A finite element model to investigate the impact of torch angle on an autogenous TIG welding process

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A numerical modelling activity was completed to explore the impact that the angle θ created by the torch from the vertical had upon the thermal and mechanical predictions for a T-joint autogenous TIG welded component. A parametric system of 9 models was set-up to simulate the effects of varying the angle θ by a small, potentially unnoticeable amount to a manual operator. The variations ranged from -8° to +8° away from a nominal default position of torch. The numerical models were created and computed using specialist welding simulation software Sysweld, and pre/post-processing software Visual Environment (both owned by ESI Group). The resulting weakly-coupled thermal and mechanical analyses illustrated a small deflection of angle that the weld bead was penetrating in to the T-joint, consistent with the variation in torch angle, and a negligible variation in peak temperature of 1.8%. The mechanical results however demonstrated a more significant output, namely that the distortion observed upon the vertical plate within the T-joint was predicted to increase by over 50% as result of this small shift in the welding torch angle. However, other mechanical predictions for plastic strain, Von Mises residual stress and distortion on the horizontal plate, were all suggesting only very minor sensitivity (typically less than 5%) to the torch angle variation. However, the predictions for vertical plate distortions demonstrate how difficult a manual TIG operation can be to perform with sufficient process control and repeatability, due to the significant impact that human operator-induced variation has upon some of the mechanical outputs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number80650
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Engineering and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017


  • arc welding
  • distortion
  • Von Mises residual stress
  • plastic strain


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