Simulation of welding and heat treatment : modelling and validation
Abstract: Many aerospace components with complex geometry are fabricated from smaller parts using joining techniques such as welding. Welding and the heat treatment which usually follows, can result in unwanted deformation and stresses. Expensive materials, tight geometrical tolerances and the need to decrease product and manufacturing development time, cost and associated risks have motivated the development of models and methods for the simulation of manufacturing processes. The work presented concerns methodologies and modelling techniques for the simulation of welding and heat treatment of fabricated aircraft-engine components. The aim of the work was to develop modelling practices to enable the use of finite element analysis for the prediction of deformation, residual stresses and material properties such as microstructure during and after welding and heat treatment. Achieving this aim has required investigation of geometrical discretisation, modelling of boundary conditions and material behaviour for these processes. The case study components were made of a martensitic stainless steel, Greek Ascoloy. Phase evolutions models and models for rate-independent, rate-dependent, and creep were used as the material models in the welding and heat treatment simulations. The work also includes discussion of numerical considerations in material modelling. A toolbox for evaluation of constitutive models and to obtain material parameters for the plasticity models was developed. The heat transfer coefficient is an important parameter for describing energy transfer between the component and a gas. Due to the complexity of the gas flow in the heat treatment furnace during cooling, a method using computational fluid dynamics was developed to obtain an approximate distribution of the heat transfer coefficient. Due to the impact that modelling and simulation predictions can have, the creditability of the computational results are of great concern to engineering designers, managers and other affected by decisions based on these predictions. In this work, a validation methodology for welding and post weld heat treatment models was developed. The model used for welding simulations gives results with the accuracy required for predicting deformation and residual stresses at all stages of the product and manufacturing development process. The heat treatment model predicts deformations and residual stresses resulting from stress relief heat treatment of sufficient accuracy to be used in the concept and preliminary stages of product and manufacturing development. The models and methodology have been implemented, tested and are in use at Volvo Aero.
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