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Abstract

A fluorescent liquid-penetrant inspection of an experimental stator vane of a first-stage axial compressor revealed the presence of a longitudinal crack over 50 mm (2 in.) long at the edge of a resistance seam weld. The vane was made of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V (AMS 4911). The crack was opened by fracturing the vane. The crack surface displayed fatigue beach marks emanating from the seam-weld interface. Both the leading-edge and trailing-edge seam welds exhibited weld-metal expulsions up to 3.6 mm (0.14 in.) in length. Metallographic examination confirmed that metal expulsion from the resistance welds was generally present. The stator vane failed by a fatigue crack that initiated at internal surface discontinuities caused by metal expulsion from the resistance seam weld used in fabricating the vane. Expulsion of metal from seam welds should be eliminated by a slight reduction in welding current to reduce the temperature, by an increase in the electrode force, or both.

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