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resistance at the part/tool interface in hot stamping

Communication experiments under different contact pressures (10 to

30 MPa). Hu et al.[3] analyzed the effects of temperature,
Investigation of Thermal and pressure, and oxide scale thickness on interfacial heat
Mechanical Properties of transfer coefficient (IHTC) in the cooling process.
Nishibata and Kojima[4] investigated the effect of the
Quenchable High-Strength Steels cooling rate on the hardness and microstructure of the
in Hot Stamping hot-stamped boron steel containing 0.2 mass pct
The number of steel parts manufactured by hot
ANTON GORRIÑO, CARLOS ANGULO, stamping (also known as the press hardening process)
MAIDER MURO, and JULIAN IZAGA has increased significantly in recent years (Karbasian
and Tekkaya).[5]
The interfacial heat transfer coefficient (IHTC) is
However, compared with that needed for cold stamp-
determined in the industrial range of contact pressure
ing, the design and optimization of the hot stamping
applied during the hot stamping process of boron steel
process require considerable knowledge of heat transfer,
sheets, under similar conditions to those used in indus-
metallurgy, and mechanical behavior. Merklein et al.[6]
trial practice. The mechanical properties and
investigated the characterization of the cooling behavior
microstructure of the parts are also examined. More-
of boron manganese steel blanks with respect to partial
over, the influence of the stamping pressure on the
press hardening. Bardelcik et al.[7] investigated the effect
IHTC is investigated in detail via mechanical property
of cooling rate on the high strain rate behavior of
and microstructural characterization.
hardened boron steel. Naderi et al.[8] hot stamped four
high-strength non-boron alloyed steels using water and
DOI: 10.1007/s11663-016-0662-5 nitrogen cooling media, and performed microstructural
 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM analyses, lateral and surface hardness profiling, as well
International 2016 as tensile tests of these hot-stamped samples. Bosetti
et al.[9] developed an experimental apparatus with a
cooling water system to identify the dependence of
IHTC on the applied contact pressure. Determination of
The demand for reductions in vehicular weight and the link between this design and optimization and the
higher levels of safety, compared to current levels, has IHTC values is therefore essential (Caron et al.,[10]
led to an increase in the use of ultra-high-strength steels Zhang et al.).[11]
(UHSS) in the manufacture of new structural compo- The aim of this work is to develop a practical method
nents. Hot stamping technology can be used for A- and for determining the IHTC, with the aid of the devices
B-pillar reinforcements, roof rails, side-wall members, and equipment used to conduct the tests. The depen-
and beams for crash management structures. Compared dence of the IHTC on the applied contact pressure is
with cold-formed parts, hot-stamped parts exhibit better determined. Two rounds of tests were performed.
formability at high temperatures, without the occur- Figure 1 shows the press used in the first round of
rence of springback on the final part (Merklein and testing. An Al-Si pre-coated quenchable 22MnB5 steel,
Lechler).[1] This technology has significant potential for referred to commercially as USIBOR 1500P
minimizing the weight of components by reducing the (ArcelorMittal), is investigated; 3-mm-thick
sheet thickness and the number of body in white (BIW) 240 9 240 mm samples are used during this study. A
components. This reduction can be achieved by inte- 1-mm-diameter hole is machined transversally to a
grating two or three parts into one, through the use of depth (~120 mm) that reaches the central part of the
quenchable steels during the hot stamping process. In test sample and a 1-mm-diameter type K thermocouple
order to meet this requirement, careful control of the is placed in each hole.
mechanical, metallurgical, and thermal aspects of the The test samples are heated in an approximately
process is essential. Abdulhay et al.[2] designed an 2 m 9 3 m 9 1 m (width 9 length 9 height) electric resis-
experimental device to estimate the thermal contact tance furnace, without the use of a protective atmo-
sphere. Once the heating time has elapsed, the robot is
ANTON GORRIÑO and CARLOS ANGULO, Associate Profes- moved to the mouth of the furnace and placed on hold
sors, are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University until the door is opened. The robot then extracts the test
of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain. Contact e-mail: sample from the furnace and places it on the fixed part MAIDER MURO and JULIAN IZAGA, of the die.
Researchers, are with the Metallurgy Research Centre IK4 AZTER-
LAN, Durango, Spain.
A flat demonstrator die that has an approximately
Manuscript submitted December 9, 2015. 300 9 300 mm active surface is used. The fixed and the
Article published online April 5, 2016. movable parts of the die consist of cooling circuits,


