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The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology

https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-018-1879-z

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Review of current waveform control effects on weld geometry in gas


metal arc welding process
Belinga Mvola 1 & Paul Kah 1 & Pavel Layus 1

Received: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 March 2018


# Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Abstract
Control of welding parameters is an important factor in gas metal arc welding (GMAW) because these parameters determine the
heat input, cooling conditions, and time during which the microstructure and the geometry of the weld are formed. It is therefore
essential that sufficient heat is transferred to highly conductive metals like aluminum and appropriate heat input used with very
sensitive metals such as stainless steel and high-strength steels or when welding dissimilar metals. The objective of this study is to
identify parameters of current, voltage waveforms, and electrode feeding motion that directly contribute to improvement in metal
and heat transfer conditions from the electrode to the base metals. The effects of these parameters on welded joint geometry are
determined. The work critically reviews research on the effect on welded joints of control of current waveform, voltage, and the
alternating electrode and analyzes the different parameters that promote forces acting during metal transfer. Experiments and case
studies based on controlled waveforms are discussed. The analysis shows that in controlled short-circuit gas metal arc welding
(CS-GMAW), all identified parameters contribute to control of heat input and reduction in the amount of spatter and fumes
generated. Variable polarity gas metal arc welding (VP-GMAW) is found to be particularly effective for aluminum welding
because of its good control of mass metal transfer and weld penetration. Mixed waveform approaches (i.e., 20 pulses/controlled
short circuit) improve weldability in difficult welding positions.

Keywords Adaptive control . GMAW . Current waveform . Voltage waveform . Heat input . Weld properties

1 Introduction addition, the arc voltage is directly related to the current and
the arc length. Torch angle influences the weld orientation and
Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a process that uses con- leg size. Shielding gases affect arc stability, metal transfer
sumable electrode and shielding. Welding parameters and fil- mode, weld bead shape, and melting rate. The diameter of
let weld parameters are illustrated in Fig. 1. Direct current the electrode depends on the thickness of the workpiece and
electrode positive (DCEP) would have more extensive leg consequently the current. Gas flow should be adjusted
size, deeper and finger-like penetration, and lower weld face. according to the arc to avoid turbulence and ensure proper
While, direct current electrode negative (DCEN) would gen- shielding. A careful synchronized adjustment of all pa-
erate higher weld face, shallower and rounded penetration. In rameters is required to achieve optimum weld quality. In
the last decades, the trend in improving welded joint has
been to optimize their response in-service with extending
life service and reliability. However, service requirement
* Belinga Mvola
Eric.Mvola.Belinga@lut.fi rarely matches the manufacturing demand because welded
joints are cheaper and easier to produce than molded one.
Paul Kah Therefore, there is a constant commitment to upgrading
Paul.Kah@lut.fi manufacturing applications such as welding processes so
Pavel Layus as not to degrade base metals [1]. Mvola et al. [1] studied
Pavel.Layus@lut.fi the state of the art of the weldability of dissimilar metals
using GMAW. The study focused on metallurgy challenge
1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Welding Laboratory, that surrounds dissimilar welding and did not address the
Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O Box 20,
-53851 Lappeenranta, FI, Finland
welding parameters and current waveform parameters.
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Input Parameters Welding Process Output Parameters metals means the features of the current and voltage
curves have to be adapted to meet the requirements of
Current Upright leg size
the individual metals and ensure that desired weld quality
Voltage Base leg size is achieved [7–9].
Welding speed Actual throat The criteria-based selection of articles for this reviews are
Electrode Extension GMAW Effecve throat
the welding processes. GMAW is the welding process ana-
lyzed in this paper in its diversity of innovative approaches.
Shielding gas Toe Therefore, specific attention is directed to scientific publica-
Electrode diameter Root tions that have conducted an experiment on current and wave-
form design and their effects on welding productivity. The
Fig. 1 Input welding parameters and output fillet weld parameters
purpose is to identify a correlation between waveform param-
eters and changes in weld penetration and weld geometry.
The welding power source, the wire feeder unit, and the gas This study makes a comparative analysis of current and volt-
flow device are key components in GMAW, and effective age curves, examines their synchronization with consumable
control of current and voltage is paramount to high-quality electrode movement, identifies the critical parameters
performance. Thus, there is a need for flexibility in the setting influencing weld outcome, and suggests an approach that
of current and voltage parameters [2]. During the last two would provide a setting for an optimal adaptive curve. The
decades, new electronic components such as thyristors and effect of waveform parameters on the stability and perfor-
inverters have enabled more accurate control and regulation mance is analyzed in terms of the heat input and the geometric
of current and voltage waveforms [3]. More recently, synergic shape of the weld. The impact of different waveform features
control, the development of more complex current and voltage is compared, thus enabling fundamental parameters to be
curves, and usage of a back and forth movement of the retained in optimal adaptive curves. Figure 2 presents a flow-
consumable electrode have added to possible control options chart showing the main metal transfer issues that are analyzed
[4, 5]. Adaptive control of GMAW can be seen as a significant and discussed in this study.
advancement, and it has the potential to enable efficient The study in Sect. 1 introduces the general concept of the
synchronization of the consumable electrode movement, research and layout the gap in the literature, the research meth-
shielding gas supply and driven system (e.g., arm robots) od, the expected result, and the implementation. Section 2
[6]. Several curves of current and voltage have been pre- discusses the metal transfer during arc welding, and Sect. 3
sented in the literature and on the market, each of which focuses on the relation between welding parameters and their
claims to be the most reliable and most efficient. effect on the fillet weld geometry and microstructure.
However, the concrete and precise composition of modern Section 4 discusses the control strategy of the current

Forces acng during metal transfer

Gravitaonal force (Fg) Electromagnec force (Fem) Aerodynamic drag force (Fd) Surface tension force (Fs)

Weld properes

Weld profile Microstructure

Control techniques
Arficial intelligent
Manual seng pulse Self regulaon Synergic control Close loop control
control

Waveform parameters
Modified short Mechanically assisted drop
Variable polarity Double pulsed transfer
Forced arc Mixed waveform
circuit

Waveform feature acng on the drop force


Short Re- Peak Bacground Thermal Thermal
Arcing Waing
circuing ignion
Pulse
current current peak base
DCEP DCEN Frequency

