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BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al.

/ International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology


Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
A REVIEW ON EFFECT OF
PREHEATING AND/OR POST WELD
HEAT TREATMEMT (PWHT) ON
MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR OF
FERROUS METALS.
*BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTAVA
Senior research fellow, Mechanical engineering department
Institute Of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
Senior Section Engineer, DLW, (Indian Railway) Varanasi.
**DR. S.P. TEWARI
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engg. Department
Institute Of Technology, Banaras Hindu University,Varanasi,India
***JYOTI PRAKASH
Senior research fellow, Mechanical engineering department
Institute Of Technology, Banaras Hindu University,Varanasi,India
ABSTRACT:
Welding is used in ships, bridges, pressure vessels, industrial machinery, automobile, rolling stock and many
other fields. Problems associated with welding are common issues in these fields. Weldability of steel refers to
the maximum hardness of the heat affected zone (HAZ) and the cold cracking susceptibility of welds. When
steel is welded non uniform heating and cooling in weld metal and in base metal generates harder Heat Affected
Zone (HAZ), cold crack susceptibility and residual stress in weldment. The best way to minimize above
difficulties is to slow the heating and cooling rate of the base metal and weld heat affected zone. However there
are many methods for reducing the effects of above problems and one of them is preheating and/or post heating.
Pre heating and/or Post heating have been widely employed in welding operation for preventing cold cracking.
This paper presents the effect of preheating and/or PWHT on mechanical behaviour or maximum HAZ
hardness, cold cracking susceptibility and residual stresses of various steel types.

KEYWORDS: Heat-affected zone (HAZ); Weld metal (WM); Microstructure; Toughness; Post Weld Heat
Treatment (PWHT); Carbon Equivalent (CE);
1. INTRODUCTION:
When steel is welded, it is heated; the heated portion has a micro structure that is different from that of the base
metal and is called the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) [33, 34].During welding, rapid heating and cooling take place
which produce severe thermal cycle near weld line region. Thermal cycle cause non uniform heating and
cooling in the material, thus generating harder heat affected zone, residual stress and cold cracking
susceptibility in the weld metal and base metal [28,29,30,31].Detrimental residual stresses commonly result
from differential heating and cooling[1]. A weld is a common example. Due to contraction of metal along the
length of the weld is partially prevented by the large adjacent body of cold metal. Hence residual tensile stresses
are set up along the weld. The properties of welds often cause more problem than the base metal properties, and
in many cases they govern the overall performance of the structure: [28]. These all are a problem in the process
of production. To get rid of these problems some heat treatment before welding (Preheating) and after welding,
Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT) are employed. Effective preheat and post heat are the primary means by
which acceptable heat affected zone properties and minimum potential for hydrogen induced cracking are
created.


ISSN: 0975-5462 625
BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
1.1 FUNDAMENTALS OF PREHEAT:
The operation of heating metal to some pre determined temperature before engaging in actual welding is called
preheating [13]. The details and the modes may be different in various situations but in general the purpose is to
influence the cooling behavior after welding so that shrinkage stresses will be lower (relative to welding without
preheating) and cooling rate will be milder [27]. Pre-heating prepares metal to make it more receptive to
welding. The importance of preheating increases with the thickness of the base metal because of the rapid self
quench capability, and with the rigidity of the welded structure because of the derived constraints. In general the
higher the preheat temperature and the lower the heat input, the conditions are more favorable for limiting
martensite formation and its hardness, hopefully contributing to higher quality welds[23]. As a precaution all
hardenable steels should be preheated to decrease the cooling rate after welding. For particular steel, preheating
requirements and critical preheating temperature may be selected according to the % of carbon present in that
steel (Fig. 1 and2).


