The aim of this investigation was to study the hot crack susceptibility of some Turkish and German structural steel plates with a modified varestraint-transvarestraint test method. Testing was accomplished using a Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process. The results of this study revealed that total crack length increases as welding current increases or punch radius or welding speed decreases. An attempt is made to provide explanations for these phenomena. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.