Fig. 2 Flowchart of key metal transfer features studied


Int J Adv Manuf Technol

waveform. Section 5 presents the different categories of the that the model could optimize the process parameters in pulse
current waveform and relates waveform parameters and ef- welding.
fects on the weld properties. Section 6 gives the results, and In the case of conventional GMAW welding, based on the
the outcome of the discussion is summarized in Sect. 7. Then, static equilibrium of the molten droplet metal, Eq. 1 is the
Sect. 8 concludes the overall study. The study is a contribution relation of static force balance theory under the assumption
to the knowledge of advanced adaptive control of GMAW that detachment occurs only when the retaining force (Fs) is
processes by modification and manipulation of the current greater than the sum of detaching force (Fg + Fd + Fem).
and voltage waveforms, the consumable electrode, and the Equation 2 is the melting rate (MR) when using direct current
shielding gas. The work gives guidance on current and voltage (DC) for a given electrode type and diameter for spray metal
settings, which is valuable for waveform design and the de- transfer modes, from the study by Lesnewich [13], where α is
velopment of welding control equipment. the arc melting coefficient, I is the current, B is the resistive
heating coefficient, and L is the electrode extension. The
mathematical model allows the electrode melting rate to be
determined as a function of the current to the electrode. Later,
2 Metal transfer during arc welding Richard et al. [3] found that α and β in Lesnewich’s equation
could be determined by empirical experience. This finding
Arc welding under a shielding gas is characterized by the enables precise fitting curves to be plotted to characterize the
consumption of an electrode that melts and drops into the behavior of the arc and the melting electrode behaviors of
molten pool. Mathematical models combined with practical complex waveforms of GMAW processes. Furthermore, the
experience have been used to find suitable data to promote high-speed camera has enabled the analyses of molten metal
consistent and efficient metal transfer. In addition, static and behaviors during welding and has allowed categorization of
dynamic analysis of droplet formation has improved under- different metal transfer mode, and correlate welding parame-
standing of the metal transfer phenomenon and led to the ters and force acting during transfer. As results of a better
development of metal transfer models. For example, the the- understanding of droplet transfer modes, further investigation
ory of static force stipulates that the detachment of the molten of current waveform can be carried out.
drop at the tip of the electrode and its transfer to the weld pool
occur when the detachment forces become more significant
than the retention forces [10, 11]. As shown in Fig. 3, the F g þ F d þ F em > F s ð1Þ
gravitational force (Fg), the electromagnetic force (Fem),
and the plasma drag force (Fd) are detaching forces, while
the surface tension (Fs) is the retaining force. As the current MRdc ¼ αI þ βLI 2 ð2Þ
increases, the electromagnetic force (Fem) increases and the
dragging force (Fd) and the gravitational force (Fg) decrease.
Wu et al. [12] analyzed the forces exerted during droplet trans-
fer in GMAW. An analytical model was developed to predict 3 Weld properties
the droplet oscillation, detachment process, and quantitative
analyses of the welding parameter effects. The result indicated The search for effective control of heat transfer in GMAW
targets primarily two primary objectives. Firstly, stability in
the transfer of molten metal into the weld pool, which can be
observed by a notable reduction in spatters and fumes, and
secondly, an increase in the efficiency of the heat transferred
into the weld pool. Efficient heat transfer enables the required
metallurgy to be obtained (including, where appropriate, met-
allurgy suitable for post-heat treatment) and results in a weld
with less inclusion and fewer pores, proper geometry, and a
weld that is free of defects such as lack of fusion, undercut,
and burn through. Figure 4 shows the orientation of loads that
can be applied to a fillet weld.

3.1 Weld geometry and profile

Although the shielding gas blend has the most significant


Fig. 3 Forces acting on the droplet’s steel electrode effect on the shape of the weld geometry profile, the role of
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Reinforcement of the weld increases costs, because of the


excess material, but brings only minor benefits as regards
functional properties and strength. Furthermore, the excess
Load carrying
material adds distortion and reduces fatigue load resistance.
welds Table 1 presents different weld profiles of fillet joints and
the effects of welding parameters on weld quality. The
penetration increases with a rise in voltage, but the height
decreases as the width and dilution increase. Papillary pene-
tration (a nipple- or finger-like shape) is typical in GMAW
when using argon shielding gas and spray transfer mode.
Small amounts of weld metal in the nipple solidify much more
Fig. 4 Stress path of a load-carrying T-joint weld quickly than the surrounding area. As a result of solidification,
contraction occurs in the nipple, which pulls on the partially
melted zone (PMZ), which is weakened by grain boundary
current and voltage in determining weld geometry is not neg- liquation. Changes in the polarity, the welding process, and
ligible. The weld geometry profile affects the joint life cycle the CTWD can cause significant variance in the weld geom-
significantly. For example, a T-joint weld with excessive con- etry profile. The type of electrode can also have the effect on
vexity is detrimental to fatigue life, because the pronounced the penetration for example in flux cored arc welding
shape acts as a stress raiser because of the notch effect at the (FCAW). E70T-1 provides deeper penetration than E71T-1.
toe of the weld. The stress line of T-joint stress takes the E70T-1 and E71T-1 are American Welding Society
shortest path between the weld toes of the joint (Fig. 4). Classification (AWS), which signifies electrode; 7 indicates

Table 1 Profile of fillet welds and effect of welding parameters on weld penetration
Type of profile Parameters Features Observations
Polarity DC+ Increase penetration
DC- Low penetration
AC Controlled deposition rate and
penetration
Welding process Globular spray Deep penetration
Spray Deeper penetration
Pulsed spray Deeper penetration
Stream and Rotating Deepest penetration and wide shape
Short-circuiting Low penetration
Type of electrode Different electrodes can e.g. E70T-1 has deeper penetration
result in different than E71T-1
penetration
Travel angle Whether push or drag, the e.g., Travel angle 0° to 10° will result
effect depends on arc force in more penetration, which will
directed to the base plate decrease as the angle becomes more
severe.
Shielding gas 100% CO2 or 100% He Broader, deeper penetration profile
100% Ar, or Ar/CO2, or Shallower penetration and more
Ar/Oxygen (O2) tapered in the middle, finger-shaped
root.

Electrode For three electrodes, same 3.2 mm (Deepest penetration)


diameter metal, different diameter 4 mm (Deep penetration)
5.6 mm (Shallower penetration)
Travel speed For a given electrode The width and penetration increase as
the travel speed decreases
CTWD For a given electrode The penetration decreases with a
decrease in CTWD.
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

tensile strength, 0 means flat and horizontal positions, d 1 of modern inverters and electronic component innovation.
would imply that a wire has all-position welding capability, Previously, even with the necessary theoretical knowledge, it
T signifies a tubular flux-cored wire, and 1 indicates the wire’s would have been challenging to set the corresponding wave-
usability and performance. Each welding parameters have form for a given metal, and preprogrammed parameters of the
some effects on the weld geometry, and a small change to welding current and voltage waveform were used. This lack of
one welding parameter could result in significant difference precision in control meant that some metals such as aluminum
in the welding quality. However, current is amount parameters were considered to have low weldability, which raises the
that affect the outcome of the weld meaningfully. Therefore, it issue of how weldability is defined. Each curve parameter
should be on the top list of parameters to be optimized. was fitted based on the expected result for the metal being
welded.
3.2 Microstructure quality