Fig.1. The Graville Weldability Diagram (Ref: [7])

Fig.2. Relationship between carbon equivalent and critical preheat temperature(Y- groove weld cracking test) (Ref: [28])
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BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
Tables [5] are available giving recommended preheat and interpass temperatures for Welding-alloy-steel, based
on chemistry of base metal and thickness of the structure elements.
The minimum preheating temperature to be assured to avoid cracking depends on the following factors:
Carbon equivalent expressing carbon and alloy content,
Condition of base metal prior to welding,
Thickness of base material,
Constraint level,
Hydrogen available risk.
Usually, rapid heating and cooling, characteristics of welding, produce a hard microstructure in the HAZ [18,
28]. The hard micro structure of the HAZ is one factor responsible for the property deterioration of welds. The
heat-affected zone (HAZ), which is cooled at different rates and includes different regions of microstructure, is
often considered the source of failure in a welded joint [30, 33].
1.2 POSTWELD HEAT TREATMENT:
Also known as Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT), this procedure is used to influence the structure and the
properties obtained in the weld and in the heat affected zone (HAZ) (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Schematic illustrations of the various single-pass HAZ regions with reference to the Iron-carbon equilibrium diagram. (Ref: [34])
By implementing proper provisions after welding one can retard the cooling rate after Welding [2]. The
functions of a PWHT are to temper the martensite in the weld metal and HAZ, in order to reduce the hardness
and increase the toughness, and to decrease residual stresses associated with welding [3, 4].
By reviewing the current literature [6], available on the subject of Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT), one can
see that recommendations are usually dependent upon specific alloys and filler metals involved, but also on
thickness and restraint of welded joints. Post heating is used to minimize the potential for hydrogen induced
cracking (HIC) [27].For HIC to occur three variables must be present: a sensitive microstructure, a sufficient
level of hydrogen, or a high level of stress. The necessity for PWHT depends on material and service
requirements. Other factors that influence the need for PWHT are dimensions, joint design, welding parameters
and the likely mechanism of failure.


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BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
1.3 THERMAL STRESS RELIEF:
Stress relief heat treatment is used to reduce the stresses that remain locked in a structure as a consequence of
manufacturing processes. There are many sources of residual stresses, and those due to welding are of a
magnitude roughly equal to the yield strength of the base material [13]. Uniformly heating a structure to a
sufficiently high temperature, but below the lower transformation temperature range, and then uniformly cooling
it (Fig. 4), can relax these residual stresses [27, 34].

Fig. 4 Thermal cycle representing one of the PWHT schedules. (Ref: [34])
Stress relieving offers several benefits. For example- greater dimensional stability during machining, the
potential for stress corrosion cracking is reduced finally the chances for hydrogen induced cracking is reduced.
The percentage relief of internal stress is Independent of steel type, composition or yield strength. The
temperature reached during the stress relief treatment has a far greater effect in relieving stresses than the length
of time the specimen is held at that temp [36]. The closer the temperature is to the critical or re-crystallization
temperature, the more effective it is in the removal of residual stresses.
. REVIEW OF THE HAZ CRACKING AND RESIDUAL STRESSES:
2.1 Effect of pre-and post-heating on HAZ Cracking:
[28] Tadashi Kasuya, Nobutaka Yurioka,Makoto Okumura While searching the methods for predicting
maximum hardness of Heat Affected Zone and selecting necessary Preheat temperature for Steel Welding
concluded that the hard microstructure of the HAZ is responsible for the property deterioration of weld and
cold cracking susceptibility.
Takamura et.al. [17] While discussing the method for TIG welding 1.25Cr.-0.5 Mo steel pipe concluded that the
technical problems associated with conventional steel materials welding can be eliminated without preheating
and postheating treatments by applying TIG welding between two units of certain composition of steel pipes.
J. Schmidt, D. Pellkofer and E. Wei [20] while discussing the Alternative methods for postweld treatment of
austenitic pipe welds to increase the operational safety of BWR examines past experience and more recent
developments, in particular the latest results with pipe welds treated by means of welding processes (last pass
heat sink welding). These measures are suitable for producing compressive stresses in the medium-swept ID-
HAZ of austenitic welds, or to at least significantly reduce the tensile stresses and thus practically eliminate the
risk of IGSCC.
R. Scott Funderburk [13] while writing the fundamental of preheat concluded that (a) preheat can minimize
cracking (b) Preheat must be used whenever applicable codes so specify (c) Annex XI of AWS D1.1-96
provides guidelines for alternative methods of determining proper amounts of preheat (d) Finally, the interpass
temperature should be checked to verify that the minimum preheat temperature has been maintained just prior to
initiating the arc for each pass.
Hisaki OKABAYASI and Ryochi KUME [3] while studying the Preheating and Post heating suitable for
avoiding the heat-affected zone cracking in 9 Cr-1Mo-Nb-V Steel Concluded that the (1) minimum preheating
temperature to prevent the cracking is about 200
0
C,which is lower than the values(over 300
0
C) estimated from
the above steel chemistry;(2)The preheating temperature ,however, becomes higher when the weld is made with
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BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
an electrode of mild steel of 58 kg/mm
2
tensile steel; and (3) use of a martensitic weld metal lowers the residual
stress and results in low susceptibility to cracking.
[26] M Erolu, M Aksoy and N Orhan while studying the effects of coarse initial grain size with varying heat
inputs on microstructure and mechanical properties of weld metal and heat-affected zone (HAZ) concluded that
,considering the heat input, it was observed that the coarse initial grain size had a great influence on the
microstructure, hardness and toughness of HAZ of a low carbon steel. Thus, taking into consideration the plate
thickness, a higher heat input should be used with respect to the maximum toughness of the HAZ in the welding
of grain-coarsened low carbon steels.
R. N. S. Fassani; O. V. Trevisan[12] while studying the analytical modeling of multipass welding process with
distributed heat compared between thermal cycles obtained from analytical models regarding point
(concentrated) and Gaussian (distributed) heat sources. The comparison shows that the thermal cycles obtained
from the distributed heat source model are more reliable than those obtained from the concentrated heat source
model. The analytical solution derived from the point source model can be safely used to predict temperature
fields away from the fusion zone (FZ) and the heat affected zone (HAZ).
GHOSH P. K.

