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Elevated temperature isothermal exposure of a “weathering” steel weld containing approximately 0.5% copper, in the as-welded condition, embrittled the weld as characterized by an increase in strength and a decrease in toughness and tensile ductility. A similar embrittlement was not encountered for material exposed in the postweld stress relieved condition. The embrittlement was attributed to the precipitation of an iron-copper intermetallic compound. Control of copper content below the solubility limit or the use of a postweld stress relief heat treatment should prevent the occurrence of any significant embrittlement.
weld metal, weathering steel, copper content, embrittlement, elevated temperature exposure, tensile strength, notch toughness, postweld heat treatment, precipitation hardening
Senior engineer, General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY
Senior engineer, Northeast Utilities, Meriden, CT