The microstructure of the heat-affected zone, fusion zone, and 4.1 Type of control
weld affects the joint in-service performance. However, the
microstructural constituents of these areas depend mostly on The new generation of GMAW welding systems comprises a
the heat input and the alloy elements. Optimization of heat system of re-ignition control, control of molten metal transfer
input and improved control will have positive effects on the mode, control of spatter, control of fume generation, and syn-
microstructure, particularly as regards predictability and sta- ergic control of the current and voltage. The optimization pos-
bility, and thus the quality of the welded joint [14]. sibilities of these control units make it possible to develop
Controlling weld pool behavior in real time and accurately adaptive control using artificial intelligence (AI) concepts
predict the microstructure is complex. However, some ap- such as expert control, genetic algorithm, fuzzy logic control,
proaches have led to satisfactory results, for example, the ap- and neural networks [18, 19].
plication of vision systems that include image analysis, which The need for precise control is not limited to the welding
has been used for seam tracking [15] and to some extent for power source but also extends to the driven system. Research
control of weld pool size based on thermal profile [16]. has focused on new automatic mechanized welding systems,
Adaptive control of welding processes is founded on the such as welding robots, that can automatically track the seam
possibility of real-time monitoring of weld geometry and and conduct welding parameter calculation. Such systems au-
real-time weld defect evaluation. However, even with tonomously sense and analyze disturbances (misalignments,
modern equipment and approaches, it is still problematic joint gap variation) and changes in the input signal, and con-
to get specific information about microstructure by non- version laws of the controller coefficients are then made based
destructive assessment directly. Data collected in real time on the data collected [20].
can be used to optimize weld quality by applying data A trend in modern welding equipment is digitalization with
analysis to the adaptive waveform control. artificial intelligence. Figure 5 shows an example of an ad-
Control of the current waveform provides more flexibility vanced welding process scheme. Such welding equipment can
in control of the distribution of the heat necessary for welding. carry out the following tasks: calculation of the wire feed rate
This control ensures that the required penetration is achieved based on the average pulse current, adjustment of the arc
while preventing overheating, which leads to undesirable mi- length, and production of an optimal transfer mode of the
crostructure and consequently a deterioration in the quality of molten metal. For this purpose, the equipment includes a syn-
the base material through the fusion line, heat-affected zone, ergic system for a wire feed rate adjustment, a closed loop
and weld metal [17]. Carefully adjusted waveform parameters system for control of the arc length, and control parameters
can optimize the amount of heat used and the focused energy. in the current waveform and frequency of the short-circuit
Table 2 below indicates the relationship between the transfer mode [21]. In such systems, the analysis has to be fast
different areas of the weld, the heat input, and the metal mi- with instantaneous response to assess the data collected and
crostructure. The correlations show that, with optional feature deliver appropriate output. However, as welding is a continu-
variables, a waveform that controls heat input provides a ous process, only part of the operation requires immediate
means to predict weld microstructure. changes (e.g., trajectory, current, voltage, gas flow rate,
welding speed). Whereas other data can be retrieved after
the welding operations and used to optimize the algorithm
4 Control of current and waveform learning process (e.g., thermal field, current, and a voltage
waveform, wire feeding rate). Table 3 provides a list of differ-
To achieve a compound variation of the waveform, the ent control types and compares them regarding applications.
welding power source needs to be able to respond very The optimum performance can be achieved by a combination
quickly, which has been achievable only since the invention synergetic control, adaptive control, and artificial intelligence.
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Table 2 Weld areas,


microstructure, and welding Weld area Effects Parameters Observations
parameters type and their effects
on the weld The fusion zone Effect of welding speed Low speed and Elliptical and columnar grain curve
on the weld structure low heat in the welding direction
input
High speed and • Weld pool shape appearance is
heat input teardrop
• Columnar grains are straight
• Presence of nucleation in the
bulk metal
High speed and • Weld pool shape appearance is
heat input teardrop
• Columnar grains are straight
• Presence of nucleation in the
bulk metal
Effect of heat input on Welding current A slight tendency of elements C,
the weld structure and voltage Mn, Si to decreases when heat
input increases
Effect arc pulsation Current arc • Undercooled of molten metal when
pulsation the heat input reduces suddenly
• Peak current due to the low-current cycle of
the pulsed arc
• Base current • Grain refinement due to
heterogeneous nucleation and/or
surface nucleation
in pulse current
Partially melted zone Effect on Welding speed, • Liquation cracking (PMZ cracking
grain boundary welding or hot cracking)
segregation current • Loss of strength and ductility
• Hydrogen-induced cracking
• Lowers the mechanical properties
of the welds
Heat-affected zone Effect on thermal cycle Welding current Softening of work hardened material
(cooling rate) and voltage cause by welding
Effect on heat input HAZ width Increased
Strength/ Reduced
hardness
Cooling time Increased

5 Waveform parameters short-circuit period. The modern approach set several param-
eters for the period of the arc and several other for the period
GMAW process has several current and voltage waveforms of the short circuit. The following parameters are required for
which depend on the welding operation to be conducted. The the recent short-circuiting waveform: ignition, features for
direct current process GMAW (DC-GMAW) has constant cur- maintaining the arc, minimal energy at the time of contact of
rent, which is a traditional process which is out of the scope of the molten drop touches the molten pool, a minimum current
our study. First, the pulsed GMAW (P-GMAW) process has a at the necking, and finally, the waveform that combines the
current and voltage waveform which has a base and peak alternating motion of the filler material and the current wave-
current sequence. Several parameters can be defined for the form. In addition, from the previous approach, the transfer of
design of the waveforms [22]: base current, peak current, base the molten drop can be assisted with by reversing the filler
current time, peak current time, ramps, and hyperbolas. The material backward, which adds to an adjustment of current
ramps and hyperbolas define the time of the rise in intensity or waveform parameters.
the tails out. Second, the short-circuiting GMAW (SC- The principle of current pulse control is that the peak is
GMAW), the general principle requires current and above the transition current that generates the spray.
inductance to define the short-circuit time. A traditional However, this factor alone is not sufficient to ensure stable
short-circuit waveform has only a period of the arc and the metal transfer and control of heat input. Many other
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 5 Welding control Displacement


arrangement of waveform and sensor
wire feeder control
Data acquision Signal
Broad converter

