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Final report on Contract No 7210-MB/822, 414, 113, 605, 1 July 1996 to 31 December 1999.

This project studied the extent to which sheet thickness can be reduced in automotive construction through a combination of high-strength steels and continuous joining techniques, in place of spot-welded mild steel structures. The ramifications with regard to impact, torsion, bending and fatigue have been determined.

Impact tests at Corus indicated that greater collapse stability is noted with high strength steels compared to mild steel. An enhancement of 5 - 15% in collapse resistance was noted with laser welding and weld bonding compared to resistance spot welding.

At Liverpool University, a modified theoretical analysis was developed that contained a more realistic model of deformation as well as significant improvements over existing formulations in predicting collapse resistance.

The study at Hoogovens concentrated on the measurement of torsional and bending stiffness. The results obtained show that a considerable increase in the maximum bending load could be obtained by applying an adhesive, whilst the maximum torsion load showed the smallest increase from spot welds to adhesive bonding of 8 - 17%.

The work programme at LBF indicated that the fatigue strength of high strength steel automotive weld-bonded components was increased by a factor of 1.6 compared to spot-welded variants. Tests on lap shear and T-peel joints at CSM, indicated that adhesive-bonded and weld-bonded joints significantly outperformed both spot-welded and clinched joints.

Additional information

Authors: JONES T B, Corus UK Ltd, Port Talbot (GB);RUIKFROK R, Corus NL, IJmuiden (NL);RUPP A, LBF, Darmstadt (DE);SCHNEIDER F, LBF, Darmstadt (DE);RIZZO L, CSM, Rome (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20320 EN (2002), pp.220. Euro: 32.50
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20320-EN-S Available from EUR-OP sales agents. URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-3657-3
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