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Microstructure–hardness relationship in the fusion zone of TRIP steel welds

Materials Science and Engineering A
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2012.04.096
  • Transformation Induced Plasticity (Trip) Steel
  • Microstructure
  • Hardness
  • Resistance Spot Welding
  • Chemistry


Abstract Fusion zone of three TRIP steels, categorized as AT: C–Mn–Al, AST: C–Mn–Al–Si and ST: C–Mn–Si, in resistance spot welding was characterized with respect to microstructure, phase analysis, and hardness. The fusion zone microstructure was found to depend on chemistry: (i) AT steel contained ferrite phase surrounded by bainite and martensite regions, (ii) AST steel showed a bainite structures along with martensite laths and interlath retained austenite, whereas (iii) ST steel constituted single phase martensite laths with interlath austenite. X-ray diffraction study indicated that retained austenite fraction in the fusion zone increases with increase in Si content in it. The AST fusion zone hardness lies between those of the AT and ST steels; the ST fusion zone hardness was higher than that of AT steel because of the single phase martensite microstructure. Comparison of fusion zone microstructure and hardness to earlier study on laser welding of the TRIP steels with similar chemistries revealed that higher cooling rate in resistance spot welding led to higher fusion zone hardness compared to laser welding; which was attributed either to decrease in softer ferrite phase (AT steel) in the microstructure or refinement of martensite laths (ST steel).

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