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Experimental and numerical investigation of the mechanical behaviour of dissimilar arc and spot welds of advanced high strength steels

  • Huin, Thibaut
Publication Date
Jul 04, 2017
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Nowadays, ecological policy encourages carmakers to reduce the global vehicle weight. Fine steel sheets assemblies with different thickness optimizing each part of the assembly are used and steelmakers develop steels which are more and more resistant namely Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) with a good compromise between mechanical strength and ductility (stamping). During the mechanical tests of heterogeneous AHSS welding, unusual fracture modes are observed, in particular along the interface between the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) and the Fusion Zone or molten zone (FZ). These fractures generally occur with lower strength than expected for these welding. The objectives of the study are to understand fracture mechanisms during mechanical testing and create a mechanical FE model is developed to be able to predict mechanical strength of the welded assemblies. Firstly, a study of heterogeneous welding constituted of two well-known steel grades of ArcelorMittal aims at understanding failure mechanism and parameters affecting the failure modes. Different configurations are studied with thickness. FE model is built with mechanical response identified of each zone (base materials, heat affected zones and fusion zone), using ArcelorMittal models and experimental data. Failure criteria based on ductile damage taking into account the influence of the triaxiality are used and some cohesive elements are used to simulate interfacial failure. Two configurations of mechanical testing in the case of Resistance Spot Welding (cross tension and tensile shear tests) are considered. Model predictions were very accurate with experimental failure modes and strengths. Then, this FE modelling method was successfully applied to a highly heterogeneous spot welding case including a new third generation low density AHSS concept with high aluminum and manganese content. Failure modes and strengths obtained were comparable. Moreover, FE modelling method was applied on more complex configurations, in particular on a triple thick spot welded assembly. The robustness of the model to predict partial failure modes and strengths of a triple thick spot weld has been demonstrated. In addition, FE modelling methodology was extended to another welding type: arc welding. In this case, two sheets are welded in ab overlap configuration with a filler wire. FE model allows predicting the failure zone and strength of welded assembly.

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