Pulse spray gas metal arc welding of advanced high strength S650MC automotive steel
Keywords:advanced high strength steels; S650MC; GMAW; pulse spray; microstructure.
With an increasing demand for safer and greener vehicles, mild steel and high strength steel are being replaced by much stronger advanced high strength steels of thinner gauges. However, the welding process of advanced high strength steels is not developed at the same pace. The performance of these welded automotive structural components depends largely on the external and internal quality of weldment. Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is one of the most common methods used in the automotive industry to join car body parts of dissimilar high strength steels. It is also recognized for its versatility and speed. In this work, after a review of GMAW process and issues in welding of advanced high strength steels, a welding experiment is carried out with varying heat input by using spray and pulse-spray transfer GMAW method with filler wires of three different strength levels. The experiment results, including macro-microstructure, mechanical properties, and microhardness of weld samples, are investigated in detail. Very good weldability of S650MC is demonstrated through the weld joint efficiency > 90%; no crack in bending of weld joints, or fracture of tensile test sample within weld joint or heat affected zone (HAZ), or softening of the HAZ. Pulse spray is superior because of thinner HAZ width and finer microstructure on account of lower heat input. The impact of filler wire strength on weldability is insignificant. However, high strength filler wire (ER100SG) may be chosen as per standard welding practice of matching strength.
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