Mechanical and Microstructural Features of Plasma Cut Edges in a 15 mm Thick S460M Steel Plate
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AuthorAldazaba, Javier; Martín-Meizoso, Antonio; Klimpel, Andrzej; Bannister, Adam; Cicero González, Sergio
In general, the thermal cutting processes of steel plates are considered to have an influence on microstructures and residual stress distribution, which determines the mechanical properties and performance of cut edges. They also affect the quality of the surface cut edges, which further complicates the problem, because in most cases the surface is subjected to the largest stresses. This paper studies the influence of plasma cutting processes on the mechanical behavior of the cut edges of steel and presents the characterization results of straight plasma arc cut edges of steel plate grade S460M, 15 mm thick. The cutting conditions used are the standard ones for industrial plasma cutting. The metallography of CHAZ (Cut Heat Affected Zones) and hardness profiles versus distance from plasma cut edge surface are tested; the mechanical behavior of different CHAZ layers under the cut edge surface were obtained by testing of instrumented mini-tensile 300 µm thick specimens. Also, the residual stress distribution in the CHAZ was measured by X-ray diffraction. The results for the mechanical properties, microstructure, hardness, and residual stresses are finally compared and discussed. This work concludes that the CHAZ resulting from the plasma cutting process is narrow (about 700 µm) and homogeneous in plate thickness.
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