Requirements on simulation supported assessment of welding

Requirement Consequence
Problem size Geometrically complex structures including welding operations
must be possible to analyse.
Analysis lead Analysis must to be able to support operational production
time work were results need to be provided within the order of days
from the assignment.
Enable Simplified (comparative) analyses are beneficial only if several
comparisons alternatives can be studied. Parameter studies must be
enabled, to tune the manufacturing parameters numerically.
Verified results Careful analysis and experimental work must continuously
verify a simplified (reduced) approach.

3.2 Elementary case simulations

The computational process in the early design phase is based on models at level, 'Level 3' in
figure 4. The results are gathered in a matrix called the Welding Response Matrix (WRM).
The W R M is used to identify promising process parameters. These parameters can be used to
define larger, 'Level 2', simulation models. The parameters can also be used to design
experimental test on 'Level 2' geometries. Such an approach will reduce the complexity of the
computational simulations to a level enabling parameter studies to be made within a limited

time frame. The question that arises is weather or not the results are accurate and appropriate
enough to support the mechanical assessment activity. The relative effort for each activity is
compared for the three levels in figure 5.



Level 1:
I I Full 3D representation

I j Level 2:
Reduced geometry description
Ü H Level 3:
Elementary case representation

Figure 5: Relative effort for completion of simulation models of different levels.

3.3 Welding Response Matrix

The problem size is reduced to a set of elementary cases, based on a plate geometry as shown
in figure 6. Each case is simulated and deformations are displayed as a function of time. A
number of characteristic measures are defined and collected for each analysis. The results are
displayed in the Welding Response Matrix, WRM.
In this paper, only a limited number of elementary test cases are studied. The WRM matrix
could easily be expanded with additional parameters and boundary conditions.
From analysing the WRM, effects of different weld shape and boundary conditions can be
identified. This information can be used when setting up a weld experiment or when defining
higher level of geometry representation. As an example, a welding simulation of two pipes
representing 'Level 2' is conducted.
Executing a 'Level 2' test or simulation is at least a 'best guess', and how accurate this guess
is, depends on how well the elementary case conditions can be mapped onto a more complex
situation. By simulating or testing the more complex situation a second set of results can be
computed. By comparing 'Level 2' results to the 'Level 3', the quality of mapping between
the elementary level and pipe level can be assessed.

3.4 Definitions of the elementary cases for 'Level 3'

The approach suggested is to further simplify the geometrical complexity for the elementary
case to the level of a plate. This enables a wide range of process parameters to be varied since
a simple geometrical problem can be simulated using relatively small amount of

computational power. Still, the manufacturing problem concerns complex geometry why this
complex mechanical situation must be accounted for in some other way.
The same temperature behaviour can give rise to completely different stresses and
deformation behaviour depending on mechanical restraints.
A simplified approach to model the effect of welding process parameters must consider the
large mechanical situation, and thus consider different mechanical restraints. In the suggested
approach, variations in process parameters and thermal conditions are compared for three
different mechanical restraints applied to the same, simplified, geometry. The three
mechanical restraint cases simulated are shown in figure 6.
Gasel 1 • I 1 • i

Case 2 | • ^ C

Case 3 ^ • I ^~

Fixed (vertical and horisonal translation)

Fixed (vertical translation)


Figure 6: Three different mechanical boundary conditions and two different weld geometry's.
Two different weld cross sections are shown, illustrating two different weld methods. A
represents the weld geometry that can be expected when using TIG welding, whereas B
corresponds to the weld cross section that can be achieved using electron beam welding or
laser welding. Only distortions are considered in this paper and for analysis of e.g.
weldability, weld shape or subsequent performance characteristics other parameters might
have been a better choice. Simulation of distortion requires a number of assumptions to be
made. A short description of the assumptions that have been made for these analyses follows
Table II: Assumptions and implications made for the elementary case studies
Assumption Implication
2D Cross section Assumes infinite welding speed.
Generalised plane Used to obtain information of the out of plane
deformation behaviour.
Linear elasto-plastic No creep at elevated temperatures accounted for
Prescribed heat input Uniformly distributed effect on an defined area
No phase Good assumption, since the material modelled is a
transformations Ni-based superalloy that does not undergo any
phase transformations in the solid state.

The geometry of the cross section used for analysis is given in figure 7. The sampling points
are placed at a distance d from the centre of the weld. The requirement on d is that it should

be able to trace the difference in the thermal wave propagating horizontally in the plate. The
points are also placed outside the melted zone since this is believed to simplify the
interpretation of the results. The material properties used in the model are all temperature
dependent material data and can be found in [10].
The size of the weld area is defined as a constant area for each weld case where the B method
represent penetration of the full thickness with vertical borders of the zone of heat input. The
A method penetration is described by a triangular shape of heat input as shown in figure 7
and 9. The welding parameters used in the analysis correspond to heat input of 1100 W and
an efficiency of 73%. The welding speed was 2200 mm/min [11].

i — • X
L/2 •

Figure 7: Plate geometry and nomenclature

The elementary case study was performed on a plate having L=20mm, rf=2mm and t=2 mm.

