Influence of welding-induced cracks on the fatigue strength of resistance-spot-welded joints made of high-strength austenitic steel
In the rough conditions in the fabrication of automobile bodies, it is not always possible to avoid welding-induced imperfections such as cracks during the resistance spot welding of high-strength steels. In this respect, the influence of such cracks on the fatigue strength particularly of modern high-strength austenitic steels is not sufficiently well-known at present. The influence of welding cracks with various positions and formations was therefore investigated within the framework of this paper. In this case, the analysis of the standardised stiffness courses of specimens and the comparison of the numbers of failure stress cycles served to prove that the surface cracks produced without any spatter in the centre, interfacial region and peripheral region of the weld nugget do not have any negative influence on the fatigue strength of the high-strength austenitic material investigated here. Specimens which were manufactured with welding spatter and exhibit cracks in the peripheral region show considerably higher numbers of failure stress cycles than crack-free reference specimens.