Filler Materials for Welding and 3D Printing

Organization: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Co-Developer(s): U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center
Year: 2017

The localized heating and melting nature of welding or metal 3D printing inevitably generates high tensile residual stresses. A long-standing manifestation of the detrimental effects of high tensile residual stress has been the hydrogen induced cracking (HIC). The chemical composition and microstructure of Filler Materials for Welding and 3D Printing are purposely formulated to introduce a volumetric expansion from low temperature phase transformation to counterbalance the thermal shrinkage during welding and 3D printing and to control the residual stress and distortion of high-strength steel structures. It is especially effective to eliminate weld HIC. Using this technology, HIC free welds have been successfully made in a number of high strength steels, all without the costly preheat or post-weld heat treatment. It is also effective in altering the distortion and residual stress of 3D printed steel structures.


The filler materials enable significant improvement in the fatigue or durability performance and service life of welded structures in harsh service environments by eliminating a primary factor causing stress corrosion cracking and weld fatigue. As over 80 percent of the welded structures in the United States are made of steels, applications of the innovative filler material are pervasive, from military vehicles and ships to oil and gas pipelines, to the nation’s revitalization of the aging infrastructures.