Liquid metal embrittlement (LME) in Zn-coated steels is a serious issue in automotive design. The risk of rising LME surface cracks in resistance spot welding (RSW) of Zn-coated high strength steels has triggered significant research activities across the globe. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of the various phenomena and issues related to LME during RSW. Various aspects of LME surface cracks have been described in this review, focusing on the macro- and microscopic features of LME, spot weld cracks, the sensitivity of the LME cracks towards surface locations, welding conditions, and susceptibility to high strength and galvanized steels. We also focus on the effects of various processing factors, such as temperature, stress, microstructure, and the nature of the galvanized layer, related to studies with actual spot welds LME cracks. Finally, we summarize the possible mechanisms of embrittlement and the remedies for minimizing LME cracks, with suitable guidelines to suppress surface cracks during RSW.
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