Understanding effects of welding on strength and formability is critical to support wider application of advanced high strength steels in automotive components. In this study, High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) and DP980 (Dual Phase, 980MPa) sheet steels were welded with a 4kW diode laser. Mechanical properties of welds and parent metals were assessed by tensile and limiting dome height tests, and related to microhardness distribution across the welds. The formability of HSLA welds was insensitive to the welding process and comparable to that of parent metal. For the DP steel, weld formability was much lower than that of corresponding parent metal, which appeared to be due to the formation of soft zones in the outer region of the Heat affected zone (HAZ) of the welds. It was found that increase of welding speed resulted in a slight increase of formability of the DP steel, associated with a reduction in the microhardness difference between base metal and HAZ soft zones.

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