2020 Graduate Fellowship Recipients
Graduate Research Fellowship Solicitation
All current AWS Graduate Research Fellowships were renewed for 2020-21, so there will be no Request for Proposals in 2020.
Check back in 2021 for the solicitation for 2021-2022.
Sample Topics for AWS Graduate Fellowship Proposals
AWS welcomes submission of proposals by Graduate Students that are relevant to all areas of welding and joining research. A list of topic areas is provided as examples of potential projects and outcomes that address current needs in the welding community. Proposal topic areas may include, but are not limited to, those from the list.
The rationale for including this list is to indicate that the most impactful projects are those that encompass both fundamental and applied aspects. Fundamental research does not exclude applied research and vice versa. The most practical applications are still based on laws of nature, even when these laws of nature may have often been overlooked in the rush to solve a pressing problem. Conversely, good fundamental work in welding and joining still leads, sooner or later to better processes, codes, standards, practices, etc. In summary, the most desirable projects will be those in which fundamental concepts are applied to relevant problems, and the results are communicated in a way useful to practitioners. Good projects bridge the communities of researchers and practitioners.
Topic: Any topic relevant to welding and joining
Description: Fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be employed to bring deeper understanding to problems of current or future relevance to welding and joining. Current problems typically have a well-known application waiting for a solution, improvements, or efficiencies. Future problems typically have bigger potential impact, but are less clearly defined. Projects based on empirical tasks without a framework of fundamental concepts (e.g. empirical regressions) are less desirable. Similarly, studies based on fundamentals but without a framework of potential application are also less preferable. Projects in which the deliverables include recommendations suitable for practitioners or future research are preferred. Recommendations suitable for practitioners include formulae, tables, and best-practice guidelines. Ideally, these contributions will eventually be embodied in standards and codes. The use of fundamentals include the use of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering concepts to make predictions that can be used by others, even if they are only approximations. Proposed experiments and models should include provisions for practitioners or other researchers to use the work developed.
Objective: The objective should be clearly stated, and must address problems of current or future relevance to welding and joining. The way the deliverable will be used by practitioners or other researchers should be lucidly articulated.
Topic: Optimal location for Charpy Vee Notch (CVN) notch location for heat affected zone (HAZ) testing of single and multiple pass steel welds
Description: The location of the notch for CVN testing of HAZs is typically specified in terms of the distance from the fusion line (FL), in a format such as “FL +1” where the notch is 1 mm away from the fusion line. See AWS D1.1:2015 Table 4.14 for an example. Various standards specify different notch locations, while others specify multiple locations. In the case of this topic, the “optimal location” is the location where the lowest absorbed energy values would be obtained. It the HAZ location with the lowest value is identified, and acceptable results obtained from this “worse case” situation, then additional HAZ testing should not be required. Given the variety of locations specified by standards, it is apparent that there is not consensus as to where this “worse case” situation occurs. This lack of agreement is likely due to the variety of factors that likely affect the HAZ properties, including the steel composition, welding heat input level, thickness of the steel, preheat and interpass temperatures, and single versus multiple pass welding.
Objective: Establish a practical method of prediction of size and location of areas of HAZ w/ various levels of heat input. Identify the location of the area within the HAZ of common structural steels where the CVN absorbed energy is lowest, and develop a means of predicting this location. Practical predictions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome. The output of this research would be usable by code and standard writers to specify this “worse case” location for standardized testing.
Topic: Determination of weld throat dimensions for flare bevel and flare vee groove welds on bent plate
Description: Standards such as AWS D1.1 have empirically-derived relationships that allow for design values to be established for welds placed on the corners of cold-formed steel tubing (such as ASTM A500 and A1085). The weld throats are a function of the radius, welding process and position of welding (see AWS D1.1:2015 Table 2.1). Similar data do not exist for welds placed on cold formed plates. Accordingly, welds sizes for applications where cold formed plate(s) are joined cannot be reliably determined in the absence of a case-by-case testing.
Objective: Identify the effective throat dimension for flare vee and flare bevel groove welds deposited on various thicknesses of cold formed plate with different welding processes and positions of welding (and, as needed, other variables) that will enable code and standard writers to establish design models that will reduce (hopefully eliminate) the need for case-by-case determination of actual weld throats. Practical predictions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome.
Topic: Determine acceptable surface conditions for arc welding on coated steels
Description: A range of rust-resisting materials may be applied to steels before welding, including primers, paint, electroplated galvanizing, hot dipped galvanizing and metalizing. The range of steel thicknesses ranges from gage material to structural steel exceeding two inches in thickness. The applicable arc welding processes of interest include GMAW, FCAW and SAW, although other processes can and have been used. It is desirable and possible to weld through some of these coatings with some of these processes and obtain quality welding; in other cases, the nature of the coating precludes quality welding and the coating must be removed in advance of welding. AWS D3.9 Specification for Classification of Weld-Through Paint Primers established a method of classification of primers, and provides insight into the variables involved. Known or suspected variables include welding heat input and travel speed, coating types and thicknesses, gaps between parts in lap joints, the chemical composition of the steel (in the case of hot-dipped galvanized steel). GMAW pulsed output waveform is a known or suspected variable as well.
