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Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Materials and Design


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/matdes

Materials selection for hot stamped automotive body parts: An


application of the Ashby approach based on the strain hardening
exponent and stacking fault energy of materials
Renato Altobelli Antunes a,, Mara Cristina Lopes de Oliveira b
a
b

Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Cincias Sociais Aplicadas (CECS), Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), 09210-580 Santo Andr, SP, Brazil
Electrocell Ind. Com. Equip. Elet. LTDA, Centro de Inovao, Empreendedorismo e Tecnologia (CIETEC), 05508-000 So Paulo, SP, Brazil

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 10 April 2014
Accepted 5 June 2014
Available online 16 June 2014
Keywords:
Automotive body parts
Hot stamping
Materials selection
Ashby approach
Strain hardening exponent
Stacking fault energy

a b s t r a c t
Complex stamping operations are becoming widespread in the automotive industry to produce vehicle
body parts with adequate mechanical strength and reduced wall thickness. The need for weight reduction
drives the development of new metallic materials capable of achieving a good balance between formability and mechanical properties. Advanced high strength steels play a major role in this scenario. The aim of
this work was to develop a materials selection strategy for hot stamped automotive body parts using the
Ashby approach. The selection process was based on the formability of metallic alloys derived from two
fundamentals materials properties, the strain hardening exponent and the stacking fault energy.
2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Recent developments of structural parts for vehicle body shells
of automobiles have pursued weight reduction as a mean of attaining low fuel consumption levels and, therefore, mitigation of
greenhouse gas emissions [1,2]. Advanced high strength steels
(AHSS) and aluminum alloys have concentrated most attention
towards this goal [35]. Stamping processes are employed in order
to achieve adequate mechanical strength at reduced wall thickness
and frequently complex geometries. Hot stamping has become
widespread for this purpose [6,7]. Formability is a crucial characteristic for the quality of stamped parts [8]. Stamping formability
is often evaluated based on the analysis of the maximum strains
that the material is able to sustain without fracture or wrinkle
[9]. It is well-known that process parameters such as initial blank
shape, blank holding force, lubrication, shape of the die, temperature and strain rate inuence the formability of metallic sheets.
Moreover, materials properties are also closely related to the formability of stamped parts [10]. In this context, strain hardening
parameters, especially the strain hardening exponent plays a major
role in the formability of metallic sheets [11,12]. In the same way,
the stacking fault energy (SFE), a more fundamental property,

Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +55 11 4996 8241.


E-mail address: renato.antunes@ufabc.edu.br (R.A. Antunes).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2014.06.011
0261-3069/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

strongly affects the deformation modes and, ultimately, the formability of metallic alloys [13]. These properties can be tailored by
properly designing the chemical composition of the alloy [14].
A huge amount of knowledge is already available regarding the
inuence of different alloying elements on the strain hardening
behavior of metallic materials [1517]. Although there is still much
to be learned, valuable information can be found in the current literature. Notwithstanding, this information is segregated in many
different reports. The condensation of this knowledge into a reliable technical criterion would be of great interest to guide the
development of new materials for stamped parts of automobiles.
Materials selection strategies can be employed to achieve this goal.
The Ashby approach is one of the most widespread materials selection methods for engineering materials. In spite of its limitations
for multi-criteria selection processes [18,19], it successfully applies
to a variety of engineering applications [2023]. Design criteria can
be promptly dened based on the understanding of the functional
requirements for the intended application and easily employed to
screen and rank different materials [24].
The aim of this work was to develop a materials selection strategy for hot stamped automotive stamped parts using the Ashby
approach. The methodology was based on establishing a reliable
design criterion to assess the formability of different metallic
alloys. The selection process is practiced mainly with advanced
high strength steel alloys which concentrate the most recent
developments for vehicle body parts. The strategy was based on

248

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

materials science concepts and derives from two distinct materials


properties used to describe the deformation behavior of metallic
alloys, the strain hardening exponent and the stacking fault energy.
It is intended that this work provides a valuable tool to guide the
selection of existing alloys and the development of new materials
for hot stamped automotive body parts.
2. Basic concepts
2.1. Strain hardening exponent
The plastic ow of metallic materials can be described by constitutive equations proposed by different authors. Common
approaches are based on the works by Hollomon [25], Ludwik
[26], Swift [27], Ludwigson [28] and Voce [29]. The Hollomon Eq.
(1) is often used to describe the plastic ow of many metallic materials provided that the elongation is uniform:
n