Stroke
Wire feeder measuring
controller

Computer and
Soware
Waveform
controller

parameters of the current and voltage waveform have to be showed that spatter can be eliminated by setting a waiting time
defined to achieve stable spray transfer mode. The P-GMAW of up to 1.5 ms before switching from EP to EN. This result
welding process is designed for control of the transferred mol- affirms the effect of waveform features on welding
ten metal. However, its primary current waveform is rectan- performance.
gular (Fig. 6). This current waveform consists of the following
parameters: peak current (Ip), background current (Ib), pulse
2jIen jTen
duration (tp), pulse off-time (tb), and pulse frequency (f). %EN ¼ 
Ip Tu þ Td þ 2Tp þ Ib ðTu þ 2Tb Þ þ Is ðTd þ 2Ts Þ þ 2jIen jTen
More advanced waveforms have additional parameters to give
further controllability to the P-GMAW process [23, 24]. ð3Þ
Current pulse parameters affect the weld geometry and resid-
ual stress in the solidification of the weld [25]. As illustrated in
Fig. 6, these parameters also affect the stability of the 5.1.1 Waveform features of the variable pulsed current
welding process.
When comparing P-GMAW and S-GMAW, the latter is This sub-section discusses how the variables of the waveform
more dynamic because the melted drops encounter the melt influence the geometry and microstructure of the weld. Four
pool before they break from the electrode. However, GMAW- different configurations of the current waveform are analyzed
S is slightly unstable, and considerable spatter and fume gen- (Fig. 8). In EP in Fig. 8a, there is a waiting time prior to and
eration usually accompany it. This spatter generation is the after the pulse and no waiting time in EN. In Fig. 8b, there is
result of instability caused by three factors: the short circuit, waiting time in EP after the pulse and none in EN. Figure 8c
re-ignition failure, and wire feed variation. The most distinc- has a waiting time in the EP prior pulse and none in EN.
tive consideration of the short-circuiting transfer mode is the Finally, Fig. 8d has a waiting time after the pulse in EP and
short-circuit frequency, fs [26, 27]. before the pulse in EN. These are the most common con-
figurations found in studies. Table 4 presents examples of
feature parameters used in experiments with different
5.1 Variable pulsed current waveforms [31, 32].
According to Faria et al. [33], who studied the effect of
One of the causes of instability in the variable polarity process square-wave AC GMAW on weld beam geometry, whether
(GMAW-VP) is the arc length change in the polarity switch the waveform has a background current before or after the
from the positive electrode (DCEP) to the negative electrode positive peak current does not influence the weld geometry.
(DCEN). Thus, a methodology based on the parameters of the In their parameter calculation of VP-GMAW, Vilarinho et al.
positive and negative electrodes was created, and which lead [34] concluded that a background current before and after
to the equation of the fusion rate equation (Eq. 3 [29]). peak current is beneficial for reducing sudden polarity shift.
Knowledge of these melting rate variables is needed to match A longer negative electrode (EN) time always generates
the wire feed to the positive and negative polarities. higher instability. The arc is stable with a background current
Tong and Ueyama [30] investigated welding of aluminum before or after the peak current. However, the configuration of
alloys with VP-GMSAW. The current waveform in Fig. 7, background before peak current is more effective in the
from Tong and Ueyama’s study, shows an example of the avoidance of spatter.
main pulsation parameters. Equation 3 gives EN% sequence Vilarinho and Nascimento [35] studied the effect of the
as a function of variables illustrated in Fig. 7. The study waveform and shielding gas on the melting rate and bead
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Table 3 Arc control objectives and limitations Table 3 (continued)

Control Aim Observations Control Aim Observations


method method

Setting the Manual setting • Parameters must be reset • Each approach


current and when any welding corresponds to a
pulse circumstance changes specific level of ability
parameters the robustness of the to control data
system • Accurate mapping of
• Changes to arc-length, data input and output is
wire-extension, and required for a successful
wire-feed change are result
inevitable
• The arc length,
metal-transfer mode,
and arc stability change geometry for GMAW-VP and their correlation to the
Self-regulation Regulation of arc length • The metal-transfer mode kinematics of metal transfer. Two waveforms were in-
of arc length by the arc current is disrupted due to the vestigated: a waveform with a positive background (BG)
change in current Ib after the peak current (Fig. 8b) and a waveform with
• Contradiction between a positive background (BG) Ib before the peak current
the improvement of
arc-length (Fig. 8c). The results showed that bead profile could be
self-regulation ability improved regarding lower convexity by using waveform
and maintenance of (Fig. 8c), lower %EN, and an elevated oxygen-based
optimum metal transfer argon blend. On the other hand, the different selection
• Too many parameters to (waveform b, higher %EN, and lesser oxygen-based ar-
be controlled, which
complicates regulation
gon blends) is desirable for reducing heat input and
of operations improving gap bridgeability of the weld bead.
Control The wire-feed rate is taken • Because this is an Although waveform (Fig. 8c) presents lower thermal
method as the input signal, and a open-loop control, its effect, the long time that the droplet travels through
called mathematical model resistance to arc-length the arc in comparison to waveform (Fig. 8b) heats it
synergic determines the welding disturbances is poor
control parameters
up, which increases penetration.
• If disturbance other than
changes in the wire
feed-rate occur, the arc 5.2 Double-pulsed current
length and metal
transfer mode are
The principle of the most popular form of double-pulsed
disrupted
GMAC welding (DP-GMAW) is shown in the schematic
Closed-loop The wire-feed rate is taken • The average arc voltage
control as the input signal to is considered as the
method control the pulse closed-loop input, but
frequency the average arc voltage
does not represent the
instantaneous arc length
• As switching-type
transistors and an
inductor filter are used
for the primary power
circuit, pulsation of the
current is large, and the
dynamic characteristics
are inferior
Artificial Combination of the above • There are different
intelligence control systems to approaches of AI:
(AI) optimize data analysis expert controller, fuzzy
and decision making controller, artificial
neural networks
(ANNs), neuro-network
controller, neuro-fuzzy
controller
Fig. 6 Droplet transfer and stability, domains of the droplet per irregular
transfer of droplets [28]
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 7 AC pulse current


waveform parameters

oscillogram presented in Fig. 9. In Fig. 9, DP-GMAW drop detachment per pulse (ODDPP). Chen et al. [37] extend-
is characterized by an alternating sequence between the ed research on active control of metal transfer in modified
thermal base (τb) and the thermal pulse (τp) for each pulsed GMAW suggested by Zhang et. la [38] and implement-
heat period. There is a higher frequency of the current ed in welding titanium in Zhang et al. [39]. The study applied
pulse, where a current thermal pulse and the time dura- an analytical model of droplet oscillation and detachment pro-
tion (Ip and tp) are preserved and the current thermal cess of the molten drop. The result revealed that the model
base and time duration (Ib and tb) are adjusted based on could help to realize ODDPP at peak current much lower than
the average current for each heat period. While Imτb traditional current value. Sen et al. [40] studied the correlation
and Imτp are, respectively, the mean current of the ther- between DP-GMAW parameters and weld geometry and sug-
mal base and mean current of the thermal pulse, Imt is gested that Eq. 4 can be used to calculate the mean current
the mean current of the double-pulsed period. (Im), Eq. 5 for the pulse frequency (f), and Eq. 6 for the
The frequency of the current pulse (thermal pulsation) con- thermal frequency (ft).
trols the weld pool stability, whereas the thermal pulse (e.g., Liu et al. [41] investigated the weld pool profile character-
higher peak pulse) controls the higher heat input responsible istics of alumnium alloys in double-pulsed GMAW. It was
for fusion of the base metal. On the other hand, a thermal base observed that the change of arc size is more significant in
with lower heat input (e.g., lower peak current) causes the the thermal base than in the thermal peak, which causes var-
surface tension and viscosity of the molten metal to become iation of arc force with thermal pulse frequency. During
higher, reducing the risk of melt through [36]. An optimum switching from thermal pulse (τp) to thermal base (τb),
pulse waveform parameter control is required to achieve one the weld pool undergoes a period of expansion followed

Fig. 8 Different AC-GMAW


current waveforms
(a) (b)

(c) (d)
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

EN%
by shrinking. Also, the fluidity of the weld pool can be

50
50
24
17

60
enhanced. As the thermal frequency grows, the effect of
the thermal pulse on the weld pool is reduced and tends
Tbn1

8.3
to disappear.



