On the mechanism of porosity formation during welding of titanium alloys

Jianglin L. Huang, Nils Warnken, Jean-Christophe Gebelin, Martin Strangwood, Roger C. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism of porosity formation during the fusion welding of titanium and its alloys is studied. Porosity formed during the electron beam welding of titanium is characterized using high-resolution X-ray tomography, residual gas analysis and metallographic sectioning; the results confirm that porosity formation is associated with evolution of gas, especially hydrogen. A model for hydrogen diffusion-controlled bubble growth is proposed, to aid in the interpretation of these findings. To investigate further the effect of hydrogen on porosity formation, hydrogen charging is used to achieve different hydrogen levels prior to welding. The results confirm that porosity can be suppressed even at every high hydrogen levels, when welding is carried out with optimized welding parameters and perfect joint alignment; on the other hand, porosity is exacerbated when a small beam offset is employed. This is because any beam offset alters the size of the liquid zone at the melting front, where the joint edges first become melted. It is proposed that the thickness of the liquid film at the melting front is crucial for bubble nucleation and bubble survival in the weld pool; bubbles can escape through the keyhole by breaking through this liquid film, when it is too thin. This challenges the common assumption of bubble escape by flotation to the weld pool surface. Thus the nucleation rate in the liquid zone at the melting front determines the likelihood of porosity occurring. This suggests that the beam offset is likely to be one factor influencing porosity formation in these circumstances. The paper provides fundamental insights into the mechanism of porosity formation during the welding of titanium alloys and guidance to aid in its elimination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3215-3225
Number of pages11
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • titanium alloys
  • welding
  • porosity Formation
  • modelling

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