; GUPTA P. C.; POTLURI N. B. ; GUPTA Yogesh [4] while studying the influence of pre and
post weld heating on weldability of modified 9Cr-1MoV-Nb steel plates under SMA and GTA welding
processes concluded that the increase of preheating and PWHT coarsened the microstructures of weld and HAZ
and significantly influenced the properties of the weld joints.
Wiley VCH [15] while welding of tool steels concluded that under no circumstances should a tool be welded at
room temperature. Tool steels in the hardened condition always should be reheated for welding to a temperature
not to exceed the tempering temperature and should be maintained as closely as possible at this temperature
during the welding operation. Annealed tool steel should be placed in a furnace immediately after welding and
re-annealed.
[32] J. A. Francis, G. M. D. Cantin, W. Mazur and H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia while studying the effects of weld
preheat temperature and heat input on type IV failure(refers to the premature failure of a welded joint due to an
enhanced rate of creep void formation in the fine grained or intercritically annealed heat affected zone) it can be
concluded that any effect of heat input on the tendency for type IV failure is small. In this work, it has been
demonstrated that there is scope to improve resistance to type IV cracking in 9 12%Cr steels through the
optimization of welding procedures.
M. Pouranvari [11] while studying the welding of grey cast iron by shielded metal arc welding process using
nickel based filler metal concluded that welding of grey cast iron with nickel based filler metal and applying
PWHT can serve as a solution for cast iron welding problems.
2.2 Effect of pre-and post-heating on Residual Stresses:
G. Thomas, V. Ramachandra, R. Ganeshan and R. Vasudevan [8] while studying the effect of pre- and post-
weld heat treatments on the mechanical properties of electron beam welded Ti-6Al-4V alloy summarized that
as-welded state the samples exhibit about 80% of the tensile ductility and about 9095% of the impact/fracture
toughness of the base metal. Low temperature stress relieving carried out subsequent to the welding operation
improves the tensile properties but decreases the toughness at the fusion zone.
A.G. Olabi and M.S.J. Hashmi [9,10] while studying the effect of post-weld heat-treatment on mechanical-
properties concluded that in order to assess the effect of post-weld heat-treatment on the mechanical properties,
micro hardness, tensile strength and impact tests have been employed on the welded joint under two conditions:
first, the as-welded condition; second, the as-heat-treated condition. The results show that the post-weld heat-
treatment :(i) improves the toughness by about 15%, without making any significant difference to the tensile
strength and the hardness; and (ii) has the significant effect of reducing the residual stresses by about 70%.
C. P. Chou and Y. C. Lin [19] while investigating the new Technique for the reduction of residual stress named
as parallel heat welding (PHW) , concluded that the maximum principal residual stress and parallel welding
direction stress can be reduced by 2132% when the conventional welding(CW) process is replaced by the
parallel heat welding process.
A. Aloraier, R. Ibrahim, P. Thomson [21] while discussing the FCAW process to avoid the use of post weld heat
treatment concluded that the Most of the repairs in industry are performed with manual metal arc welding
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BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
(MMAW), however, the benefits of the flux cored arc welding (FCAW) process have been appreciated by
industry for many years. And the desirable microstructures and hardness values can be obtained using flux cored
arc welding when 70% bead overlap is used.
Y.C. Lin, K.H. Lee. [18] While studying the effect of preheating on the residual stress and metallurgical
properties of weldment concluded that there are two factors influencing the formation of welding residual stress
