Modelling of gas–metal arc welding taking into account metal vapour
The most advanced numerical models of gas–metal arc welding (GMAW) neglect vaporization of metal, and assume an argon atmosphere for the arc region, as is also common practice for models of gas–tungsten arc welding (GTAW). These models predict temperatures above 20 000 K and a temperature distribution similar to GTAW arcs. However, spectroscopic temperature measurements in GMAW arcs demonstrate much lower arc temperatures. In contrast to measurements of GTAW arcs, they have shown the presence of a central local minimum of the radial temperature distribution. This paper presents a GMAW model that takes into account metal vapour and that is able to predict the local central minimum in the radial distributions of temperature and electric current density. The influence of different values for the net radiative emission coefficient of iron vapour, which vary by up to a factor of hundred, is examined. It is shown that these net emission coefficients cause differences in the magnitudes, but not in the overall trends, of the radial distribution of temperature and current density. Further, the influence of the metal vaporization rate is investigated. We present evidence that, for higher vaporization rates, the central flow velocity inside the arc is decreased and can even change direction so that it is directed from the workpiece towards the wire, although the outer plasma flow is still directed towards the workpiece. In support of this thesis, we have attempted to reproduce the measurements of Zielińska et al for spray-transfer mode GMAW numerically, and have obtained reasonable agreement.