r K:e

The parameters in Eq. (1) are described as follows: r is the true


stress, e is the true plastic strain, K and n are the strain hardening
parameters of the material. K is the strength coefcient and n is
the strain hardening exponent. The values of K and n can be
obtained experimentally by plotting true stress-true strain curves.
In a loglog scale a linear relationship should exist between the true
stress and true strain. The strength coefcient (K) corresponds to
the intercept at log e = 0 whereas n corresponds to the angular coefcient of the line. K can be related to the mechanical strength of the
material and roughly to the stress level required to metallic forming
[30]. The exponent n, in turn, plays a pivotal role in the forming processes of metallic materials. It expresses the strain hardening ability
of metals [31] and usually decreases as the ductility increases. It can
be demonstrated that the value of n is equal to the true plastic
strain at the maximum true stress which would correspond to the
onset of necking (plastic strain instability) [32]. In this regard, this
parameter controls the amount of plastic deformation the material
is able to withstand before failure by plastic collapse when submitted to tensile stresses [33]. It is widely used to indicate the stretch
formability of metallic sheets [34].
The validity of Hollomon equation depends on a linear relationship between log r and log e in the whole uniform plastic ow
range. It is assumed also that microstructure does not vary when
the material undergoes plastic deformation [35]. There are materials, though, for which there is a deviation of the ow behavior predicted by the Hollomon equation. For example, the strain
hardening behavior of dual-phase (DP) steels and steels presenting
the transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) effect have been found
to diverge from the predictions of Eq. (1) [3638]. For these materials the work hardening behavior follows more than one stage.
Thus, the value of n varies along the uniform plastic strain region
of the true stresstrue strain curve [39]. Specic models have been
proposed by different authors in order to provide a more realistic
prediction of strain hardening for those materials which do not
strictly follows the conventional linear relationship between log r
and log e in the uniform plastic strain region. It is not the aim of
the present work to explore in detail the many strain hardening
models encountered in the literature for different engineering
alloys. The interested reader can found useful information in
[4043] and references therein.
Despite the well-known limitations of the Hollomon equation
to properly describe the plastic ow behavior of some metallic
materials, the strain hardening exponent derived from the power
law relation expressed by this equation is widely accepted as a
useful parameter to rank the plastic forming ability of similar
alloys [44]. Chiang et al. [16] assessed the formability of TRIP steels

for structural applications in automotive components. They used


the concept of the instantaneous strain hardening exponent (n)
derived from the Hollomon relation to rank the formability of
steels with different microstructures (fractions of retained austenite and bainite). Higher values of n were associated with improved
formability and helped to guide the development of specic heat
treatments to provide the most adequate microstructures for plastic forming processes. Ding et al. [45] have also evaluated the formability of high manganese steels for lightweight automobile body
parts. They observed that the value of n was closely related to
the ductility of the steel and high values provided better formability. In this respect, even though the strain hardening behavior of a
metallic material does not strictly follows the power law expressed
by the Hollomon equation, the value of n still holds as a valid comparative parameter to rank the stretch formability of different
alloys.
2.2. Stacking fault energy
Stacking faults are two-dimensional crystalline defects typical
of face centered cubic (FCC) and hexagonal close-packed (HCP)
metals. In these crystals the close-packed planes form a stack
where the planes of atoms (considered as hard spheres) are
arranged according to stacking sequence ABC ABC ABC for the
FCC structure and AB AB AB for the HCP structure. The closepacked planes are of the type {1 1 1} for the FCC structure and
{0 0 0 1} for the HCP metals [33]. Plastic deformation disturbs this
regular packing sequence, giving rise to faults. The formation of
these faults depends on splitting of perfect dislocations into partial
dislocations which bounds the stacking fault itself [46,47]. The
stacking fault energy (SFE) of a crystal is a function of the separation distance between the partial dislocations which limit the
faulted region. Low SFE is associated with a high separation distance whereas the opposite applies for crystals in which the partial
dislocations are less separated [33].
The SFE is an intrinsic property of a metallic crystal and is very
important to understand the fundamental aspects of plastic deformation [48]. Cross slip and activation of slip systems occur for
materials with high SFE (>45 mJ m2). Twinning is favored for
materials with medium or low SFE (1845 mJ m2) [49,50]. The
martensite transformation in FCC metals and alloys is also controlled by the deformation mechanisms arising from the SFE of
the crystal. SFE values lower than 18 mJ m2 are reported to favor
martensitic reactions [50]. The work hardening rate increases for
materials with low SFE as well as the uniform elongation [51]. In
this context, SFE has a prominent inuence on the mechanical
properties of metallic alloys. A decrease of SFE is associated with
enhanced strength and ductility for FCC and HCP metals [5254].
Technologically the SFE of a metallic alloy can be adjusted by
compositional changes [55]. Alloying elements strongly affect the
deformation modes of polycrystalline materials, disturbing the
host crystal and altering the mobility of dislocations during plastic
deformation [56]. Thus, it is possible to tailor the mechanical properties of specic alloys to the desired performance on forming
operations. This can be accomplished by the careful control of
chemical composition during the preparation of the alloy. In the
case of stamping steels, elements such as carbon, manganese, aluminum and silicon are known to inuence the SFE and, therefore,
play a central role in their deformation mechanisms and mechanical properties [57,58]. Park et al. [59] studied the effect of Al addition on the SFE and plastic deformation of fully austenitic high
manganese steels for automotive structural parts. They showed
that the SFE increased with the Al content. The authors identied
a tendency of increasing the stress necessary for mechanical twinning as the SFE increased, decreasing the strain hardening rate of
the steel. Manganese is reported to diminish the SFE of iron-based

