Process Design of Aluminum Tailor Heat Treated Blanks

Materials (Basel). 2015 Dec 9;8(12):8524-8538. doi: 10.3390/ma8125476.


In many industrials field, especially in the automotive sector, there is a trend toward lightweight constructions in order to reduce the weight and thereby the CO₂ and NOx emissions of the products. An auspicious approach within this context is the substitution of conventional deep drawing steel by precipitation hardenable aluminum alloys. However, based on the low formability, the application for complex stamping parts is challenging. Therefore, at the Institute of Manufacturing Technology, an innovative technology to enhance the forming limit of these lightweight materials was invented. The key idea of the so-called Tailor Heat Treated Blanks (THTB) is optimization of the mechanical properties by local heat treatment before the forming operation. An accurate description of material properties is crucial to predict the forming behavior of tailor heat treated blanks by simulation. Therefore, within in this research project, a holistic approach for the design of the THTB process in dependency of the main influencing parameters is presented and discussed in detail. The capability of the approach for the process development of complex forming operations is demonstrated by a comparison of local blank thickness of a tailgate with the corresponding results from simulation.

Keywords: lightweight design; material model; tailor heat treated blanks.