What is Weld Distortion?
During the welding process, the weld metal and adjacent base metal expand and contract during the heating and cooling cycle. For typical weld jobs, where welding occurs on one side of a part, there is a higher degree of distortion than welds that are alternated from one side to the other. There are, however, several factors that affect metal shrinkage during this heating and cooling cycle, such as changing the physical and mechanical properties of the metal when the heat is applied. As you can imagine, as the temperature of the weld area increases, the yield strength, elasticity, and thermal conductivity of the steel plate decreases, but thermal expansion and specific heat increases. These drastic changes naturally affect the heat flow and uniformity of heat distribution across the metal base – or weld distortion. Meta-Lax Weld Conditioning will relieve the thermal stresses as they are being introduced during weld solidification.