Production Possibilities in the Future

Gestamp is progressing in R&D efforts related to what it calls Flex Laser Softzone technology. The company is continuing to industrialize the technology and is working with its OEM customers on a variety of parts, ranging from pillars to rails, and on a variety of future vehicles with volumes ranging from niche-vehicle volumes to vehicles with high-volume production.

Belanger sees promise for the technology not only in improving vehicle crash performance by controlling the kinematics during deformation, but also in improving deformation in resistance-spot-welded joints by increasing the ductility in the parent metal adjacent to the spot weld. This increases the overall loading capability of the joint, Belanger explains.

The technology also offers another possibility: “Enable mechanical joining of alternative materials such as aluminum or carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers into ultra-high-strength hot-stamped steel by selectively softening flanges to achieve robust clinching and/or riveting,” he says.

Until now, Belanger reports having used only a conventional hot-stamped-steel grade, 22MnB5, to prove out the technology, but says it can be applied to the new hot-stamped steels emerging in the marketplace. MF

Industry-Related Terms: LASER, Bending, Die, Ductility, Form, Forming, Hydraulic Press, Model, Quenching, Scale, Stroke, Tempering
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Stamping Presses


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