Author(s): Saurav Datta, Asish Bandyopadhyay, Pradip Kumar Pal
Taguchi philosophy has been applied for obtaining optimal parametric combinations to achieve desired weld bead geometry and dimensions related to the heat-affected zone (HAZ), such as HAZ width in the present case, in submerged arc welding. The philosophy and methodology proposed by Dr. Genichi Taguchi can be used for continuous improvement in products that are produced by submerged arc welding. This approach highlights the causes of poor quality, which can be eliminated by self-adjustment among the values of the process variables if they tend to change during the process. Depending on functional requirements of the welded joint, an acceptable weldment should confirm maximum penetration, minimum reinforcement, minimum bead width, minimum HAZ width, minimum bead volume, etc. to suit its area of application. Hence, there exists an increasing demand to evaluate an optimal parameter setting that would fetch the desired yield. This could be achieved by optimization of welding variables. Based on Taguchi’s approach, the present study has been aimed at integrating statistical techniques into the engineering process. Taguchi’s L9 (3**3) orthogonal array design has been adopted and experiments have been accordingly conducted with three different levels of conventional process parameters using welding current and flux basicity index to obtain bead-on-plate weld on mild steel plates. Features of bead geometry and HAZ in terms of bead width, reinforcement, depth of penetration and HAZ width have been measured for each experimental run. The slag, generated during welding, has been consumed in further runs by mixing it with fresh unmelted flux. The percentage of slag in the mixture of fused flux (slag) and fresh flux has been defined as slag-mix%. Welding has been performed by using varying slag-mix%, treated as another process variable, in order to obtain the optimum amount of slag-mix that can be used without any alarming adverse effect on features of bead geometry and HAZ. This would lead to ‘waste to wealth’.