Joining high-strength steels: Maintain material characteristics to prevent a weakest link

High-strength steels are treated elaborately to give them their exceptional strength. When joining, these special material properties should be changed as little as possible. This is the only way to fully exploit the strengths of high-strength steels in lightweight construction or in structures with extraordinary loads. The optimum joining process is therefore of particular importance.

Joining high-strength heavy plates

High-strength heavy plates are used where extreme forces are involved: Construction machinery, truck cranes, steel construction or hydroelectric power stations are just a few examples. Welding methods such as GMA, SA and laser welding are preferred.

The challenges include avoiding cold cracks caused by hydrogen deposits and keeping the loss of strength in the heat-affected zone as low as possible.

Joining high-strength thin sheets

High-strength thin sheets are mainly used where weight has to be reduced. Therefore, automotive engineering is a very common field of application. The main processes used are resistance spot welding, [MAG welding], [MIG brazing] and laser beam welding or brazing.

It applies also to high-strength thin sheets that cracking and loss of strength in the heat-affected zone must be avoided. These sheets have to be joined with as little energy input as possible in order to maintain the properties of the material.

Extensive experience and thorough testing for optimal joining processes

Together with our research partner ISF we have extensive experience in the parameterisation and modification of all relevant joining processes. In the joining technology laboratory of our research partner ISF, we do not only have access to the facilities of all relevant joining processes. Thanks to our comprehensive testing technology, we immediately review the results of our welding tests and optimise joining processes until the results live up to the promise made by high-strength materials.