2011 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 99-107
The heat affected zones (HAZ) of two Dual Phase steels spot welds, DP450 and DP980, were investigated experimentally with a Gleeble 3500 thermomechanical simulator. The thermal cycles experienced locally were identified by finite element analysis of the resistance spot welding process and their evolution with an increasing sheet thickness was highlighted within a usual range of [1.0–3.0] mm. The cooling rates are significantly lower in the case of thick sheets and this promotes the occurrence of diffusional phase transformations. HAZ microstructures and constitutive behaviours could be characterized with the Gleeble specimens. Experimental simulations were run in the subcritical and the coarse grain temperature ranges (700°C and 1200°C respectively) in order to address the main transformations for both steels. DP450 shows little sensitivity to the subcritical thermal cycles while DP980 exhibits significant softening. This is in accordance with their respective base metal martensite content and the occurrence of martensite tempering. On the contrary, DP450 microstructures and mechanical properties are strongly sensitive to the investigated range of coarse grained HAZ thermal cycles while the evolution is less pronounced in the case of DP980, which is related to their respective hardenability.