College of Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
This project studied fractures along the weld on the face of TaylorMade metalwood golf clubs. The weld joint investigated was between investment cast C450 stainless steel and hot rolled C300 maraging steel that had been joined by plasma arc welding (PAW). Cracking in the welds between these two metals was discovered during in-house prototype testing. To understand the differences between the clubs with intact weld joints and clubs with fractured weld joints, the microstructures throughout the weld zones were imaged and a grid of microhardness values of the entire sample cross-section was generated. The images and hardness values were analyzed in order to confirm the phases present and determine if there were any areas of the sample that had inadequate strength. In addition, the fracture surface was imaged with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to better understand the fracture mechanism. The microhardness and microstructures of the clubs that fractured and the ones that did not had no significant differences between them, suggesting that the cause for cracking was not tied to the microstructure. The fracture surface at a crack in the weld joint revealed a region of material that was not welded. Insufficient penetration of the plasma weld between the two metals resulted in a section of the club where the metals were not fully joined, which led to fracture due to a pre-existing crack.
Available for download on Tuesday, June 11, 2024