Ibn1

50
– Ip t p þ Ib t b

Im ¼ ð4Þ
tp þ tb
2.4
1.5

3.1
Tpn

6,0
6,0

1
f¼ ð5Þ
tp þ tb
198
198
165
140

350
Ipn

1
ft ¼ ð6Þ
Tb1

1.4

2.4

Thermal peak time þ thermal base time


2
2
2
Waveform parameters

Ib 1

90
115
40
40
65

5.2.1 Waveform features of the double-pulsed current


1.1
1.6

2.1
tp

4
4
330
310
300
300
400

Control by pulse has some different options: high pulse,


Ip

base pulse, alternating pulse, high frequency, and low


Current Waveform type

frequency. Different combinations can be used in


double-pulsed processes; for example, a high frequency
with a high current can be combined with a low fre-
quency and a low-current base and a duty cycle of 50%
for each type of pulse. Figure 10 shows possible con-
figurations of DP-GMAW. Both the thermal peak and
A
A

D
B
C

thermal base can be in DCEP (Fig. 10a), or VP-


GMAW can be used for the thermal peak and thermal
Lap joint

base (Fig. 10b). It is also possible to combine DC-


Joint

GMAW and VP-GMAW. Table 5 presents data from


da Silva’s study [42] and indicates DP-GMAW current
Flow rate

18 L/min

waveform parameters.
Zhang et al. [43] studied the microstructure and me-
chanical properties of 30Cr-4Mo ferritic stainless steel
Shielding gas

welded joints made by DP-GMAW using ERNiCr-3


Ar + 17CO2
Ar + 8CO2
Ar + 8CO2

Ni-based filler. Examination of the microstructure re-


Other welding parameters

vealed that the average size of the heat-affected zone


(HAZ) was controlled efficiently because of the reduced
heat input. A linear relationship was established be-
33.3
32.0
TS

tween the size of the HAZ and the heat input. No pres-
ence of sigma (σ) phase, chi (χ) phase, or Laves phase
Examples of welding parameter settings

WFS

was observed. An even distribution of precipitation of


5.0
4.8

Ti, Nb, C, and N was noted, mainly inside the grains,


which preserves the integrity of the grain boundary and
AWS ER70S-6, ϕ1.2 mm

therefore retains the ductility.


Sen et al. [40] evaluated the correlation between DP-
GMAW process parameters and weld morphology. Their
Filler metal

results showed that bead width and height and depth of


ER-5356
ER-4043

ER70S

penetration grow with the rise in mean current (Im) for


a constant thermal pulse frequency (ft). At higher Im
(beyond 250 A), bead width is less likely to change
Base metal

AH36 steel
SAE 1020

with ft. However, bead height grows with the rise in


Material

AA5086
AA5086
Table 4

ft, and more in-depth penetration can be reached at


lower ft values.
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 9 Current waveform of DP-


GMAW technique [42]

5.3 Modified short-circuit current circuiting, Fig. 11e is the delay in the rate control or increasing
the timing for the short-circuiting current, Fig. 11f is the break
In this study, the term modified short-circuiting metal transfer in the current of short-circuiting, and Fig. 11g is the suppres-
refers to current and voltage waveforms that are not set by the sion of the arc-reigniting current. The increase in the number
inductance. However, driven by compound features with of control settings is achieved by optimizing the speed varia-
more parameters, Fig. 11 shows two current waveforms. tion of the current (di/dt), which is possible using electronic
Two features for each metal transfer characterize the conven- control with a quick control inverter [45].
tional waveform (Fig. 11a). The controlled waveform (Fig.
11b), however, is characterized by seven factors, each of 5.3.1 Waveform features of the short-circuiting mode
which aims to improve a specific aspect of the metal transfer
[44]. Figure 11a increases in the rate control of the short- The range of current waveform parameters is a crucial
circuiting current, and Fig. 11b is the suppression of the factor in the control of short-circuiting metal transfer. A
short-circuiting current. Figure 11c decreases in the rate con- large number of possible settings enable adaptation of the
trol of the arc current, while Fig. 11d is the promotion of short- process to the weld procedure specifications of the base

Fig. 10 Features of double-pulsed GMAW


Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Table 5 Setting parameters for DP-GMAW

Welding technique DP-GMAW (τp = 0.6 s and τb = 0.4 s)

Settings WCon1 (Imt/TS) WCon2 (Imt/TS) WCon3 (Imt/TS)


Parameters τb τp τb τp τb τp
Imt 86 94 102
Im τp and Im τb (A) 50 110 70 110 90 110
Ib (A) 20 44 22 44 32 44
tb (ms) 11.2 3.1 6.1 3.1 4.2 3.1
WFSt (m/min) 5.4 5.9 6.3
WFS τp and WFS τb (m/min) 3.6 6.5 4.5 6.7 5.7 6.7
TS (mm/min) 297 320 344

metals and electrodes. Figure 12 shows some different using the same filler material (EN 440 G3Si1–ESAB OK
types of current waveforms. It can be seen that particular Autrod 12.50 ϕ = 1 mm) and the same shielding gas (80%
waveforms offer more control options than others. Ar–20% CO2). Figure 13 shows a comparison of the individ-
Figure 12c provides the least number of control parame- ual phases. Each hard-facing was made by varying just one
ters, while Fig. 12b provides the most substantial number parameter at a time. The penetrations observed for the hard-
[9]. It should be noted that the same waveform can facings were current waveform dependent. Reinforcement and
change appearance depending on the parameter values of penetration were higher with lower peak current, current =
the attributed variables. An example is shown in Fig. 12, 120, and a shorter period of short-circuiting. Longer short-
where the super-imposition (SP-MAG) waveform patent- circuit duration with 220-A current also showed more upper
ed by Panasonic is presented for different settings. reinforcement and deeper penetration.
Lertora et al. [46] investigated the influence of welding
parameters in a robotic MAG process. Different settings were 5.4 Mechanically control droplet transfer
used to identify the effect of varying duration and varying
current intensity for each phase while producing a series of In mechanically assisted metal transfer, the wire feeder moves
hard-facing on S355 steel. All the hard-facings were made forward to promote the formation of the droplet and then

Fig. 11 Current waveforms.


a Conventional. b Controlled
(a)

(b)
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 12 Examples of adaptive


(d)
short-circuiting metal transfer (b)
current waveforms. a Dahein
CBT. b Stava, Lincoln STT.
c EWM ColdArc. d SP control (c)
Tawers

(g) (c) (a) (g)


(d)

(c) (d)
(c)
(c)

(g)
(g)
(d)
(d): Waing me (g): Breaking or necking (c): Re-ignion

moves backward to support detachment as soon as the 5.4.1 Waveform features of mechanically assisted droplet
droplet has grown sufficiently and touched the weld transfer
pool. There could be some little similarity with current
and voltage waveforms of modified short-circuiting. The approach used in mechanically supported detach-
There are the wetting time and the short-circuiting time. ment varies. Four models are currently available, namely,
The variation of this waveform parameters corresponds controlled short circuit (CSC), patented by jetline engi-
to the metal been-welded requirement. neering, cold metal transfer (CMT), licensed by Fronius,
The force generated by the surface tension and the Micro-MIG, patented by SKS Systems, and the active
retraction force act to break the drop. Thus, there is no wire process (AWP), licensed by Panasonic [49]. The
need to produce a higher current, and detachment can approaches differ in the trajectory of the electrode during
be done at relatively low current (Fig. 14). This reduc- its forward and backward motion and in the current
tion in the current results in a reduced amount of heat waveform. For the particular case of the current curve,
input. The alternating motion of the electrode can be CSC provides a pulse with two steps of current values
achieved with a stepper motor or servo motor controlled before the short circuit. The first step is more significant
by a computer. The six parameters necessary to accom- than the second step. CMT uses a pulse, followed by a
plish this alternating motion are (a) the average feeding waiting phase current of low level, which is trailed by
speed, (b) the alternation frequency, (c) the advancing the short-circuit current at a slightly higher value. In
velocity, (d) the advancing displacement, (e) the rear- Micro-MIG, a sequence of three pulses is followed by a
ward velocity, and (f) the rearward movement [47]. fourth lower pulse, and then the short circuit at low

