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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of a three-dimensional multi-scale model to study the formation of solidification defects in fusion welding, Zareie Rajani, Hamid Reza


One of the long-standing challenges in joining of aluminum alloys is the occurrence of solidification defects, i.e. hot cracking and porosity, since these defects significantly increase manufacturing costs. This research project investigates the formation of solidification defects through development of a novel and comprehensive 3-D multi-scale and multi-physics numerical study and then application to the GTA welding of the aluminum alloy AA6061. The developed multi-scale model is composed of four different modules: 1) Solidification, 2) Deformation, 3) Fluid flow, and 4) Defect formation. The solidification module numerically reconstructs the 3-D microstructure of semisolid welds using a granular model of solidification. Specifically, a modified Voronoi tessellation algorithm is used to generate an unstructured grid representing the weld microstructure. The reconstructed microstructure contains both columnar and equiaxed grains and varies as a function of welding process parameters. Then, the Scheil equation is used in combination with the temperature field obtained through the Rosenthal equation and the reconstructed 3D microstructure to simulate solidification. This module outputs the evolving 3D structure of the semisolid weld composed of solid grains and a network of micro liquid channels for use by the deformation and fluid flow modules as the simulation geometry. The deformation module analyzes via finite elements the deformation of the semisolid weld due to externally applied strains and self-induced strains such as thermo-mechanical strains and solidification shrinkage in order to obtain local strain rates within the micro liquid channels. The local strain rates outputted by the deformation module feed a fluid flow analysis module in which the pressure field within the semisolid weld is calculated. Finally, the defect formation module uses various defect formation models to link the pressure field and the local strain rates to the formation of solidification defects including micro cracks and hydrogen porosity.

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