How to weld T-1 ASTM A514, A517 Quenched & tempered grades

ASTM A514 Material

ASTM A514 is a High-Yield-Strength, Quenched and Tempered Alloy Steel Plate material having good weldability properties for use in welded bridges and other structures. ASTM A 517 while is a Pressure Vessel Plates of Alloy Steel with High-Strength in Quenched and Tempered conditions.

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Code & Specifications uses of ASTM A514, A517

“T-1” steels are considered as ASTM A514 and A517 grades B, F, H, and Q in the code/ standards; and ASME SA517 Grades B and F. “T-1” steels should be considered for the following application by the designer, fabrication contractors, and its user:

a.) For general structural applications, the provisions in the current edition of the American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1 Structural Welding Code – Steel;

b.) For bridge applications, the provisions in the current edition of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standard Specifications for Welding Structural Steel Highway Bridges; and the AASHTO/AWS D1.5 Bridge Welding Code.

c.) For pressure-retaining applications, the provisions in the current edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division 1 (Part UHT) and Division 2 (Part AF, Article F-6).

Chemical properties of ASTM A514, SA 517

The ASTM A514 specification is for the Standard Specification for High-Yield-Strength, Quenched, and Tempered Alloy steel Plate, Suitable for Welding used in applications where Yield Strengths of ≥ 100 ksi are required for plates up to 2-1/2″ thick, included.  Plates > 2-1/2″  and ≤ 6″ in thickness have a minimum specified Yield Strength requirement of 90 ksi. Each grade has different chemistry requirements.

A514 steel chemical composition tableGrade BGrade SGrade E
% Iron (Fe)979898
% Carbon (C)0.12-0.210.11-0.210.12-0.21
% Manganese (Mn).70-1.01.1-1.5.12-.20
% Boron (B)0.00250.0030.003
% Silicon (Si)0.20-.35.15-.45.20-.40
% Copper (Cu)
% Sulfur (S).035.02.035

Mechanical properties of ASTM A514

A514 steel physical properties tableGrade BGrade SGrade E
Steel TypeAlloyAlloyAlloy
ASTM DesignationA514 (B)A514 (S)A514 (E)
ConditionQ &TQ &TQ &T
Minimum Yield Stress (ksi)10010090
Average Tensile Strength (ksi)110-130110-130110-130
Elongation at Breakage18%18%18%
Approximate Hardness (Rc)262626
Approximate Hardness (Rb)989898
Brinell Hardness235-293235-293235-293

Welding electrode/ TIG MIG filler for ASTM A514, A517

SMAW welding of ASTM A514, A517 T-1 materials shall be carried out using E11018 which offers high tensile strength and matching weldment properties. TIG/ MIG welding shall be carried out using ER110S-1. Make sure the filler wire with G classification meets the minimum mechanical properties requirements for the base metal. Use Argon-Co2 mixture for the shielding in GMAW. Pure argon shall be used in TIG welding. A detailed summary is given in the below table.

FCAW welding of ASTM A514, A517 shall be carried out with E110T5-k4, Shielding shall be made with an Argon-Co2 gas mixture.

Welding concerns with ASTM A514, A517

  1. Risk of Hydrogen cracking/Delayed Cracking
  2. Selection of right welding preheat temperature
  3. High residual stresses

Welding Recommendations

  1. With SMAW, use only low hydrogen electrodes that gives weld metal of required strength and toughness.
  2. For SAW or submerged arc welding, weld using hydrogen-controlled electrodes and fluxes that gives weld metal of required strength and toughness.
  3. For GMAW & FCAW, use only hydrogen-controlled electrodes and gases that provide weld metal of suitable strength and toughness.
  4. Weld with stringer bead technique for welding the “T-1” steels, back-stepping the weld start to minimize porosity at the weld start. For vertical welds, use the partial weave technique for “T-1” steels,and restrict the weave to no more than twice the electrode diameters. arc-air gouging to be followed by grinding to minimize carbon deposits.
  5. Grind weld profile properly to avoid sharp notches.
  6. Reduce cracking at the weld toes and roots of highly restrained welds by:

a. Using the joint design, location, and sequence of assembly to minimize weld restraint. b. Using lowest strength weld metals meeting design requirements. c. Using air hammer peening the welds. d. Surface or butter welding in the toe area of fillet weld. e. Using low carbon mild steel wire spacers for fillet welds

Preheat/Interpass & PWHT of ASTM A514, A517

Selection of the right preheats temperature is very critical in ASTM A514, A517 material to avoid any hydrogen cracking. Use our preheat calculator to find the right preheat temperature for steel welding. (Click here).

PWHT temperature shall be kept always below the tempering temperature used for the base material.

Other sources of information for welding A514/A514M-05 steel are the steel manufacturers’ fabrication guides and:

  • AWS D1.1, Structural Code—Steel
  • D14.3, Specification for Welding
  • Earthmoving, Construction, and
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • D15.1, Railroad Welding Specification—Cars and Locomotives.

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