in preheat process: the elevation of welding equilibrium temperature and the increase of amount of heat input..
The residual stress increases with the increase of preheat temperature. Preheating will induce a wider heat-
affected zone and a poorer strength base metal than the conventional welding in type 304 stainless steel.
[25] Milan T. Jovanovich, Mi a Todorovi , Milan Trtanj and Petar aponji , while describing a comparative
study of the hardness characteristics, mechanical properties, microstructures, and fracture mechanisms of the
thermite welded rail steel joints before and after heat treatment concluded that the heat treatment of the welded
joint improves the mechanical properties (UTS and elongation), and changes the fracture mechanism from
brittle to ductile. Improved strength and elongation are attributed to the finer ferritepearlite microstructure and
the different fracture mechanism.
[36] Khaleel Ahmed and J. Krishnan while discussing Post Weld Heat Treatment concluded that Post weld heat
treatment is necessary to satisfy one or more end requirements.
Ivan Hrivk [24] Discussed about metallurgical changes which occur during heat treatment of welded joints
and concluded that the aim of stress-relieving heat treatment is not only to relax internal stresses but also to
improve the microstructure and impact properties of HAZ and weld metal, to improve dimensional stability and
increase resistance against stress corrosion.
S. Ravi, V. Balasubramanian and S. Nemat Nasser [22] find out that Welding of High Strength Low Alloy
Steels (HSLA) involve usage of low, even and high strength filler materials (electrodes) than the parent material
depending on the application of the welded structures and the availability of the filler materials. The influences
of post weld heat treatment (PWHT) on fatigue life prediction of under matched (UM), even matched (EM) and
over matched (OM) weld metals have been examined.
Enrico Armentani, Renato Esposito, Raffaele Sepe [16] while discussing the influence of thermal properties and
preheating on residual stresses in welding concluded that it is impossible to obtain a full residual stress
distribution in welded structures by means of experimental methods This disadvantage can be solved by means
of computational analysis, which allows to determine the whole stress and strain fields in complex structures.
3. DISCUSSION:
The study of the previous work reviews that effective preheat and/or post heat are the primary means by which
acceptable heat affected zone properties , minimum potential for hydrogen induced cracking and minimum
residual stresses are created. Some researchers concluded that microstructure of the HAZ is responsible for the
property deterioration of weld and cold cracking susceptibility and also recommended that heat treatment is not
always necessary, technical problems associated with conventional steel materials welding can be eliminated
without preheating and post heating treatments by applying some specific welding process and consumables.
Some of the researchers observed that the increase of preheating and/or PWHT coarsened the microstructures of
weld and HAZ and significantly influenced the properties of the weld joints. Few of the researchers advised the
way for welding of specialized type of ferrous metals .While studying the effects of pre-and post weld Heat
Treatment on mechanical properties, some researchers observed that toughness decreases after stress relieve
operation on other hand toughness increases if only PWHT is applied. Welding stresses can be reduced by 21-
32% by using new welding technique i.e. parallel heat welding process (PHW).Some researchers said that
residual stresses increases with increase in preheat temperature and also recommended that it is impossible to
obtain a full residual stress distribution in welded structures by means of experimental methods but this
disadvantage can be solved by means of computational analysis.
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BIPIN KUMAR SRIVASTSVA. et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(4), 2010, 625-631
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