Advanced high-strength steels used in automotive structural components are commonly protected using zinc coatings. However, the steel/zinc system creates the potential for liquid metal embrittlement during welding. Although liquid metal embrittlement cracks are known to form, the current literature does not include crack location when assessing crack severity. In this work, TRIP1100 joints showed that LME cracks decreased strength from 7.8 to 42.2%, depending on location, between the coated (cracked) and uncoated (non-cracked) condition. Liquid metal embrittlement cracks in critical locations were observed to propagate until fracture from lap shear testing. However, cracks in non-critically loaded areas were not part of the fracture path and did not result in a significant loss in strength. This shows LME crack location can be controlled to improve joint performance and vehicle safety. In addition, a model of lap shear testing in a cracked sample showed how the presence of a crack can affect the internal stress field depending on its location.
advanced high-strength steel cracking finite element analysis lap shear test liquid metal embrittlement resistance spot welding weld strength
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This work was supported by Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and the International Zinc Association.
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