Hot forming

Higher strength through hot forming/press hardening

Car manufacturers are increasingly turning to hot forming, when high crash safety requirements must be combined with a light-weight construction. Special types of steel are used in this procedure, which provide very high strength when hot forming is used. This allows even thinner hot-formed components to be produced, helping to reduce chassis weight.

Steel possesses good forming behaviour at high temperatures

During hot forming, the steel plates are first heated in a kiln to temperatures between 880 and 950 °C. Afterwards, they are then shaped into parts in a special forming press and cooled in a closed mould. The high initial temperature of the steel plates ensures excellent forming characteristics. Subsequent rapid cooling produces, in conjunction with the alloy elements manganese and boron, an extremely hard material structure. In addition, hot-formed parts are almost free from residual stresses and are therefore extremely dimensionally stable.