Hot cracking behaviour of an autogenously laser welded Al-Cu-Li alloy


AA2198 is a relatively new light-weight and high-performance Al-Cu-Li alloy considered for aviation and space applications. However, Al-Cu-Li alloys generally exhibit severe weldability problems for all fusion-welding techniques, such as laser-beam welding. In particular, porosity formation and hot cracking are observed for the laser-beam welding of these alloys. A common remedy for hot cracking is the use of an appropriate filler wire with a high Si content. In the present study, three different approaches for improving the hot cracking susceptibility of AA2198 laser beam welded without any filler material are presented. For this purpose, pre-heating of the weld samples to elevated temperatures, pre-loading of the weld samples perpendicular to the welding direction, or an optimization of the laser-beam welding parameters were conducted. The autogenously welded samples were assessed with regard to the resulting total crack length and their mechanical properties. It was demonstrated that all of the presented approaches led to a reduction of hot cracking. However, the largest effect was observed for the use of low levels of laser power and welding velocity. The mechanical properties of the optimised autogenously welded samples are only marginally inferior as for the samples laser welded with the Al-Si filler wire AA4047.
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