The effect of porosity on strain evolution and failure of soldered, small-diameter, thin-walled metallic pipes

McNair, Sophie A.M. and Srisuriyachot, Jiraphant and Omole, Samuel and Connolley, Thomas and Rhead, Andrew and Lunt, Alexander J.G. (2023) The effect of porosity on strain evolution and failure of soldered, small-diameter, thin-walled metallic pipes. Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 22. pp. 2409-2424. ISSN 2238-7854 (

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Small-diameter, thin-walled pipes have applications in a wide range of industries including high-energy physics, heat transfer, nuclear, medical and communications. There are no standards that exist for welds less than 0.5 mm in width, and as such it is difficult to determine the likely performance of a thin-walled pipe weld. Porosity is largely inevitable in fusion welded joints and is a determining factor in the performance of a connection. This study focused on characterisation of the evolution of strains in soldered welds less than 0.5 mm in width, by incrementally tensile loading samples and studying them in-situ with Synchrotron X-Ray Computed Tomography and X-Ray Diffraction. Two sample geometries were studied, and porosity defects were present in both, although the levels of porosity size, number and area varied dramatically between the two samples. Lattice strain interpretation showed that crack propagation for such samples is not driven by porosity but that crack evolution occurs at the same location and load levels irrespective of the presence of pores. Residual stresses of up to 0.3% from the fusion welding process were seen in both samples and appear to have a greater impact on locations of failure than porosity. Porosity does cause differences in strains across directions, however high strains alone did not appear to cause premature failure. Hence, efforts to improve weld strength should in future focus more on reducing residual stresses than reducing porosity.