Todd Steckley

Profile Information
Mr Todd Steckley
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Research Technician
"Projection-capacitor discharge resistance welding of 430 stainless steel and 14YWT" Thomas Lienert, Calvin Lear, Todd Steckley, Lindsey Lindamood, Jerry Gould, Stuart Maloy, Ben Eftink, Journal of Manufacturing Processes Vol. 75 2022 1189-1201 Link
Efforts to advance structural materials with improved properties and service life in support of next generation designs for nuclear reactor components have recently led to development of nano-ferritic alloys (NFAs) containing nano-oxides such as 14YWT. A key enabling technology to realizing the useful properties of NFAs during service involves preservation of the oxide dispersions during joining. Solid-state welding processes, such as projection-capacitor discharge resistance welding (P-CDRW) used here, are well suited for joining NFAs while retaining the oxides. Due to limitations in the supply of 14YWT NFA material, initial experiments were conducted using 430 stainless steel as an inexpensive surrogate material. The goal of the surrogate experiments was to scale suitable parameters from 430 welds to 14YWT using ratios of key properties for the two materials including flow stress at temperatures and strain rates relevant to hot working. Results indicated that weld displacement increased with increasing weld force and increasing weld energy for all other variables held constant. Weld energy appeared to have a larger effect on displacement than weld force for the sample geometry used here. Appropriate process parameters (no melting) were established for the two materials. The process window for the 430 material extended from 350 J to 600 J of energy for weld forces of 2.2 kN and 3.1 kN. Suitable parameters for 14YWT were similar in terms of energy but for force levels of 3.1 kN and 4.0 kN. Displacement for both materials ranged from 150 μm to 300 μm for welds that did not experience melting. Simple heat flow analysis confirmed that the extent of displacement was limited by the characteristic thermal distance determined from thermo-physical properties and the weld current rise time. The higher flow stresses of 14YWT relative to 430 were apparently offset by greater heating due to higher electrical resistivity near the projection tip and lesser heat conduction from the projection tip owing to lower thermal conductivity. Based on the results presented here and in our companion paper. The P-CDRW process appears capable of successfully joining the 14YWT NFA while retaining the microstructures and properties of the original material.
"Solid state welding of the nanostructured ferritic alloy 14YWT using a capacitive discharge resistance welding technique" Calvin Lear, Jonathan Gigax , Matt Schneider, Todd Steckley, Thomas Lienert, Stuart Maloy, Ben Eftink, Metals Vol. 12 2021 23 Link
Joining nanostructured ferritic alloys (NFAs) has proved challenging, as the nano-oxides that provide superior strength, creep resistance, and radiation tolerance at high temperatures tend to agglomerate, redistribute, and coarsen during conventional fusion welding. In this study, capacitive discharge resistance welding (CDRW)—a solid-state variant of resistance welding—was used to join end caps and thin-walled cladding tubes of the NFA 14YWT. The resulting solid-state joints were found to be hermetically sealed and were characterized across the weld region using electron microscopy (macroscopic, microscopic, and nanometer scales) and nanoindentation. Microstructural evolution near the weld line was limited to narrow (~50–200 μm) thermo-mechanically affected zones (TMAZs) and to a reduction in pre-existing component textures. Dispersoid populations (i.e., nano-oxides and larger oxide particles) appeared unchanged by all but the highest energy and power CDRW condition, with this extreme producing only minor nano-oxide coarsening (~2 nm → ~5 nm Ø). Despite a minimal microstructural change, the TMAZs were found to be ~10% softer than the surrounding base material. These findings are considered in terms of past solid-state welding (SSW) efforts—cladding applications and NFA-like materials in particular—and in terms of strengthening mechanisms in NFAs and the potential impacts of localized temperature–strain conditions during SSW.
"Capacitive Discharge Resistance Welding for ODS Steel Cladding: Weld Properties and Radiation Resistance" Calvin Lear, Ben Eftink, Thomas Lienert, Stuart Maloy, Todd Steckley, Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems (MiNES) October 6-10, (2019) Link
"Capacitive Discharge Resistance Welding of 14YWT and Other Alloys" Calvin Lear, Ben Eftink, Lindsey Lindamood, Todd Steckley, Matt Schneider, Jerry Gould, Thomas Lienert, Stuart Maloy, TMS 2020 Annual Meeting & Exhibition February 23-27, (2020)
"Impact of Capacitive Discharge Resistance Welding on the Radiation Tolerance of 14YWT Cladding" Calvin Lear, Hyosim Kim, Matt Schneider, Todd Steckley, Yongqiang Wang, Thomas Lienert, Stuart Maloy, Ben Eftink, Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems (SMINS-6) September 12-15, (2022)