The New Steels: If You Cant Form em Cold, Form em HotJune 1, 2008
On April 16, press, automation and tooling supplier AP&T, Monroe, NC, held its Hot Stamping Seminar Tour just outside of Detroit, MI. Several speakers at the day-long event shed some much-needed light on the rapidly up-and-coming hot-stamping process for forming automotive parts from advanced- and ultra-high-strength steels. As steel companies continue to develop what could accurately be referred to as superalloys—with properties that most metallurgists may have never dreamed possible—forming-technology leaders such as AP&T and its partner companies are tackling the giant task of developing processes that allow manufacturers to turn those steels into parts.
Seminar attendees learned to what extent the hot-stamping process has been developed and commercialized, not only from presentations by representatives from AP&T, which manufactures the presses and the material-handling equipment needed to move steel through a hot-stamping line, but also from AP&T’s supplier partners:
• Thyssen Krupp Steel AG, supplier of hot-stamped ultra-high-strength manganese-boron steels;
• Stamping-simulation-software provider ESI Group, which, attendees were told, is focusing much of its efforts on better understanding the temperature dependence of friction during forming, and more accurately simulating cooling rates and heat transfer at varying pressures;
• Schwartz GmbH, manufacturer of the heattreat equipment used to warm steel blanks prior to stamping;