Drop frequency: 37 drops/s


Fig. 13 Comparison of variation Drop frequency: 54 drops/s Drop frequency: 40 drops/s

in wave geometry as a function of


the current waveform for 320
SP-MAG 270
220
170
120
70
20
322.75 327.75 332.75 337.75 342.75 347.75 352.75
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

current waveform that promotes phase action from the


droplet and transmission of heat to the base metal. This
waveform augments the current phase and allows re-
ignition of the arc after short-circuiting at a low current
value. Table 6 shows some welding parameter of mechan-
ically assisted metal transfer from Mezrag et al. [50]
study. The CMT example here shows that simultaneous
decrease in the duration of the higher current and increase
in the intensity increases the short-circuiting frequency
and decreases the weight of transferred molten metal and
the heat transmitted to the base metal.

5.5 Forced arc

The forced arc waveform is characterized by a short arc


distance, which results in a short circuit after the pulse.
The drop size increases due to the current pulse, after
which it touches the weld pool. Different names are given
to this approach: forced arc EWN or Lincoln Rapid arc.
Figure 16 shows the principle of a pulse followed by a
short circuit. The current waveform has the following fea-
tures: (a) pulse ramp/peak, (b) tailout/background, (c)
Fig. 14 CMT waveform, current, and voltage [48] short, and (d) puddle repulsion. When the distance of
the arc is shortened, it, not only, causes but also sparks
higher pressure of the arc on the melt, which allows more
current. It was not possible to find a description of the precise control of the heat input. The purpose of this type
characteristics of the active wire waveform (AWP) pro- of approach is to reduce the drive time to increase the
cess in the literature. speed of welding compared to traditional pulse processes.
Mezrag et al. [50] studied control of metal transfer and Moreover, the short circuit can be controlled, and its rate
heat transfer in dissimilar welding between steel and varied according to the desired geometric profile of the
aluminum using a 4043 filler metal. Figure 15 shows a weld. This type of waveform control allows welding at

Fig. 15 Example of CMT current, voltage, and wire feed speed waveform and metal transfer captured by high-speed video [50]
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Table 6 Setting parameters of CMT

Test example Boost phase Ib (A) Boost time tb (ms) Wait phase Iw (A) Short circuit Isc (A) Wire feeding speed Vf (m/min)

1 27 22 15 40 20
2 30 15 15 40 20
3 64.3 11.01 17.8 40 20
4 81.4 9.01 19.2 40 20
5 115.7 5.01 22.1 40 20
6 132.8 3.01 23.5 40 20
7 150 1.76 44.2 40 20

low voltage and at higher speed, from 1 to 1.5 m/min, inside and GMAW for outside the pipe. The combined method
unlike the GMAW-P process, in which the increased aimed to improve the root pass procedure by using short arc
height of the arc limits welding speed. In addition, Pepe length GMAW for an outward weld from the outside of the
[8] reported that the approach reduces undercut defects by pipe and GTAW weld from inside of the pipe. Satisfactory
up to 75% and decreases the welding time cycle by penetration was achieved.
around 10 to 30%, thanks to the higher welding speed, Mvola et al. [52] investigated forced arc adaptive GMAW
thereby increasing productivity and significantly reducing and a standard GMAW process. Figure 17 shows the con-
production costs. Additionally, due to the minimal amount trolled waveform principle (WiseFusion) applied as adaptive
of spatter generated, cleaning of the base metal, the fix- GMAW, and Table 7 presents the welding parameters. By
tures, and the torch nozzle is significantly reduced, with a changing the settings of the welding process, it was possible
consequent decrease in production cost [51]. At a wire to evaluate heat input, dilution, microstructure, and hardness.
feed rate in the region of 9 m/min, the quantity of spatter The results showed that by decreasing the percentage of short
is reduced to approximately one fourth that of other arc circuiting welding to 20%, the penetration and the weld
methods. There is also a beneficial effect on undercut, geometry became close to that of P-GMW with a finger-like
and a good welding bead is achieved. At Panasonic, this root penetration. On the other hand, by increasing the percent-
welding method is called hyper dip pulse. age of short-circuiting to 50%, round root penetration tended
to be produced. In addition, it was found that the heat input
5.5.1 Waveform features of forced arc current could be kept at 0.59 kJ/mm by merely changing the percent-
age of short-circuiting, although the geometry of the weld
In the literature, there some research that discusses the reduced changed significantly.
distance between the tip of the electrode and the molten pool,
the resulting current waveform parameters, and the benefit of
such as the weld profile and penetration. 5.6 Mixed waveforms
Torbati et al. [51] studied optimization procedures for
GMAW of dissimilar metal pipes. A root weld joint of a pipe In traditional GMAW-P, mixed metal transfer mode occurs
of carbon steel (outer part) and a corrosion resistant alloy randomly [53]. Difficulties observed with variable polari-
(CRA) (inner part) was welded using three different ap- ty welding include extinction of the arc at the zero cross-
proaches: GTAW, GMAW, and a combination of GTAW for ing of the line and problems adjusting the balance of EP
and EN. It has been suggested that the problem could be
solved by passing successively not a positive pulse to a
negative pulse, but a sequence of positive to negative
pulses [7]. The alternation would allow more adjustable
flexibility between the two polarizations. By combining
different transfer modes with an advanced control digital
Current [A]

(b) power source and appropriate software, there is more abil-


(a)
ity to control the heat input. For example, a mix of pulse
(d) and short-circuiting transfer waveform (Fig. 18) will al-
(c) low a reduction in heat input, facilitating welding of thin
sheet metal. If the periodic time of short-circuiting is
Time [ ms ] higher, the pulse time can be used to increase the deposi-
Fig. 16 Forced arc principle tion rate [54]; inversely, the heat input can be increased
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 17 Forced arc waveform Short circuit (SC) occurrence (adjustable in %)


features
Current

Time (ms )

