Two distinct failure modes of spot welds, interfacial and pull-out failure, are observed in impact of spot-welded structures. Automotive industries prefer pull-out as the predominant failure mode since it makes more use of load-bearing capacity of a joint. For the time being, finite element models for predicting pull-out failure of spot weld have not been well developed. The dependence of failure on the stress state, i.e., a locus in the space of failure strain and stress triaxiality, needs to be known for base metal sheets when modeling spot weld pull-out. Existing failure criteria, with or without physical base, were formulated to provide an effective way to utilize a limited number of tests to reconstruct the failure locus.

This paper is aimed to evaluate influence of failure criterion form for identifying failure parameters on modeling spot weld pull-out. As for material tests, various specimen configurations of metal sheets were designed to obtain stress states around a number of typical stress triaxialities. These test results constructed a set of test data for calibrating failure criterion. The spot-welded joints were also tested two different coupon configurations. The force-displacement curves were obtained, and the deformation fields around the spot weld nugget were achieved with DIC. These test results of joints were utilized to validate the model of spot weld pull-out.

Two prevailing failure criteria, shear-modified Gurson model and Modified Mohr-Coulomb model, were selected to predict the complicated spot weld pull-out failure. Parameters in each of the two failure criteria were identified with material test data. Various simulation results were thereafter obtained based on different failure criteria. The two criteria were evaluated in terms of their predictive capabilities for spot weld pull-out failure.

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