Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The effective use of steel in a light-weight automotive body-in-white, chassis members and suspension components is an essential requirement if steel is to maintain its competitive position against alternative materials such as composites, and aluminium, which are steadily increasing. Projects such as ULSAB (ultra light steel autobody) coordinated by the International Iron and Steel Institute have already demonstrated that by effective selection and use of steel, the use of high strength steels, tailor welded blanks and continuous joining techniques, realistic weight savings of >20% can be achieved for a predominantly steel autobody construction.

Previous research on fatigue has been based on predominantly uniaxial loaded specimens and very little work has been carried out with respect to fatigue performance of automotive structural components, particularly under multiaxial loading conditions. A characteristic of welded steel is that the structure or component gains no extension in fatigue life from the higher strength of the base steel, due to inherent defects or geometric features associated with the welds. It is therefore important that stress concentrations such as holes and welds are located in areas of low stress when designing down-gauged components. The situation is complicated further by the fact that most components in-service are subjected to biaxial stresses whereas most development work has been based on uniaxial fatigue of base steel samples or components. Therefore, in order to achieve the maximum amount of down gauging, whilst still satisfying safety and endurance criteria, it is necessary to study the fatigue behaviour of structural components and evaluate laser welded blank components, under multiaxial load conditions.

Additional information

Authors: MUSSERT K M, CORUS NL, IJmuiden (NL);ELLWOOD R, CORUS NL, IJmuiden (NL);AMICI E, CSM, Rome (IT);WEDEMEIER A, Salzgitter, Salzgitter (DE);FREYTAG P, Salzgitter, Salzgitter (DE);BERTRAND C, Sidenor I+D, Basauri (ES);GONZÁLEZ L, Sidenor I+D, Basauri (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20885 EN (2003), 171pp. Euro: 25
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20885-EN-S Available from EUR-OP sales agents URL:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-6309-0
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