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

alloys whereas carbon has the opposite effect [60,61]. The mechanisms that govern the dependence of SFE on specic alloying elements are quite complex. Several factors are involved such as
grain size, temperature and solute concentration. Magnetic and
chemical interactions are also important [61]. Several models have
been proposed by different authors in order to explain the effects
of alloying elements on the SFE of specic alloys. Some models
developed for advanced high strength steels intended for application as automobile body parts will be treated in more detail in this
work. Such models will serve to support the materials selection
strategy developed in the next section. The reader should be aware,
though, that it is not the aim of the present work to provide a
detailed review of the different models encountered in the literature. Notwithstanding, the references cited in this work will provide useful insights for the interested reader, especially regarding
the deformation mechanisms of advanced high strength steels.
3. Materials selection strategy for hot stamped automotive body
parts
Materials selection based on the Ashby approach is designdriven. It is an optimization method which can deal with conicting
objectives derived from multiple criteria in a relatively simple
manner. The selection process comprises a translation step in
which the function of the component is dened, as well as design
constraint(s) and the objective(s) which is(are) pursued. Moreover,
some variables can be let free for the designer to decide. The free
variables are normally related to geometric parameters of the component and the material with which the component will be manufactured. The following step is to screen out the materials that do
not meet the constraint(s) dened in the rst step. Next, the surviving candidates are ranked according to the objective(s). Documentation can be used to conrm the ranking established in the
previous, bringing in supporting information to the selection process about some characteristics which were not previously taken
into account, but are useful to guide the designer into a successful
decision [24]. This philosophy is developed in the present section.
3.1. Translation step
The function of the component is promptly dened from the
context of the present work as a metallic panel for stamped automotive body parts. The materials intended for such application
should be capable of being formed in complex shapes. Moreover,
high mechanical strength is needed to allow the forming of relatively thin sheets capable of withstanding the mechanical loads
without failure. The need for thin sheets is a must-attend criterion
of the automotive industry because of the growing pressure for
reduced fossil gas emissions achieved by decreasing fuel consumption due to reduced car body weight [62]. As a consequence, materials for this application are required to have a minimum tensile
strength. According to Altan [63] the minimum tensile strength
of high strength steels is 210 MPa. Moreover, structural applications of materials require fracture toughness, expressed as K1C, of
at least 20 MPa m1/2 [24]. It is assumed here that these are the constraints of our selection process regarding the minimum tensile
strength and fracture toughness of the stamped panels. Any material which does not obey these criteria should be screened out from
the selection process.
The objective of the selection process should now be dened.
This is a central point of the Ashby method as the candidates with
the best performance are selected based on the objective dened
during translation step. Formability is pivotal for the successful
design of hot stamped parts for the automotive industry [64].
The complexity of dening an absolute and measurable criterion

