This paper reports on the microstructural evolution of resistance spot welded 1000 MPa dual phase steel under two different welding conditions, and their relation to the mechanical performance and failure mechanisms. It is shown that a double pulse weld scheme leads to an enhancement in cross-tension strength compared to single pulse welding. The second pulse subdivides the initial fusion zone of the first pulse into two zones. The inner part is solidified with a columnar structure after the second pulse, whereas with the second pulse the outer layer becomes recrystallized (named as Rex-zone) leading to the formation of an equiaxed structure of prior austenite grains. Characteristics of martensite formed in the Rex-zone and coarse-grained heat affected zone, where the crack initiated and propagated, were investigated using orientation imaging microscopy. It was found that a change in welding scheme from single to double pulse effectively alters the characteristics of martensitic microstructure of weld zones. The results obtained demonstrate that the Rex-zone has a lower fraction of high-angle grain boundaries and coarser structure of Bain groups as opposed to the coarse-grained heat affected zone with large fraction of high-angle grain boundaries and finer Bain groups. Besides, double pulse welding creates softer sub-critical heat affected zone which reduces stress concentration at the nugget edge during cross-tension test. The better mechanical performance of double pulse weld is attributed to the significant softening at sub-critical heat affected zone, formation of thick Rex-zone with lower residual strain and high fraction of high-angle grain boundaries and finer Bain groups in the coarse grained heat affected zone. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Dual phase steel
- Resistance spot welding
- Cross-tension test
- Orientation imaging microscopy