Spectroscopic measurement of hydrogen contamination in weld arc plasmas

J. E. Shea, C. S. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The introduction of hydrogen into metals during welding is known to cause hydrogen assisted cracking and embrittlement in certain situations. It has been shown that the weld metal hydrogen content is directly related to hydrogen concentration in the weld arc plasma. In this paper we describe a simple spectroscopic technique for measuring the arc plasma hydrogen concentration in real time when an argon shield gas is used. This technique is based on the fact that the intensity ratio of the hydrogen Balmer Alpha emission line at 6563 Å and an argon emission line at 6965 Å was observed to be an approximately linear function of hydrogen concentration in the weld arc plasma. This technique was experimentally verified under a variety of welding conditions for gas metal arc welding and found to have an error of less than 10% when measuring hydrogen concentrations in the arc plasma as low as 0.25% by volume. This method of hydrogen measurement is also applicable when welding with shield gases not containing argon so long as a suitable ratioing line is available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4928-4938
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Spectroscopic measurement of hydrogen contamination in weld arc plasmas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this