A hierarchical multi-scale approach to mechanical characterization of heat affected zone in welded connections
During the welding process, the microstructure of the base material changes locally that leads to altering mechanical properties in the weld and the neighboring areas, Heat Affected Zone (HAZ). The constitution of the HAZs also varies spatially as a result of different temperature gradients during heating and cooling cycles. Consequently, the macroscopic material behavior of the HAZ also varies spatially as well and therefore the determination of the mechanical behavior of the welded connection is very challenging. In this study, a hierarchical multiscale approach is presented and applied in order to characterize the material behavior of the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) in welded connections. First, the metallurgical constituents in particular areas of HAZ have been identified experimentally. Next, several representative volume elements (RVEs) have been constructed using microscopic images.
Then employing the computational homogenization methods, the stress–strain curves representing the macroscopic material behavior in respective points of the HAZ have been calculated. Meanwhile, some miniature tensile tests have been performed to experimentally identify the stress–strain behavior in the HAZ. Finally, the numerically calculated stress–strain curves are compared with the measured experimental data and they show a good agreement. The comparison of the results depicts that the proposed multiscale approach is suitable for the characterization of the material properties in welded connections or in general for materials with specially varying microstructures.