Long arc length Short arc length

Small droplet spaer


(Current value: very low)

by increasing the periodic pulse time, thereby making it combining pulse sequences and a modified short-circuit
possible to weld cross sections of up to 10 mm. waveform such as CMT allowed thicker sections to be
Repeat function sequences of different waveform cur- welded, improved control of penetration, and produced
rent can be of value for difficult welding positions. The a better appearance of the weld bead.
short-circuit current transfer mode operates at relatively Kolařík et al. [56] evaluated advanced functions of
low current intensities with low heat input, whereas the modern GMAW power sources for steel welding. A V
one droplet pulsed transfer mode has higher current ener- butt joint of 10-mm thickness in structural steel S275J2
gies and greater heat input. Alternating between these two was welded in two layers: a root and a cap layer in the
transfer modes to generate an average heat broadens the PF position (vertical). Welding parameters for the cap-
range of possible welding positions to a horizontal posi- ping passes are presented in Table 8. Alternating two
tion (PC), horizontal overhead position (PD), overhead types of sequences was advantageous for welding the
position (PE), vertical up position (PF), and upright down cap layer and filling in the sense that the total heat
position (PG). In addition, by welding a V groove, it input is reduced significantly due to the lower average
becomes possible to wave the welding torch without the operating current and voltage. A better weld was
risk of becoming stuck on one of the bevel faces. achieved with a smaller heat-affected zone compared
to a standard short arc weld.
5.6.1 Mixed waveforms

The use of combined waveforms allows advantage to be 6 Discussions


taken of different waveforms in the same welding oper-
ation. In the same cycle of welding, two different cur- Adaptive control by current or voltage curve usually
rent waveforms are utilized alternatively, which in- involves internal sensors. Since arc welding is based
creases the range of parameters and control options. on the difference in polarity between one pole fixed to
Figure 19 shows an example of waveform configuration the workpiece and the other pole consisting of the elec-
of mixed current and voltage waveform. trode, internal current and voltage must be sensed and
Pickin and Young [55] evaluated mixed waveform recorded, and the information sent to the central algo-
performance when welding aluminum. The following rithm. In early approaches, the current and voltage
combination of waveforms was used: 20 pulses/6 CMT waveforms were essentially under manual set inductance
short-circuits, 20 pulses/4 CMT short-circuits, and 20 control. The wire feed rate was constant at a preset
pulses/2 CMT short-circuits. The results showed that value regardless of variation. Although these types of

Table 7 Forced arc welding parameters

Process I (A) U (v) Ws (cm/min) Wfs (m/min) Flow gas (L/min) CTWD (mm), Q (kJ/mm)

Pulse + 35% short circuit 167 25.1 34 9 14 0.59


Pulse + 50% short circuit 167 25.1 34 9 14 0.59
Pulse + 20% short circuit 167 25.1 34 9 14 0.59
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 18 Mixed waveform: two


positive pulses (EP) and negative
(EN) CMT

controller are still widely used in many welding ma- Successful control of the quality of joints as they are
chines available in the market, more fumes and spatter being produced is not possible in current welding ma-
are generated, and the number of suitable applications is chines. New algorithm-based (e.g., adaptive control,
limited [58]. Figure 20 compares a number of welding neuro network, fuzzy, expert control) approaches have
processes in terms of heat input, dilution, current, and potential from the point of view of the management of
deposition area based on data collected from the study information based on prior welding operations or obtained
by Rosado [59]. It can be observed that the different waveform during the welding operation itself.
approaches, CMT, MAG, STT, and FastRoot, give different Because of the integration of computers into welding
results because of differences in the waveform design and equipment and the increasingly fast response speed of
waveform features. CMT and STT provide the lowest heat inverters, adaptive control is becoming efficient and ef-
input and the highest dilution, which offers more room fective. Inverted polarities can be used to combine differ-
for adjustment if required. Waveforms with more param- ent types of current waveform according to information
eters can be adjusted to fit changes in the current and received from sensors. In the past, because of control
voltage disturbance at the output. With fewer settings, system inductance, any disturbance in the current net-
there is not the same flexibility to be able to adapt to work had consequences for the output curve with impli-
welding parameters to factors such as base metal type cations for the quality of the weld. Figure 21, from
and irregularities in the joints. Goecke et al. [60], compares time-averaged current,

Fig. 19 Current and voltage


waveforms: a CMT, b CMT-P,
c CMT-ADV, and d CMT-PADV
(WFS = 7.5 m/min) [57]
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Table 8 Forced arc welding parameters

Function, metal Weld Current (A) Voltage Wire feed Duration, repeating time Welding speed Heat input (kJ/mm)
transfer pass (V) (m/min) (s) (mm/s)

Sequence repeating Capping Short circuit: 16 2.6 0.6 1.7 SC: 0.66, P: 1.90
85 Average heat input:
Pulsed: 150 26.4 6.7 0.3 1.1

voltage, and power of different waveforms. It can be ob- experiments were performed on the mild steel plate of
served that power and energy are higher with a pulsed arc 12-mm thickness. Welding machine operation in tradi-
than with the arc short-circuit approach and short-circuit tional mode (DC-GMAW), pulsating (P-GMAW),
controlled approach (coldArc). The voltage in the short double-pulsed (DP-GMAW), and short-circuit controlled
arc and coldArc are equal, but the coldArc type requires mode (CS-GMAW) was analyzed. It was observed that
less power. Short-circuit arc and coldArc have relatively increasing the speed of the feed rate of the electrode
higher current. The arc properties of the controlled short- (Wfs) improves the wire feed ratio of welding and mean
circuit (coldArc) approach provide arc stability and sup- current and voltage. Also, CS-GMAW provided a better
press spatter. quality weld with less spatter than DC GMAW, P-
For adaptive control by the curve of the current and GMAW, or DP-GMAW. Figure 22 is from Liu et al.’s
voltage, it would be presumptive to suggest a standard [41] study on the characteristics of the weld pool when
curve, as this would go against the principle idea of adap- welding aluminum with DP-GMAW. It shows that a
tive control. Consequently, a more appropriate approach change in the thermal frequency, which varied from 0
would be to expand the general curve form as required by to 9 Hz for the case of DP-GMAW, influences the ap-
the materials and type of weld joint and the choice of pearance of the weld.
curve combination. Changes in the waveform profile can Energy input has an effect on the cooling time, therefore
also be developed based on the control parameters as a grain growth and phase transformation throughout solidifica-
function of the characteristics of the expected weld joint tion. For example, when welding low-carbon steel and ferritic
profile and the metallurgical properties. This information stainless steels, there was the effect of heat input to the grain
is essential for the design of algorithms to adapt the pat- growth, carbide presence, and intergranular martensitic at the
tern of the waveform current and voltage by adjusting HAZ [62, 63]. Masser et al. [64] studied how to reduce pro-
values using information processed after capture by duction costs through the use of an advanced welding process.
sensors. The study aimed to devise a strategy for the selection of
Devakumaran et al. [61] investigated the characteris- welding parameters and develop an advanced GMAW process
tics of a GMAW welding machine of inverter type op- for welding carbon steels, alloy steels, and stainless steels. The
erating under static and dynamic conditions. Weld bead study presented an optimized practice for high welding

Fig. 20 Comparison of different


welding processes Comparison of welding processes

Deposite Area [mm2]

Diluon Rate [%]

Heat Imput [J/m]

I [A]

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

CMT MAG STT FastRoot


Int J Adv Manuf Technol

200 50 5

Current
zone (BM), the HAZ, and fusion line (FL) as well as the
Voltage percent of the dilution area. All collected data are used to