3.5 Analysis of elementary cases

The analysis of each elementary case results in quantitative transient measures of
deformation. The deformation modes are illustrated in figure 8. The use of generalised plane
deformation gives the possibility to obtain information about the out of plane behaviour. The
model gives the out of plane strain, So and the curvature, K, in y and x direction respectively.
The total out of plane strain is then written as z,=Zo+K *x+K *y. This out of plane correction
x y

has previously been used in welding simulations [10].

Figure 8: Deformation modes considered for the welded plate.

The plate has five deformation modes. The AL can be derived from Sg, which is the constant
out of plane strain.
For each of the mechanical restraint cases the transient deformations and temperature
differences are plotted (figures 9-12) at point 1 and 2 (shown in figure 7).
The difference between uj and u for case A is caused by the temperature difference AT and

will make the plate bend downwards. This is in correlation with the v; and v deformation. 2

Method B gives no temperature difference between point 1 and 2 and no deformation in the y
dhection is therefor created. It can also be seen that the constant out of plane deformation is
equal in both method A and B. The deformations in case 2 shows a "Butterfly" like
behaviour. Again it is believed that the difference between uj and u created by AT is the 2

driving force for this deformation mode. Case 3 shows a butterfly like deformation mode but
with smaller amplitude. This is an effect of the strong mechanical restraint at the left side of
the plate.

1000*e 0

e a o 2

/ \v J.

_ ^ 2 \

1 S i o " * "~—' / N.

Q -0.02
X\ 5
^ 2
10 10 10 10
Log(time) [sec]

Figure 9: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling for Case 1A
0.03 r

1 0 £
AT ^* 0
0.01*(v v )

\ \ 7 Y
Eu „
- L E / >~
o" E 0.01
E o ^ / /
O * v / ' y — \ ^ \
.2 H

/ N

/ 1000*K y

10 10 10 10'
Log(time) [sec]

Figure 10: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling for Case 2 A

Figure 11: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling for Case 3 A
0.03, 1 . —,

1 1 1 l 1 1
-0.01 • - •—
10" 10 10 10
Log(time) [sec]
Figure 12: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling for Case 1 B (and Case
2B and 3B, since these are almost identical).
All three cases show a deformation peak of the u and v values at the start of the welding
analysis. The mechanical response is almost immediate while the thermal wave takes some
time to reach the sampling points. All cases also show a small influence of the K deformation

mode. This is caused by the fact that the heat input is close to symmetric around the x-axis. A
stronger effect on this deformation mode would be achieved i f the plate were only partly
heated at the top of the plate. For all cases the K is approximately zero due to the symmetric

positioning around the y-axis.

3.6 Interpretation of results

To simplify interpretation of the results and enable a direct comparison of the effect of
process parameter changes, a number of key distortions are presented in the Welding
Response Matrix. Eleven deformation measures are compared for the six combinations of
analyses, see table I I I . The deformation modes are given index of stop and res. The stop index

corresponds to the time (t=0.00545 sec.) when heat input to the numerical model stops and
res corresponds to the residual value of the variable.
Table III: A WRM showing different distortion modes
Method A Method B
Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Case 1 Case 2 Case 3

Ul tops
0.0406 0.0147 0.0261 0.0204 0.0204 0.0201
u2 stop
-0.0012 -0.0064 0.0085 0.0204 0.0204 0.0201
V 1 top s
-0.0352 1.025 0.5954 0.0001 0.0001 0
v2 stop -0.0347 1.0252 0.5956 0.0001 0.0001 0
Ulres 0.0183 0.0098 0.0124 0.0093 0.0093 0.01
u2 res
0.0031 0.0024 0.0074 0.0093 0.0093 0.01
Vires -0.0244 0.372 0.1719 -0.0004 -0.0004 0.0001
v2 res -0.0246 0.372 0.1717 0.0004 0.0004 -0.0001
Eo stop 8.23E-06 6.42E-06 3.03E-05 3.47E-06 3.47E-06 3.47E-06
x stop 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ky stop 4.14E-06 4.15E-06 3.07E-05 0 0 0

3.7 Simulation of a model at 'Level 2'

To investigate to what extent the simplifications made in the elementary case study can be
applied in assessments of more general structures, a 'Level 2' analysis was performed. First,
two simulations were performed with the geometry of two quadrilateral pipes as shown in
figure 13. The geometrical level represents a 'Level 2' simulation in figure 4. The two analyses
correspond to method 1A and 3B respectively. To keep the numerical model relatively simple
no contact modelling was included in the first two analyses.


Figure 13: Two welded quadrilateral pipes, welded together

Transient deformation results of the pipe geometry simulation are shown in figure 14 and 15.
The measures of deformation between 'Level 3' and 'Level 2' differ in order of magnitude, as
expected, but the deformation profile experience similar transient behaviour of u and v

2 2
' KT" 10" 10° 10
Log(time) [sec]

Figure 16: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling of the pipes with a
restraint set equal to Case 3B.
Improving the modelling of the pipe welding by including a contact condition between the
surfaces that might contact during welding will change the response of the Case 1A model
significantly. Figure 16 and 17 shows the deformation pattern of the pipe for Case 1A and
case 3B.



