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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Retained Austenite and Non-Metallic Inclusions on the Mechanical Properties of Resistance Spot Welding Nuggets of Low-Alloy TRIP Steels

1
Instituto de Investigación en Metalurgia y Materiales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Edificio “U3”, Ciudad Universitaria, Morelia 58030, Michoacán, Mexico
2
Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo. Blvd, Venustiano Carranza #2400, Col. Tecnológico, Saltillo C.P. 25280, Mexico
3
Materials Science and Engineering Program, Autonomous University of Zacatecas, López Velarde 801, Zacatecas 9800, Zacatecas, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(10), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9101064
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 September 2019 / Published: 30 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TRIP Steels)
The combination of high strength and formability of transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) steels is interesting for the automotive industry. However, the poor weldability limits its industrial application. This paper shows the results of six low-alloy TRIP steels with different chemical composition which were studied in order to correlate retained austenite (RA) and non-metallic inclusions (NMI) with their resistance spot welded zones to their joints’ final mechanical properties. RA volume fractions were quantified by X-ray microdiffraction (µSXRD) while the magnetic saturation technique was used to quantify NMI contents. Microstructural characterization and NMI of the base metals and spot welds were assessed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Weld nuggets macrostructures were identified using optical microscopy (OM). The lap-shear tensile test was used to determine the final mechanical properties of the welded joints. It was found that NMI content in the fusion zone (FZ) was higher than those in the base metal and heat affected zone (HAZ). Whereas, traces of RA were found in the HAZ of highly alloyed TRIP steels. Lap-shear tensile test results showed that mechanical properties of spot welds were affected by NMI contents, but in a major way by the decomposition of RA in the FZ and HAZ. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-alloy TRIP steel; resistance spot welding; retained austenite; non-metallic inclusions; X-ray microdiffraction and magnetometry low-alloy TRIP steel; resistance spot welding; retained austenite; non-metallic inclusions; X-ray microdiffraction and magnetometry
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Vargas Cortés, V.H.; Altamirano Guerrero, G.; Mejía Granados, I.; Baltazar Hernández, V.H.; Maldonado Zepeda, C. Effect of Retained Austenite and Non-Metallic Inclusions on the Mechanical Properties of Resistance Spot Welding Nuggets of Low-Alloy TRIP Steels. Metals 2019, 9, 1064.

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