Objective: Identify coating and welding conditions that will enable quality welding on coated surfaces. The following commonly encountered conditions should be investigated:
- Automotive thickness electroplated galvanized steel applications when welded with GMAW and FCAW
- Shipyard-type applications involving primed plate and shipyard processes (primarily FCAW)
- Structural steel applications involving hot-dipped galvanized, using FCAW
A desirable outcome of the research will be a list of welding conditions that can be incorporated into codes and standards that will enable welding on coated steels. Practical suggestions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome.
Topic: Determine the relationship between the properties of welds deposited as measured by “conventional heat input” calculations and “true energy” calculations.
Description: The traditional (or conventional) method used to calculate “heat input” (sometime called “energy input”) was to multiply welding current by the arc voltage and then to divide this product by the travel speed, using appropriate constants to obtain the correct dimensional units (i.e., HI = 60EI/1000S). It is now known that this simple relationship does not accurately capture the actual thermal energy of the arc since neither the welding current nor the arc voltage are constant with respect to time on a millisecond basis. Methods that integrate these factors have been developed and incorporated into modern welding power supplies, resulting in a more accurate measurement of the energy of the arc. This method is often called “true energy” and the method is being systematically introduced into welding codes and standards. Despite the known inaccuracy of the traditional heat input calculation methods, the methodology was used for years. Preheat and heat input relationships were developed and codified (see AWS D1.1:2015 Annex H); heat input limits for quenched and tempered steels like ASTM A514 and A517 were established by steel producers and used in some codes (see AASHTO/AWS D1.5:2015 Table 12.5); these relationships were all established on the “flawed” conventional calculations. Tens of thousands welding procedures have been qualified over the years, and it is still desirable to use the procedure qualification records from previous work to qualify new WPSs. However, in all the cited cases, if the original work was done with the traditional heat input calculations, the applicability of the old data to new applications that use the “true energy” heat input calculations is unknown. It would be beneficial for practitioners to understand the factors that must be considered when moving from data generated from conventional heat input methods to the newer integrated heat input calculation, and to be able to quantify the effect of “conventional heat input” versus “true energy" on weld metal properties. A useful deliverable would consider various processes, materials, and parameters in which the effects might be different. Express findings and uncertainties in a practical way suitable to be included in standards.
Objective: Establish a practical method for extrapolating WPS developed with traditional power supplies to modern power supplies that utilize waveforms. Practical suggestions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome.
Topic: Cast steel castings for structural applications involving welding
Description: Cast steel (not cast iron) castings are being incorporated into structural steel applications on a more frequent basis. Complex 3-dimensional shapes can be cast and used as nodes between conventional rolled shapes or formed tubes. Elements for seismically-resistant systems are being cast and incorporated into buildings by welding. Yet, the applicable ASTM specifications used to govern the manufacture and testing of these castings may not adequately address welding-related issues. Included in this list is good weldability, but also included are assurance of appropriate multiple axis mechanical properties, inspectability of the cast product as well as the welded connections and first part testing protocols.
Objective: Identify the factors that must be considered when steel castings are used for structural applications, including chemical compositional limits, first-piece testing requirements, production inspection methods, multi-axial property requirements, weldability issues and welded connection inspection techniques and requirements. The goal will be to provide code and specification writers with the necessary guidelines for codification of responsible requirements for the use of cast steel castings in structural steel applications. Practical suggestions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome.
Topic: Arc stud welding through hot-dipped galvanized steel for structural steel applications
Description: Steel studs are routinely used to create composite action between structural steel beams and concrete slabs. Studs are also used for other structural steel applications such as on the back of embed plates and to attach non-metallic components such as insulation. Normally, these studs are applied to bare steel without any problem. When the steel is hot-dipped galvanized, welding-related problems can be encountered when studs are applied. Experience has suggested that important variables include the thickness of the galvanized coating, the composition of the galvanized coating (which is dependent on the steel composition and the silicon content in particular), the thickness of the steel, the diameter of the stud, and the welding parameters with welding current and time being prime variables.
Objective: Identify and express in a practical way the conditions that enable quality arc stud welds on hot-dipped galvanized structural steel members. A desirable outcome of the research will be a list of welding conditions that can be incorporated into codes and standards that will enable welding on hot-dipped galvanized coatings on structural steels. Practical suggestions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome.
Topic: Weldability in Friction Welding
Description: Understanding the fundamental principles governing heat generation and deformation in solid state welding processes. With the continued development of next generation high strength PM alloys, the heuristic approach to process development in FRW processes is inadequate. Greater understanding of the mechanisms or physics of heat generation and plastic deformation is needed. Improved insight into the basic principles will aid in process development and possibly accurate models of these processes.
Objective: Identify the physical mechanisms present during FRW and the observable variables that can be controlled in practice to optimize welding procedures. A desirable outcome of the research will be a list of variables and a knowledge of their interaction and influence in the behavior of the material during and after welding. Practical suggestions based on fundamental concepts such as phase transformations, heat transfer, solid-mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetics, etc. will be especially welcome.
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