249

to this characteristic arises from its dependence on several aspects


related to processing temperature, microstructure evolution of the
metallic alloy, grain size, strain and strain rate [8]. There is a growing interest in modeling the hot stamping process of high-strength
steels using nite element methods [65,66]. Other approaches such
as cupping tests and forming limit diagrams give experimental evidence of the relative formability of different alloys [67]. In spite of
the complex task of providing a quantitative measurement of
formability, the objective of the selection process will be centered
in this characteristic, seeking for those materials which maximize
the formability of automotive body parts. Finally, the free variables
will be the component shape and size, and the material used to
manufacture the stamped part. The design requirements dened
in the translation step are summarized in Table 1. Now, after concluding the translation step, a screening stage will be performed as
described in the next sub-section.
3.2. Screening stage
3.2.1. First screening
The screening stage is based on the constraints dened in the
translation step. This step will be performed with the support of
the Ashby chart shown in Fig. 1a. The chart was plotted using
the CES Edupack 2009 software developed by Granta Design. Values of fracture toughness (K1C) are plotted in the abscissas whereas
the ultimate tensile strength (ru) is plotted in the ordinates. The
constraints for these properties are marked as solid lines in the
chart. The whole database of CES Edupack 2009 is displayed in
the chart. Different classes of materials are represented as bubbles
with specic colors. Yellow bubbles represents technical ceramics,
magenta represents ceramics, dark yellow represents non-technical
ceramics, dark-blue represents thermosetting resins, cyan represents elastomers, blue represents thermoplastics, green are
referred to polymer foams, olive represents wood and natural
materials, dark cyan represents ferrous metals and red bubbles
are referred to non-ferrous metals. Some representative materials
of each class are identied in the chart. In order to facilitate the
visualization even in black and white bigger envelopes are also displayed which represent each family of materials. Any material with
K1C < 20 MPa m1/2 and ru < 210 MPa must be eliminated from the
selection process. Thus, the search region is restricted to the small
rectangle in the upper part of the chart. This region is expanded in
Fig. 1b, in which the origin of the Cartesian axes were set as the
constraints on K1C and ru. It is seen that metallic materials concentrate the surviving candidates. Some examples of ferrous alloys
(cast irons, stainless steels, carbon steels and alloy steels), nonferrous alloys (aluminum, titanium alloys and refractory metals)
and metal matrix composites are identied in the chart. The next
step is to rank the allowed materials. However, before advancing
to the ranking stage, we will further restrict the candidates that
passed rst screening. This operation will be based on a review
of the current literature on hot stamping of automotive body parts,
aiming at identifying the main materials developed and employed
for this application, as described in the next item.
3.2.2. Materials employed for stamped automotive body parts
Structural parts for car bodies are obtained by stamping metallic sheets. Bariani et al. [68] highlighted the interest of using aluminum alloys for this application due to the suitable combination of
strength and low density. Especially the 5XXX and 6XXX aluminum alloy series are cited as possible candidates because of their
good corrosion resistance and relatively low cost. In spite of the
applicability of aluminum alloys, high strength steels are the dominant materials for stamped automotive body parts [69]. The high
strength of these steels is achieved by heat treatments. The material strengthens due to transformation of austenite into martensite

250

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

Table 1
Design requirements for hot stamped automotive body parts.
Design requirements
Function
Constraints
Objectives
Free variables

Automotive body part


Ultimate tensile strength (ru) > 210 MPa;
fracture toughness (K1C) > 20 MPa m1/2
To maximize formability
Component shape and size; choice of material

by maximizing f3(M) independently of f1(M) and f2(G). f3(M)


expresses the merit index (M) of the selection process.
Applying this approach to the particular case envisaged here we
will derive our performance metric (P) based on the objective
shown in Table 1, i.e., to maximize the formability of the stamped
part. According to Byun [125] the critical stress for twinning (rT)
for austenitic stainless steels can be expressed by:

rT 6:14
after an initial austenitizing procedure. Phase transformation is
achieved by quenching the part in the stamping die while it is
formed. This process is called hot stamping which has become a
standard manufacturing method for complex stamped automotive
parts [70]. Cold stamping is also used but the intrinsic springback
of the stamped part poses some limitations on using the process
for ultra-high strength alloys [71]. Steels for these processes are
twin induced plasticity (TWIP) steels, transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) steels and boron-manganese steels [7275]. Materials
tested by different authors with regard to structural applications as
hot stamped automotive parts are presented in Table 2 along with
their chemical compositions. This list will serve as the basis for the
ranking strategy developed in the next section. Magnesium alloys,
cast irons, carbon steels, stainless steels, titanium alloys, refractory
metals and metal matrix composites are not reported for this
application due to intrinsic limitations on plastic deformation ability, mechanical strength and/or prohibitive costs. Thus, these alloys
will not be considered in the ranking step.
3.3. Ranking the surviving candidates
The Ashby approach proceeds with ranking the candidates that
passed the screening stage performed in Section 3.2. As mentioned
before, this step is based on the objective dened in Section 3.1
(Table 1). In this respect, the formability of the stamped part has
to be maximized. Up to now, though, the concept of formability
has not yet been dened in the context of the present selection
process. Sections 2.1 and 2.2 have introduced the basic concepts
of strain-hardening exponent (n) and stacking fault energy (SFE)
of metallic alloys. The relevance of these properties for the plastic
deformation of metallic materials has been highlighted by many
authors. High values of n and low values of SFE are associated with
enhanced ductility [16,52], thus favoring alloy formability. The
degree of work hardening increases for low values of SFE [117].
Thus, the merit index (MI) provided here will be based on both
the n and SFE values of the metallic alloys.
According to the Ashby approach, the performance of a component (P) for a given engineering application can be dened by a
proper mathematical expression with the general form shown in
Eq. (2) where F, G and M denotes functional requirements, geometric features and materials properties, respectively [24].

