A Microsoft Excel-based screening tool was developed to allow an engineer with weld process knowledge to predict cooling rate and hardness during welding procedure qualifications to screen a combination of materials and welding process parameters quickly to meet requirements of fabrication and design codes. The material properties for commonly used pipeline steels have been built into a database coupled with the screening tool. The Excel-based tool includes a physics-based laser and arc welding solution which was developed based on Rosenthal’s mathematical equations for a point heat source to predict thermal cycles by inputting welding parameters. A reflecting heat source scheme was adapted to model the boundary conditions and plate thickness effect on cooling rate. The Excel-based tool also includes a microstructure model which was developed based on the Ashby model. The microstructure model can be used to predict the distributions of individual phases such as ferrite, bainite, and martensite along with a hardness map across the weld and heat-affected-zone (HAZ) regions by integrating with the thermal model.

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