Time-Averaged Power in kW
Time-Averaged Voltage in V
Time-Averaged Current in A

160 40 4
Power develop a program that enables offline programming of the
GMAW robot by allowing the modeling software to integrate
120 30 3
a relationship between dilution, penetration, geometry, and
hardness of the weld. This interface is designed to translate
80 20 2 the geometry and mechanical properties of the welded joint
into welding parameters. The results were satisfactory as it
40 10 1 was possible to select the best current settings for thicknesses
varying between 5 and 6 mm. Significant enhancement could
0 0 0 be achieved if current waveform parameters are included in
Pulsed Arc Short Arc ColdArc
the interface. Figure 24 presents image analyses of welding
Welding processes
macrographs, and it can be seen that the dilution percentage
Fig. 21 Time-averaged values of current, voltage, and power in different and geometry of the weld vary significantly depending on the
GMAW processes [60]
power generated by the current.
chromium and stainless steels with an appropriate consumable
electrode, shielding gas, and flow rate. Use of a controlled
7 Effect of waveform features on droplet
short-circuit GMAW process with a non-backing gas
transfer and weld quality
(NBG), P-GMAW, and FCAW achieved three times the higher
metal deposit and a repair rate of one tenth of that of traditional
Increase in DCEN portion increases the droplet size and
SMAW and GTAW methods.
deposition rate, and the penetration reduces significantly,
Mathivanan et al. [65] compared welded joint properties of
while reinforcement (excess deposition) increases. The
AISI: 310S austenitic stainless steel welded with P-GMAW
higher %EN ratio is suitable for lap joints in thin sheet
and DP-GMAW. It was observed that use of the DP-GMAW
metal, while fillet welds with thickness above 5 mm are
process resulted in better weld quality. The enhanced weld
recommended for the lower DCEN ratio.
quality obtained with the DP-GMAW process is primarily
Based on experience with AC-GMAW processes on bead
due to the combined effect of the thermal base and thermal
plates, lap joints, and butt joints, it has been noticed that pen-
peak current pulsation (low-frequency pulse). Figure 23a, b
etration increases with reduction in EN, as does the width of
shows the microstructure of the heat-affected zone for the P-
the weld and weld strength. Increased EN leads to decreased
GMAW process and DP-GMAW process, respectively. The
penetration, and the width of the weld increases, as does the
microstructure in Fig. 23a has coarse grain adjacent to the
reinforcement. In the absence of research explicitly comparing
fusion line. This grain characteristic is due to a considerable
the effect of AC current parameters on the weld geometry of
isothermal effect of the heat input from the weld metal depos-
T-joints, it can be presumed that the length of the legs and
ited. Figure 23b, on the other hand, has less coarse graining in
weld penetration decrease with increasing EN and reinforce-
the area adjacent to the fusion line. This characteristic is relat-
ment increases. EN should not exceed 50% to achieve suc-
ed to the application of a mixed current waveform combining
cessful T-joint weld geometry and quality.
a base and thermal peak current pulse sequence.
Based on the current waveform analysis performed in
Barcellona et al. [66] investigated productivity improve-
this study, Table 9 presents an assessment of the effects of
ment in a robotized GMAW process. The study presented a
waveform features on the forces acting during metal trans-
method, based on practical experiences, which predicts the
fer. A parameter list is shown for each current waveform,
morphology of the dilution area of a welded T-joint.
and the impact of the waveform features is described on a
Different morphologies are well defined as functions of
scale of 0 to 5, where level 0 corresponds to no effect and
welding parameters such as power, ranging from 20 to
level 5 indicates a significant impact on molten metal
100%, and weld properties like the hardness of the base metal
transfer. In addition, some observations are given about

Fig. 22 Typical appearance of the


DP-GMAW joint under different
thermal frequency (Al alloy) [41]
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Fig. 23 Typical microstructure. a


(a) (b)
HAZ near to fusion line in P-
GMA weld. b HAZ near to the
fusion line in DP-GMAW [65]

specific variables and forces. It is evident that the more on weld properties. From the modified welding wave-
parameters there are for a waveform, the higher the pos- form examined, the following conclusions can be
sible control of the forces acting during the transfer of made:
metal and heat transfer from the arc to the base metal is.
& Better geometry and penetration enables fillet weld legs’
length and dilution to be attained and reduces weld de-
8 Conclusions fects. Also, the waveform affects arc pressure and depos-
ited metal. Therefore, it is possible to influence the amount
This study aimed to investigate current waveforms of GMAW of excess metal and reduce the acute angles at the toes,
processes and analyze their parameters to assess their effects which are critical factors in the welded T-joint life cycle.

Fig. 24 Dilution morphology as a


function of the power level [66]
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

Table 9 Effect of waveform


features on the droplet force Waveform Feature of curve Forces acting on droplet Observation
transfer

Fg Fem Fd Fv Fs

Advanced SC Arcing 2 2 2 2 3 • Low forces at arcing. Higher


frequency, smaller drop
Waiting 5 3 3 1 4 • Low Fem, Fv because of low
current at breaking
Short-circuiting 4 3 5 0 5 • Highly controlled heat input
Breaking 3 2 3 0 5
Re-ignition 2 2 2 5 3
Frequency increase 3 3 4 4 3
Reciprocating Arcing 2 2 2 2 3 • Low forces at arcing
wire feed Waiting 5 3 3 1 4 • Higher frequency, smaller drop
Short-circuiting 4 1 5 0 5 • Low force at breaking
Breaking (wire 4 1 2 0 5 • Highly controlled heat input
retraction)
Re-ignition 2 1 3 0 2
Frequency increase 2 2 3 3 2
Pulse-GMAW Peak current and 5 5 4 4 3 • Peak for necking
voltage
Peak time 4 4 3 2 2 • Duration time affect drop number
and size
Background current 0 1 1 2 1 • Multidrop can occur depending on
Background time 0 2 2 3 1 time and level
Frequency increase 3 3 3 2 2
DP-GMAW Thermal peak 4 4 3 3 3 • Single pule affect droplet size and
heat input
Thermal peak time 5 5 5 3 3 • Thermal cycle affect the result in a
Thermal base 3 3 2 2 1 variation of force acting
Thermal base time 4 4 4 2 2
Frequency increase 2 2 2 1 1
AC-GMAW E+ Base before Peak
2 2 3 1 • E+ concentrate on electrode
3
Peak 5 4 4 4 3 • E− concentrate on the weld pool
Base after 4 3 4 3 2 • Forces alternate between droplet
peak and weld pool
E−
Base before 1 1 2 0
background 2
Background 2 1 1 1 2

Level 0–5 effect of the feature on the droplet force, where 0 represents no effect and 5 represents the greatest
effect. Electrode positive (E+), electrode negative (E−)

& The thermal transfer acts on the cooling time of the welded & There is a need for self-regulation control, synergic con-
joint. It is therefore easy to link microstructure and weld trol, closed-loop system, and artificial intelligence (fuzzy,
parameters of the current waveform. It was observed that a neural network, and control expert) to analyze data
controlled current waveform could be used to increase collected by the sensors and to provide the required com-
heat input without affecting stability substantially. This mands to the robot arm and fixture support.
increase in heat input can increase welding speed and con- & Weld quality requires a combination of higher and lower
sequently productivity. pulses (DP-GMAW); the thermal base stabilizes the
Int J Adv Manuf Technol

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