P f fF; G; Mg

It is generally agreed that the parameters shown in this equation are separable and it can be rewritten as displayed in Eq. (3)
where f1, f2 and f3 are separate functions.

P f1 F  f2 G  f3 M

This philosophy states that the optimum choice of a material is


independent of geometry (G) and functional requirements (F), being
dependent only on the material properties grouped in the M parameter. This greatly simplies the design problem, since the best candidate can be selected without solving the complete design
situation. In this context, the performance (P) will be maximized

bp

This equation shows that rT is a function of the stacking fault


energy (c) of the alloy and of the magnitude of the Burgers vector
(bp). Since the materials which passed the screening stage (Table 2)
are also austenitic, we will assume that this dependence would also
hold for the case considered here. Now, considering that rT could
assume the form of the stress given by the Hollomon expression
(Eq. (1)), then we obtain:

K  en 6:14

c
bp

It is important to mention here, that this approach does not follow a


strict formal theory and should be mostly regarded as a qualitative
approach which takes into account that the critical stress to cause
twinning (rT) and the true stress (r) in the Hollomon equation
could be equally related to c and n, since they are both related to
the plastic deformation of metallic alloys. Next, by rearranging
the terms in Eq. (5) it assumes the form:

log e 

0:788 logK  bp log c




n
n
n

This equation shows that the deformation (e) necessary to the onset
of twinning and, in turn, plastic deformation, is a function of the
stacking fault energy (c) and of the strain-hardening exponent (n)
of the austenitic alloy. Hence, would be desirable to minimize the
value of e to increase the formability of the austenitic alloy, since
plastic deformation would be more easily achieved, thus saving
energy during the stamping process. Thus, the last term in Eq. (6)
should be minimized to maximize alloy formability. In this respect,
the merit index (MI) of our selection process could be effectively
dened by choosing materials with low values of c and high values
of n. In this connection the MI can be dened as n/SFE. The ultimate
candidates are those which maximize the value of this ratio.
To support this analysis a new Ashby chart is shown in Fig. 2.
This chart brings the strain-hardening exponent in the abscissas
and the SFE in the ordinates. The small bubbles in Fig. 2 represent
some of the materials described in Table 2 which are identied
with superscripts referred to the reference from which each one
of them was consulted. It is important to mention that this chart
was not plotted using the CES Edupack 2009 software because this
version does not allow to incorporate additional information
besides those already available in its original database. Notwithstanding, it was plotted according to the same philosophy, according to the materials selection based on the Ashby approach and is
perfectly suited to the purposes of this text. Thus, in order to maximize the formability of the alloy one should seek for those materials which give the best compromise between the values of n and
SFE. The best candidates are, therefore, those which simultaneously maximize n and minimize SFE and are located in the bottom right region of the chart (search region). The ultimate
candidates are those which maximize the value of n/SFE. There
are a total of eleven materials in this chart: four 6XXX Al alloys,
three 5XXX Al alloys and four high-Mn steels. This is only a small
part of the candidates listed in Table 2. Such a reduced sampling
derives from the difcult task of encountering references in which
the authors simultaneously report the values of SFE and strain
hardening exponent of the stamping alloys. The isolated values of

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

251

Fig. 1. (a) Ashby chart for ultimate tensile strength versus fracture toughness; (b) the same chart shown in (a) after applying the constraints of the selection process.

252

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

Table 2
List of metallic alloys for stamped automotive parts tested by different authors.
References

Alloy

Aluminum alloys
[76]
[77,78]
[77]
[68]
[79]
[80,81]
[82,83]
[84]
[85]

Composition (wt.%)

AlMgSi
AA6111
AA5754
AA5083
AA6014
AA6016
6022
AA5182
6063

Advanced high strength steels


[71]
TRIP steel
[44]
Usibor 1500P
[40]
TRIP steel
[86]
TRIP steel
[41]
TRIP590
[45]
TWIP steel
[87]
TWIP steel
[88]
High MnAlC
steel
[89]
TWIP steel
[13]
TWIP steel
[90]
TRIP700
[91,97]
TWIP steel
[92]
TWIP steel
[38,46]
TRIP 1666
steel
[93]
TWIP steel
[94]
TWIP steel
[35,95]
TRIP600
[96]
TWIP steel
[50]
TWIP steels

Si

Mg

Fe

Mn

Ti

Zn

Cu

Cr

Al

0.60
0.6 1.1
0.4
0.4
0.30.6
1.00
1.1
0.03
0.45

0.74
0.51.0
2.63.6
4.04.9
0.40.8
0.47
0.55
4.3
0.3

0.37
0.4
0.4
0.4
60.35
0.23

0.21
0.058

0.03
0.100.45
0.5
0.41,0
0.050.2
0.07

0.34
0.013

0.04
0.1
0.15
0.15
60.1

0.03
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.1

0.022

0.50.9
0.1
0.1
60.25
0.17
0.056

0.015

0.1
0.3
0.25
60.2

0.02

Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.

