When welding metals during the fabrication process, it is important to pay particular attention to any hydrogen dissolving in the weld metal at the heat affected zones (HAZ). At temperatures below 600 degrees, steels are particularly vulnerable to cold cracking, also known as hydrogen-induced cracking. Cold cracking is a serious welding defect that needs to be addressed immediately, as it significantly compromises and alters the structural integrity of the steels.
In-Depth Review of Cold Cracking
Thicker steels tend to be more susceptible to cold cracking because there is a higher restraint that can serve as a heat sink. This leads to rapid cooling rates that are difficult for the crystalline structures within the metals to tolerate.
Rapid cooling results in the formation of martensite, which is a crystalline microstructure that is very brittle and lacks ductility. Hydrogen accumulation at the martensite builds pressure in the HAZ, which eventually causes the steels to crack.
Techniques That Prevent Cold Cracking
Once cold cracks form, the structural integrity of the steels have been compromised permanently, and the steels should be scrapped and recycled, as they no longer have the tensile strength required. To prevent cold cracking, implement the following techniques:
Cold cracking in steels is a serious issue that signifies that there are unaddressed problems in the welding procedures. In addition to maintaining temporal conditions during the welding process, maintaining constant storage conditions and using proper filler metals can help prevent cold cracking as well. For more information, contact Moorhead Machinery & Boiler Co. or a similar company.
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