Investigation of Strength Recovery in Welds of NUCu-140 Steel Through Multipass Welding and Isothermal Post-Weld Heat Treatments

Jason T. Bono, John N. DuPont*, Divya Jain, Sung Il Baik, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


NUCu-140 is a ferritic copper precipitation-strengthened steel that is a candidate material for use in many naval and structural applications. Previous work has shown that the heat-affected zone (HAZ) and fusion zone (FZ) of NUCu-140 exhibit softening that is due to dissolution of the copper-rich precipitates. This study aims to recover the FZ and HAZ strength by re-precipitation of the copper-rich precipitates through either multiple weld passes or an isothermal post-weld heat treatment (PWHT). The potential use of multiple thermal cycles was investigated with HAZ simulations using a Gleeble thermo-mechanical simulator. The HAZ simulations represented two weld thermal cycles with different combinations of peak temperatures during the initial and secondary weld passes. To investigate the potential for a PWHT for strength recovery, gas tungsten arc weld samples were isothermally heated for various times and temperatures. Microhardness measurements revealed no strength recovery in the multipass HAZ samples. The time-dependent precipitate characteristics were modeled under the HAZ thermal cycle conditions, and the results showed that the lack of strength recovery could be attributed to insufficient time for re-precipitation during the secondary weld pass. Conversely, full strength recovery in the HAZ was observed in the isothermally heat treated samples. Atom probe tomography analysis correlated this strength recovery to re-precipitation of the copper-rich precipitates during the isothermal PWHT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5158-5170
Number of pages13
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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