Mo

Cr

Ni

Co

Nb

Al

Si

Cu

Mn

Fe

Ti

0.0048

<0.02

0.2

0.02

0.004

1.0
0.03
3.8
0.03

2.9
1.5
9

0.2
0.22
0.18
0.17
0.21
0.04
0.3
0.6

1.0
0.25

1.53
1.51
2.9

0.005
0.001

0.03

0.008

0.007
0.015

2.0
1.23
11
1.50
1.0
18.8
16
20

Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.

0.037

0.021

0.025

0.03

0.004

15.5

6.1

0.057

0.003

1.5

0.74

2.02

0.6
0.61
0.175
0.6
0.014
0.03

0.70

5.08
0.9

0.005

0.01

0.02

0.007

18
23.84
1.57
22
29.4
6.1

Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.

<0.01

2.29
2.74
0.038

0.08
0.08
0.08
2.68
2.76
0.00
2.97
5.86
5.20
0.005

0.006
0.01
0.11
0.6
0.28
0.24
0.52
0.005
0.005
0.60
0.63
0.60
0.06
0.626

2.60
2.30
1.19

0.013

Bal.
Bal.
Bal.
Bal.

3.03
3.04

0.007
0.007

0.006

28
25
27

14.30
23.7
1.67
22
Bal.

1.6
1.6
4.1

Bal.

Bal.

0.60

0.01

0.01

25.29
29.00
21.59
21.78
22.00
29.20
17.83

Bal.
Bal.

0.619
0.62
0.58
0.59
0.62
0.61
0.58
0.6
0.57
0.81
0.016
0.016
0.07
0.64
0.60
0.63
0.60
1.30
1.31
1.31
1.167
0.6
0.3
0.6
0.7
0.6
0.4

0.01
0.05
1.59

Bal.

0.060
0.036
0.008

Bal.

Bal.
Bal.

Bal.

Bal.
Bal.
Bal.

Bal.

Bal.
Bal.

[98]

TWIP steels

<0.01
0.05
0.05

[99]

High-Mn steels

[100]
[101,105
107]

TWIP steel
TWIP steels

0.0075
0.0075
0.0079

[102]

[103]

T618
T618Al
T618Si
TWIP steels

[104]
[108]

TWIP steel
TWIP steels

0.012
0.019
0.029

1.43
0.01
1.54
0.03
0.02
0.96
2.02
2.0

[109]

FeMn alloys

[110]
[49]
[59]

TRIP steel
TWIP steel
High-Mn steels

[111]

TWIP steels

0.017

0.0075
0.0075
0.0079

2.4
2.40
0.00
2.97
5.86

[112]
[113]

TWIP steel
TWIP steels

<0.022

<0.18

<0.096

0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
3.5

0.003
0.002

2.85
0.25

0.134

0.005
0.006

0.006
0.006
0.006
<0.006

0.00
1.50
3.04

17.73
17.65
17.51
17.
0.012
17.65
0.011
19.01
0.010
19.07

18

16.4
16.5

24.30
30.79

15.3

14

21.59
21.78
22.00

19.84
19.87
19.87
<0.018 19.90

22
28
19
24
24
27
(continued

on next page)

253

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256


Table 2 (continued)
N

Mo

Cr

Ni

Co

Nb

Al

Si

Cu

Mn

Fe

Ti

[114]

TWIP steels

FeMnSi alloys

Bal.

[115,116]

TWIP steel

2.93

0.25
2.03
5.21
8.67
0.07

21.9
21.9
24.6
31.63
32.55
30.62
30.38
14.55

Bal.

[58]

0.45
0.59
0.59
0.96
0.64
0.67
0.79
0.71

Bal.

each property are much more frequently found in the literature. In


this context, in order to circumvent such obstacle, the SFE values of
the aluminum alloys shown in Fig. 2 were estimated from two different models available in the literature. For the 5XXX alloys the
values were calculated based on the approach developed by
Morishige et al. [126], according to Eq. (7), in which cAlMg is the
stacking fault energy of a binary AlMg alloy, c0 is the stacking
fault energy of pure aluminum (estimated as 103 mJ m2, according to [126]), kc is a dimensionless constant (kc = 25.6), xMg is
the atomic percentage of Mg in the AlMg alloy and x*Mg is the solubility limit of Mg in the aluminum matrix at 723 K (x*Mg = 18.6 at.%).

