Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. YuMing Zhang

Second Advisor

Dr. Lawrence E. Holloway

Abstract

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) for fillet joints is one of the major applications in the shipbuilding industry. Due to the requirement for the weld size, a sufficient amount of metal must be deposited. In conventional SAW process, the heat input is proportional to the amount of metal melted and is thus determined by the required weld size. To meet this requirement, an excessive amount of heat is applied causing large distortions on the welded structures whose follow-up straightening is highly costly. In order to reduce the needed heat input, Double-Electrode (DE) technology has been practiced creating the Double-Electrode SAW (DE-SAW) method for fillet joints. The reduction in the heat input, however, also reduces the penetration capability of the process, and the ability to produce required weld beads has to be compromised. To eliminate the unwanted side effect after using DE-SAW, a root opening between the panel and the tee has been proposed in this dissertation to form a modified fillet joint design. Experimental results verified that the use of root opening improves the ability of DE-SAW to produce the required weld beads at reduced heat input and penetration capability. Unfortunately, the use of root opening decreases the stability of the process significantly. To control the heat input at a minimally necessary level that guarantees the weld size and meanwhile the process stability, a feedback is needed to control the currents at their desired levels. To this end, the fillet DE-SAW process is modeled and a multivariable predictive control algorithm is developed based on the process model. Major parameters including the root opening size, travel speed and heat input level have been selected/optimized/minimized to produce required fillet weld beads with a minimized heat input based on qualitative and quantitative analyses. At the end of this dissertation, a series of experiments validated the feasibility and repeatability of the predictive control based DE-SAW process for fillet joints with root opening.

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