Cold-rolled steel sheets of thicknesses ranging from 0.5 to 1.0 mm were used to produce tailor-welded blanks (TWBs) with various thickness ratios. In this study, the formability of the TWBs, as well as the mechanical characteristics of the weld zones, were analyzed experimentally under the effects of various thickness ratios of TWBs. The formability of the TWBs was evaluated in terms of three measures—failure mode, forming limit diagram, and minimum major strain, whereas the mechanical characteristics of the weld zones were investigated by tensile testing, metallographic study, and microhardness measurement. In particular, circular TWBs with different radii and cutoff widths were designed where all the welds were located in the center of the blanks and perpendicular to the principal strain direction. Nd:YAG laser butt-welding was used to weld the TWB specimens of different thickness ratios. The experimental findings in this study showed that the higher the thickness ratio of the TWBs, the lower the forming limit curve level, and the lower formability. The minimum major strain was clearly inversely proportional to the thickness ratio of the TWBs. On the other hand, the results of uniaxial tensile tests clearly illustrated that there was no significant difference between the tensile strengths of the TWBs and those of the base metals. The metallographic study demonstrated a difference of grain size in the materials at base metal, heat-affected zones, and fusion zone. The microhardness measurement indicated that the hardness in the fusion zone increased by about 60% of the base metal.
Formability and Weld Zone Analysis of Tailor-Welded Blanks for Various Thickness Ratios
Manuscript received January 15, 2004; revision received October 15, 2004. Review conducted by: M. F. Horstemeyer.
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Chan, L. C., Chan , S. M., Cheng , C. H., and Lee, T. C. (April 6, 2005). "Formability and Weld Zone Analysis of Tailor-Welded Blanks for Various Thickness Ratios ." ASME. J. Eng. Mater. Technol. April 2005; 127(2): 179–185. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1857936
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