The Volvo XC60 car body contains numerous parts in Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS) in order to guarantee the structural integrity of the car in the event of a crash situation. Most of the parts are manufactured in a hot-forming process, so called press-hardening, resulting in component tensile strength in the range of 1,500 MPa. As this type of material also presents fairly high carbon content (∼ 0.22%) it brings a challenge when it comes to welding. The Volvo XC60 car body is at the same time to a large extent assembled by laser welding technology. In early development stages of the project (Y413), it was observed that laser welding of hot-formed components presented a number of challenges due to the unique conditions offered by this welding method. The presentation will thoroughly describe the modes of procedure how to avoid crack inducement during the welding operation. A variable analysis approach was used based on the present circumstances at the production facility in the Gent plant. Crucial variables at laser welding such as gap between sheets, focal point position, welding speed and laser weld position relative to the flange edge were included in a test matrix and welding trials were carried out accordingly in the Pilot Plant in Gothenburg. The paper will discuss those welding results, the subsequent analysis and plausible theoretic explanations. From the lessons learnt in this research, the optimum laser welding parameters were then transferred to the laser welding stations in the Gent plant. There it has been proven, that also at high volume automotive manufacturing, it is possible to provide an outstanding weld quality also at such difficult pre-conditions. The presentation ends with some facts and figures and experiences from high volume series production, which also includes aspects on quality assurance. © 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Larsson, J. K. (2010). Avoidance of crack inducement when laser welding hot-formed car body components - A variable analysis. In Physics Procedia (Vol. 5, pp. 115–124). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phpro.2010.08.036