Supporting Welding Methods for Future Light Weight Steel Car Body Structures
In the continuous struggle to improve car body properties, and at the same time reduce the weight of the structure, new materials and body concepts are being evaluated. In competition with more self-evident lightweight materials such as aluminium and plastic composites, new and different grades of high-strength steels with various surface coatings are being introduced. From experience it is known that to be able to weld and join these steel grades under high-volume conditions, it is necessary to perform comprehensive testing to establish those assembly parameters which give a superior and reliable weld quality. To meet the demands of cost-effective low volume production, we can notice a tendency to move away from traditional uni-body concepts and into the direction of space-frame structures. These can preferably be manufactured out of high-strength steels by using production methods like roll-forming, hydro-forming and hot-forming.