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During fusion welding, the thermal cycles produced by the moving heat source causes physical state changes, metallurgical phase transformations, and transient thermal stresses and metal movement. This chapter begins by discussing weld metal solidification behavior and the solid-state transformations of the main classes of metals and alloys during fusion welding. The main classes include work- or strain-hardened metals and alloys, precipitation-hardened alloys, transformation-hardened steels and cast irons, stainless steels, and solid-solution and dispersion-hardened alloys. The following section provides information on the residual stresses and distortion that remain after welding. The focus then shifts to distortion control of weldments. Inclusions and cracking are discussed in detail. The chapter also discusses the causes for reduced fatigue strength of a component by a weld: stress concentration due to weld shape and joint geometry; stress concentration due to weld imperfections; and residual welding stresses. Inspection and characterization of welds are described in the final section of this chapter.

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