The atomic percentages of magnesium in the 5XXX alloys were calculated from the weight percentages displayed in Table 2.

cAlMg c0  exp 4kc

6111[120]

120

SFE (mJ.m-2)

6016[118]

6022[119]

6063[121]

100

High Mn steel (22Mn-6Al)[99]

80
Search region

60

5754[122]

TWIP steel (18Mn-1.5Al)[89]


5182[123]

40

5083[124]
High Mn steel (22Mn-3Al)[99]

20

High Mn steel (22Mn-0Al)[99]

0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

!2 3
5

For the 6XXX Al alloys the SFE values were determined based on
the work by Lee and Tang [127], according to Eq. (8) in which K is
the Petch constant, G is the shear modulus (G = 26 GPa), b is the
Burgers vector, m is the Poissons ratio (m = 0,33), a and d are constants (a = 339 lm1/2 and d = 2 m1/2/mJ m2 for FCC metals). The
values of K and b were taken from the work by Lee and Tang
[127]; they are referred to the 6061-T6 Al alloy and were used only
to give an estimation of the SFE values of the 6XXX presented in
Fig. 2. Although this procedure does not take into account different
K and b values for the different 6XXX alloys, it is adequate to our
purposes as it reveals the differences between SFE of 5XXX and
6XXX Al alloys. It is seen from Fig. 2 that the SFE values of 5XXX
are considerably lower than those of the 6XXX alloys. This is in
accordance with literature reports which point to a reduced SFE
as the Mg content increases for AlMg alloys [128]. The reader
should be aware, though, that the values derived from expressions
(7) and (8) are valid only when the models developed in references
[126,127] are valid. It is important to note, though, that different
models have been proposed by different authors and these values
can vary for a same material. Thus, they must be used as a general
guideline which is useful to visualize the signicant difference
between the SFEs of 5XXX and 6XXX Al alloys. However, these values are not absolute. Notwithstanding, they reliably point the
strong inuence of Mg on the SFE of Al alloys and give good basis
for the selection process developed here. The strain hardening

160
140

xMg =xMg
1 xMg =xMg

0.4

Strain hardening exponent -n


Fig. 2. Materials property chart showing strain hardening exponent (n) vs. SFE for
some of the materials shown in Table 2. (See above-mentioned references for
further information.)

29.2Mn-5.2Al-0.6Si [100]
14.55Mn-2.93Al-0.07Si [115]
22Mn-6Al-0.6C [113]
27Mn-3.5Al-0.4C [113]
27Mn-4.1Al-0.52Si [50]
14Mn-0.64C-2.4Al-0.25Si [49]
22Mn-3Al [99]
22Mn-0.6C-3Al [59]
24Mn-0.7C [113]
24Mn-0.6C [113]
18Mn-0.6C-1.5Al [103]
18Mn-0.6C-1.5Al [102]
20Mn-3.0Cu-1.3C [111]
28Mn-1.6Al-0.28Si [50]
28Mn-0.3C [113]
22Mn-0.6C [113]
[111]
20Mn-1.5Cu-1.3C
24.6Mn-0.59C [114]
17Mn-0.8C [108]
[111]
20Mn-1.3C
22Mn-0.6C [59]
19Mn-0.6C [113]
25Mn-1.6Al-0.24Si [50]
21.9Mn-0.59C [114]
22Mn-0.6C [96]
18Mn-0.6C [102]
31.63Mn-0.96C-0.25Si [58]
18Mn-0.6C [104]
[114]
21.9Mn-0.45C [109]
30Mn-0.016C
32.55Mn-0.64C-2.03Si [58]
17Mn-0.6C [108]
18Mn-0.6C-1.5Si [102]
18Mn-0.6C [105]
18Mn-0.6C [103]
30.62Mn-0.67C-5.21Si [58]
30.38Mn-0.79C-8.67Si [58]

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

SFE (mJ.m-2)
Fig. 3. Bar chart showing values of SFE for some of the alloys presented in Table 2.

80

254

R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. de Oliveira / Materials and Design 63 (2014) 247256

exponents of both the 5XXX and 6XXX Al alloys were taken from
the references indicated as superscripts above the alloy
designation.

