Failure mode of resistance spot welds (interfacial vs. pullout) is a qualitative measure of resistance spot weld performance. Considering adverse effect of interfacial failure mode on the vehicle crashworthiness, process parameters should be adjusted so that the pullout failure mode is guaranteed ensuring reliability of spot welds during vehicle lifetime. In this paper, metallurgical and mechanical properties of HSLA 420 resistance spot welds are studied with particular attention to the failure mode. Results showed that the conventional weld size recommendation of 4t0:5 (t is sheet thickness) is not sufficient to guarantee pullout failure mode for HSLA steel spot welds during the tensile-shear test. Considering the failure mechanism of spot welds during the tensileshear test, minimum required fusion zone size to ensure the pullout failure mode was estimated using an analytical model. Fusion zone size proved to be the most important controlling factor for peak load and energy absorption of HSLA 420 resistance spot weld.
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