Parameters that control the solidification of castings also control the solidification and microstructure of welds. However, various physical processes that occur due to the interaction of the heat source with the metal during welding add a new dimension to the understanding of the weld pool solidification. In certain cases, because of rapid cooling rate effects, it is not unusual to observe non-equilibrium microstructures. Along with the formation of microstructures chemical heterogeneity can occur, which can lead to local mechanical or corrosion failures. For troubleshooting investigation, it is therefore important to understand such heterogeneity and micrographic analysis is not always sufficient.
The present study demonstrates the capability of practical, fast small spot analysis and elemental distribution mapping for the characterization of weld samples.