Welding and Fabrication

HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy is very amenable to the Gas Metal Arc (GMA/MIG), Gas Tungsten Arc (GTA/TIG), and Shielded Metal Arc (SMA/Stick) welding processes. For matching filler metals (i.e. solid wires and coated electrodes) that are available for these processes, and welding guidelines, please click here.

Wrought products of HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy are supplied in the Mill Annealed (MA) condition, unless otherwise specified. This solution annealing procedure has been developed to optimize the alloy’s corrosion resistance and ductility. Following all hot forming operations, the material should be re-annealed, to restore optimum properties. In the case of cold-formed components of B-3® alloy, solution annealing should be performed prior to subsequent fabrication/welding when cold work is greater than about 7%. Otherwise, B-3® alloy is very susceptible to cracking in the welded region during subsequent fabrication/welding. The cracking may not become obvious until the component has been put into service. Care should also be taken to utilize well-controlled furnace annealing conditions: fast heat-up rate, precise temperature control, and rapid cooling.

The annealing temperature for HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy is 1066°C (1950°F), and water quenching is advised (rapid air cooling is feasible with structures thinner than 10 mm (0.375 in). A hold time at the annealing temperature of 10 to 30 minutes is recommended, depending on the thickness of the structure (thicker structures need the full 30 minutes).  For more details concerning the heat treatment of HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy, please click here.

HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy can be hot forged, hot rolled, hot upset, hot extruded, and hot formed. However, it is more sensitive to strain and strain rates than the austenitic stainless steels, and the hot working temperature range is quite narrow. For example, the recommended start temperature for hot forging is 1232°C (2250°F) and the recommended finish temperature is 982°C (1800°F).

Moderate reductions and frequent re-heating provide the best results, as described here. This reference also provides guidelines for cold forming, spinning, drop hammering, punching, and shearing. The alloy is stiffer than most austenitic stainless steels, and more energy is required during cold forming. Also, HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy work hardens more readily than most austenitic stainless steels, and may require several stages of cold work, with intermediate anneals.

While cold work does not usually affect the resistance of HASTELLOY® B-3® alloy to general corrosion, it can affect resistance to stress corrosion cracking. For optimum corrosion performance, therefore, the re-annealing of cold worked parts (following an outer fiber elongation of 7% or more) is important. Cold or hot formed heads should always be annealed after forming, regardless of forming strain level. This is especially important if the material is to be subsequently welded.