Process aims to prevent cold cracking in high strength steel

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a process for making cold cracking in high strength steel more predictable.

Cold cracking currently presents major quality assurance challenges for the automotive and machine building industries, but the scientists say their new method could lower both development time and costs.

The new approach uses a test which takes into account typical influencing factors such as hydrogen content, residual stresses and material structures as well as temperature gradients that emerge in the welding process. A computer simulation is fed with this information in order to analyse the threat of cold cracking in random components and geometries.

Researcher, Frank Schweizer, said: "We are able to compute the probability of cold cracking as early as the design stage of a component, and immediately run through corrective measures as well."

Justin Cunningham

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