10 10"
Log(time) [sec]

Figure 16: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling of the pipes for Case
1A including contact modelling.

1000*e 0
0.04 •


1/ / •
g —, 0.02

I 6 s 0
O '— 1
i i

S f, si i^cjv. - ^7 — ^^*r
• Ny V V- - -•
l /
1000*K y

-0.06 2 2
f 4
lO" 10° io
Log(time) [sec]
Figure 17: Evolution of the deformation modes during welding and cooling of the pipes for Case
3B including contact modelling.

A comparison between the 'Level 2' simulation and the elementary case level is presented in
table I V .

Table IV: Comparison between case 3B deformation and achieved reduction in the pipe case
Method A Method B
Level 3 Level 2 Level 2 Level 3 Level 2 Level 2
Case 1 Case 1 Case 1 Case 3 Case 3 Case 3
Contact contact
U'1 top
0.0406 0.0536 0.0141 0.0201 0.0181 0.01338
u2 stop -0.0012 0.0227 0.0073 0.0201 0.0158 0.0117
Vistop -0.0352 -0.0507 -0.0046 0 0.0055 0.0052
v2 stop -0.0347 -0.0499 -0.0046 0 0.0055 0.0052
u1 rss
0.0183 0.0238 -0.0246 0.01 -0.0062 -0.0117
u2 res 0.0031 0.0084 -0.0065 0.01 -0.0019 -0.0072
V1*S -0.0244 -0.0356 0.0252 0.0001 -0.0052 -0.0065
V2re S
-0.0246 -0.0358 0.0251 -0.0001 -0.0054 -0.0068
0 stop 8.23E-06 7.00E-05 1.97E-04 3.47E-06 6.86E-05 7.30E-05
"St stop 0 0 0 0 0 0
stop 4.14E-06 1.98E-05 4.45E-05 0 1.94E-05 3.70E-05

In table TV, the distortions predicted at the elementary case level shows a relatively large
difference in qualitative values compared to the 'Level 2' results. However, trends of the
deformation behaviour can be found. The deformations at the stop time for heat input show
the same behaviour for all causes studied except method 1A, component u2 stop. This
deviation is probably cased by the relatively large deformation in the v direction. The bending
of the plate will create a small negative deformation in u2 until the cooling starts. The residual
deformation shows good agreement in method A analysis when no contact is included. The
reversed sign of the deformations encountered when mcluding contact are obvious since the
contact will prevent bending around the weld position. Large restraint will generate larger
residual stresses, which will result in a negative deformation in u dhection after cooling. The
results of the method B simulations are not showing the same correlation as for the method A
results. This is manly due to two reasons. First, the deformations are very small in v
direction, which make a qualitative comparison very sensitive. Secondly, thermal diffusion in
the v dhection of the pipe will generate a bending moment, which is not the case for the
elementary case analysis. Geometrical dissimilarity is the probable cause to the discrepancy.
Obviously, to increase confidence in the numerical results, several more simulations have to
be made. In this paper we have emphasised the methodology of identification and
simplification of the simulation process. This has enabled iterative simulations to be made
with a short total lead time.

4. Conclusion and discussion
Since efficiency of decision support in design and manufacturing must account for time
available, problem complexity and data available, it is difficult to define the best analysis
strategy. The GCSP methodology has been used to set up a FE model for a welding problem,
enabling quick and iterative numerical analyses. This methodology made it easy to maintain
control of simplifications and weak links in the analysis process/chain. Results have been
organised in an expandable matrix, here called WRM, enabling comparison directions for
further analysis by e.g. experiments.
By releasing the requirement of quantitative predictions, a set of analyses was made on an
elementary case level. Results have been organised in an expandable matrix, enabling
comparison and further. Varying process parameters and restraint sets enabled trend analyses.
By storing the results in the WRM matrix, the effect of modifications in the numerical model
can easily be examined. Thus, the WRM served as a test bench.
By comparing results from the two geometrically different models, conclusions could be
drawn of which deformation modes that could be represented by the elementary case level.
Such conclusions are useful for efficient decision support but due to the complexity of the
welding process and component geometry, such results should only be used early in the
decision process. One example of how the results can be used is when setting up physical

Finally, using a structured generic approach to describe complex simulation problems opens
up new possibilities. Major advantages are the structuring and communication of complex
(specialist) knowledge. Also, despite the low accuracy of the results from the elementary case
simulations, the WRM provides a more structured approach to define physical and numerical
welding experiments.

We sincerely appreciate the discussions with Mr. Jan Lundgren at Volvo Aero regarding the
welded pipe case data. Financial support for this research was provided by the Swedish
Strategic Foundation's national program ENDREA (Engineering Design and Education
Agenda) and by the Swedish Research Council for Engineering Sciences (TFR)

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Universitetstryckeriet, Lulea