Cold-formed body in white (BIW) components made from advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) offer a promising lightweight construction potential which cannot be fully exploited due to their susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement (HE). There are several stages in the life cycle of automotive parts which may provoke failure due to HE: Along the steel processing lines (pickling, electro galvanizing), during the BIW-production (blanking, forming, cutting, welding, E-coating) as well as during vehicle use (corrosion, various load types). Since the HE-sensitivity may be aggravated by combining certain production steps or service conditions not only every individual aspect but much more the interaction amongst them has to be investigated and evaluated.
Therefore, several test methods and conditions were defined representing realistic worst case assumptions of the above mentioned influences. This article identifies the most critical combinations of these influences and suggests one possible approach to approve the safe use of AHSS in components of the BIW.