Tests were conducted at pressures of 2.5 and 5 MPa
during the first round of testing, and the samples were
heated and cooled for 435 and 8 seconds, respectively.
Thermographic examinations were performed using a
FLIR SC600-Series device. Figure 3 shows the thermo-
gram of a sample subjected to a pressure of 2.5 MPa, at
the time of die opening. The cooling rate is slower at the
corners, whose temperature is 423 K (150 C), than that
in the rest of the sample, where a homogeneous
temperature of ~393 K (~120 C) is obtained.
Recording of the data is begun upon the entry of the
sample into the die and continued until the die is
opened. The cooling of the sample is subsequently
In all cases, the calculated heat transfer coefficient at
Fig. 1—Press used in the first round of tests. the blank/tool interface is stabilized within 6 to 8 sec-
onds, and it, thereafter, has little or no influence on the
final mechanical properties. This is confirmed by the
corresponding cooling rates that are substantially higher
than the critical rate.
The IHTC a between the blank and the die is given as
follows (Merklein and Lechler):[1]
cp  q  V TðtÞ  Tu
a¼ ln ; ½1
At T0  Tu
where T0 and T(t) are the respective initial and actual
temperature of the blank during the test; Tu, cp, q, V,
and t are the temperature of the die [defined at a con-
stant value of 333 K (60 C)], specific heat of the
material (with a constant value of 466 J/Kg K),

Fig. 2—Fixed part of the demonstrator die.

Fig. 3—Thermogram of the sample at the time of die opening.

which are composed of 13 holes that have a nominal

diameter of 10 mm. The temperature of the cooling
water [292 K (19 C)] is controlled by the corresponding
cooling tower. In addition, the die is composed of the
QRO 90 Supreme material that has a hardness of 50
HRC. The fixed part of the demonstrator die is shown in Fig. 4—Normalized interfacial heat transfer coefficient (IHTC) ob-
Figure 2. tained at pressures of 2.5, 5, and 10 MPa.


density of the sample, volume of the sample, and the
time elapsed during cooling, respectively. However, the
actual effective contact surface cannot be determined,
and hence A is set equal to the geometrical dimension
of the samples quenched between the dies.
The second round of tests was conducted at pressures
of 2.5, 5, and 10 MPa, for heating and cooling times of
480 and 10 seconds, respectively. Data from these tests
were recorded every tenth of a second by a thermocou-
ple. Figure 4 shows the normalized IHTC obtained at
the aforementioned pressures.
The specimens were inspected after the first round of
tests. These samples have high hardness, and therefore
the specimens were obtained via wire electrical discharge
machining (EDM). Three zones (A, B, and C) in the
sample were demarcated, as shown in Figure 5.
The mechanical characteristics of the materials were
determined via tensile tests performed, in accordance
with EN ISO 6892-1: 2010, on flat 12.5-mm-wide
specimens. The results of these tests are shown in
Table I. As shown in the table, the yield and ultimate
tensile strengths of the hot-stamped samples vary from
1163 to 1201 and 1493 to 1503 MPa, respectively. The
Fig. 5—Zones subjected to mechanical and metallurgical testing. identification numbers 1 and 2 correspond to samples

Table I. Results of the Tensile Tests

Tensile Tests

Zone B Zone C

Specimen Identification Rp0,2 (MPa) Rm (MPa) A (Lo = 50 mm) (Pct) Rp0,2 (MPa) Rm (MPa) A (Lo = 50 mm) (Pct)
1 1182 1493 8.1 1187 1502 8.1
2 1181 1498 8.7 1189 1495 8.7
3 1178 1496 8.8 1184 1499 8.7
4 1163 1501 7.1 1201 1503 8.4