Gb
a  dc
2p1  m

For the high-Mn steels shown in Fig. 2 the SFE values and strain
hardening exponents were taken from the references indicated as
superscripts above the alloy designation.
As displayed in Fig. 2 the best candidates are found in the search
region at the bottom right part of the chart. The two ultimate
materials are the TWIP steel (18Mn1.5Al) and the high-Mn steel
(22 Mn0Al). It is important to observe that TWIP steels with
higher aluminum concentrations (22Mn3Al and 22Mn6Al) present progressively higher SFE values. According to Medvedeva et al.
[61], aluminum addition suppresses the transformation of austenite into martensite in TWIP steels, thus reducing the SFE. Therefore,
based on the MI dened above, it would be desirable to keep the
aluminum content of TWIP steels as low as possible in order to
increase its formability. The inuence of other important alloying
elements, such as manganese, carbon and silicon on the SFE of
high-Mn steels is not evident, though, from the results presented
in Fig. 2. One further step is necessary. Thus, additional information about the SFE of several high-Mn steels is provided in the
bar chart shown in Fig. 3. These steels were selected from Table 2
and the SFE values were taken from the references identied as
superscripts right after the identication of the steel type. The
materials are displayed in decreasing order of SFE. There are a total
of 37 steels in Fig. 3. It is seen that the 14 steels with the lowest SFE
do not present Al as an alloying element. The lowest SFE values are
for the TWIP steels 30.38Mn0.79C8.67Si and 30.62Mn0.67C
5.21Si. The common feature of these steels is the high manganese
and silicon contents. Silicon was reported to decrease the SFE of
TWIP steels. According to Jeong et al. [102], the SFE of a TWIP steel
decreased 4 mJ m2 per 1 wt.% Si. Mechanical twinning was
favored by adding silicon, therefore increasing the strain hardening
capability of the steels. In this respect, silicon can be considered
benecial to increase the formability of high strength steels for
stamped automotive parts. Manganese concentration is also of
prime importance and is considered to have a more complex inuence on the SFE values of iron-based alloys. A parabolic dependence on the manganese content has been reported by Aydin
et al. [14] and Medvedeva et al. [61]. The manganese content which
leads to the minimum SFE varies depending on the alloy composition. The increase of Mn content is reported to favor the TWIP
effect of high-Mn steels by decreasing SFE, giving exceptional
formability to the steel [129]. Carbon content, in turn, has an opposite effect, increasing SFE of these steels similarly to aluminum
[61]. It is seen from Fig. 3 that the 12 steels with the highest SFE
values have Al and or C in its composition. In this respect, it is
desirable to keep Al and C at a minimum in high strength steels
for automotive stamped parts and the Mn and Si contents as high
as possible. However, one should not neglect the overall mechanical behavior of the material. A suitable balance between yield
strength and ductility should be pursued. Hence, for example, aluminum has well-known benecial effects on the mechanical
behavior of high-Mn steels. As highlighted by Jin and Lee [103],
aluminum increases the yield stress by solid solution strengthening, stabilizes austenite against strain-induced martensitic transformation and retards hydrogen delayed fracture. Thus, although
formability is enhanced by avoiding aluminum addition to TWIP
steels, the overall mechanical behavior of stamped parts can be
improved by adding it to these materials. In this case, suitable
combinations of other alloying elements which strongly affect
the SFE of high strength steels should be carefully designed.

The strain hardening exponents (n) of the steels shown in Fig. 3


were not found in the references from which the SFE values were
taken. However, it is reported that TWIP steels have n values as
high as 0.48 [130]. Several authors have reported n values in excess
of 0.50 for high-Mn steels [87,89,94,110], denoting the high formability of such materials. It is important to bear in mind that this
characteristic can be strongly affected by heat treatments and
grain size [131,132]. Increasing grain sizes lead to higher values
of n. Thus, it is possible to tailor the formability by controlling
the chemical composition and grain size of the steel. The merit
index (MI) proposed in this work is based on the ratio n/SFE. Such
ratio gives a direct measure of the materials formability and can be
used to properly select the best candidates for manufacturing automotive parts with enhanced stampability. The main outputs of the
selection process developed here indicate that TWIP steels are the
ultimate materials for stamping complex parts for which high
formability is needed. In this context, increasing manganese and
silicon concentrations can lead to an improved performance
whereas aluminum and carbon concentration such be kept at a
minimum, provided that the overall mechanical strength and stability is respected. For aluminum alloys, the 5XXX series encompasses the best candidates and the formability increases with the
magnesium content.

4. Conclusions
A criterion for selecting materials for hot stamped automotive
parts has been developed based on two fundamental concepts
related to the plastic deformation behavior of metallic materials:
the strain hardening exponent (n) and the stacking fault energy
(SFE). The strategy was based on the Ashby approach and a merit
index (MI) was proposed to rank the best candidates for this application. The MI was based on ratio n/SFE and gave suitable indications of the relative performances of different metallic alloys. The
best candidates were austenitic high-Mn steels, followed by
5XXX Al alloys and 6XXX Al alloys. The design of the alloy composition is crucial to obtain optimized formability. For the high-Mn
steels, besides the manganese concentration, silicon, aluminum
and carbon strongly affect the formability of the alloy. Increasing
manganese and silicon contents enhances formability whereas
increasing aluminum and carbon concentrations have an opposite
effect. For the aluminum alloys, magnesium content is crucial to
achieve enhanced formability.

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