High strength quenched and tempered (Q&T) steels offer obvious economic benefits originating from their advantageous strength to
price and weight ratios. These steels are usually welded using ferritic consumables and for this combination the risk of hydrogen assisted cold cracking (HACC) is high. The use of austenitic stainless steel (ASS) consumables has great potential to significantly improve this issue. Yet, there are no guidelines for determination of safe level of preheat for welding ferritic steels with ASS consumables. For this reason manufacturers adopt this parameter from procedures developed for conventional ferritic consumables thus significantly limiting the benefits ASS consumables are capable to deliver. Productivity could be further enhanced by identifying the upper interpass temperature threshold, thus reducing the stand-off times. Aim of this work is to develop safe highly optimised procedures for welding of high strength Q&T steel with ASS consumable.