Table II. Vickers Hardness and the Equivalent HRC Values

1 2 3 4

2.5 MPa 2.5 MPa 5 MPa 5 MPa

Specimen Zone Core Periphery Core Periphery Core Periphery Core Periphery
a 514 465 488 469 485 465 484 469
523 469 484 464 490 469 473 465
521 454 476 457 485 469 476 469
Average zone a 519 463 483 463 487 468 478 468
b 499 472 484 477 473 477 469 459
503 478 464 480 489 466 485 483
521 470 467 476 487 469 479 471
Average zone b 508 473 472 478 483 471 478 471
c 472 457 484 459 501 472 484 455
480 454 482 460 503 465 487 466
477 457 482 464 489 462 497 461
Average zone c 476 456 483 461 498 466 489 461
Average 501 464 479 467 489 468 482 466
Rockwell C Hardness
Average 46.1 46.6 45.8 46.2 45.8 46.0 45.9 46.1


subjected to a contact pressure of 2.5 MPa; numbers 3 structure (base steel), which is indicative of a successful
and 4 correspond to samples subjected to a contact quench. Furthermore, a fully martensitic structure
pressure of 5 MPa. (Figure 6) is obtained when a pressure of 2.5 MPa is
Moreover, Vickers hardness control measurements applied.
were performed, in accordance with EN ISO 6507-1: The evolution of the AlSi coating is also analyzed;
2006, on the core and periphery of the metallographic special emphasis is placed on the total thickness and the
specimens. Table II shows the hardness values deter- thickness of the diffusion layer. Table III shows the
mined in zones a, b, and c. The average micro-hardness thickness values measured in zones a, b, and c. The
value across the zones was converted to HRC hardness, results indicate that iron has spread to the coating
in accordance with EN ISO 18265: 2006—the conver- surface, thereby forming a ternary structure, Al-Si-Fe,
sion was performed by using Table B.2 ‘‘Conversion of that is typical of AlSi coatings after quenching. In
values of hardness–hardness and hardness–tensile addition, the coating consists of various sublayers that
strength to quenching and tempering steels’’. have differing chemical compositions, and the diffusion
As shown in Figure 6, three metallographic samples sublayer (next to the base steel) is, in fact, the most
(Aa, Ab, and Ac zones) of each specimen were prepared. representative of the material. Figure 7 shows the
The results show that the specimens have a martensitic typical AlSi coating formed after hot stamping.

Fig. 6—Micrograph showing the martensitic structure (sample sub- Fig. 7—Micrograph showing the AlSi coating (sample subjected to a
jected to a pressure of 2.5 MPa, zone c). pressure of 2.5 MPa, zone c).

Table III. Characteristics of the AlSi Coating

Thickness (lm)

1 2 3 4

2.5 MPa 2.5 MPa 5 MPa 5 MPa

Specimen Zone Total Diffusion Layer Total Diffusion Layer Total Diffusion Layer Total Diffusion Layer
a 43.3 12 42.6 10.3 45.7 11.7 42.6 11.7
42.2 12.6 46.1 11.9 44.6 10.3 41.7 11.7
44.8 13.4 43.9 12.1 47.4 13.1 42 11.1
Average zone a 43.4 12.7 44.2 11.4 45.9 11.7 42.1 11.5
b 36.9 12.3 43.7 13.1 50.6 11.7 39.7 11.7
46 10.6 36.3 11.4 45.7 11.4 40 9.7
41.7 12.3 44.9 11.4 47.7 13.4 40 11.4
Average zone b 41.5 11.7 41.6 12 48 12.2 39.9 10.9
c 49.4 13.1 50.9 10.9 44.3 13.4 44.5 11.4
38.3 12 45.7 12.6 43.2 13.4 44.8 14.3
50.6 12.6 44.6 13.1 42.6 14.3 43.7 13.1
Average zone c 46.1 12.6 47.1 12.2 43.4 13.7 44.3 12.9
Average 43.7 12.3 44.3 11.9 45.8 12.5 42.1 11.8


This paper describes a procedure used to determine the Basque Government under Grant No. IT432-10, and
the IHTC between the blank and the dies during hot the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU under
stamping of high-strength steels. The developed proce- Program No. UFI 11/29. The authors also thank Ges-
dure employs an experimental technique, through which tamp GTH for having allowed them to use their facilities,
the IHTC can be determined by measuring the temper- which made this investigation possible.
ature inside the part.
The results presented support the following prelimi-
nary conclusions. The mechanical properties fulfill the
strength specifications and the specimens all have a
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