Hot Formed Automotive Steel
Military technology enables new leaps in safety and performance

With the continuous development of automobile manufacturing technology, the safety and performance requirements of vehicles are also constantly improving. In this process, the application of hot-formed steel materials and their processes has become a key factor. The emergence of hot-formed steel was not accidental, but benefited from the development of military technology.

Development Progress of Hot Formed Steel

The raw material of hot-formed steel is boron steel plate, and the hardness of boron steel is 4 times that of ordinary steel, and has higher strength, toughness and wear resistance. In the early days, hot-formed steel was widely used in military fields, such as tanks, armored vehicles and submarines. Its excellent performance allows these military vehicles to withstand small-caliber artillery attacks, almost like tickling a warship.

In the field of automobile manufacturing, the application of hot-formed steel can improve the rigidity and hardness of vehicle chassis and body, thereby reducing the casualties caused by vehicle deformation in traffic accidents. Therefore, the use of thermoformed steel not only represents a higher class of vehicle, but also means higher safety standards.

Coated Hot Formed Steel

Coated hot-formed steel is a hot-formed steel material whose surface is coated with different types of coatings to enhance its properties and corrosion resistance. Here are some common coating types:

  • Al-Si coating:Aluminum-silicon coating is a common hot-formed steel coating with excellent corrosion and wear resistance. This coating protects the surface of the steel and extends its service life.
  • New thin Al-Si coating:The new thin aluminum-silicon coating is a newer coating technology that uses a thinner coating, thereby reducing the weight of the steel while maintaining its corrosion resistance.
  • Zinc base coating:Zinc base coating is a coating type that provides superior corrosion resistance and is widely used in automotive manufacturing. It can effectively prevent steel from being eroded by air, water and chemicals.

Microalloying of Thermoformed Steels

Microalloying of hot-formed steel is to improve the properties of steel by adding trace alloying elements. Mo+Nb composite microalloying is a common method, by adding molybdenum (Mo) and niobium (Nb) and other elements, can improve the strength, toughness and wear resistance of hot formed steel. This microalloying technology is essential for parts in automotive manufacturing that need to withstand high pressures and heavy loads.

Low Cost Hot Formed Steel

In automobile manufacturing, cost control is of Paramount importance. Therefore, hot-rolled CSP (continuous hot-rolled galvanized steel) hot-formed steel and no-end rolled ESP (hot-formed sheet) have become representatives of low-cost hot-formed steel. They not only have good strength and toughness, but also can meet the needs of cost control, so they are widely used in automobile manufacturing.

Characteristics and Advantages of Hot Formed Automotive Steel

Thermoformed automotive steel has multiple characteristics and advantages that make it ideal for the automotive manufacturing sector:

  • High strength and hardness: Thermoformed steel has high strength and hardness, enabling it to cope with complex road conditions and collision situations in automotive manufacturing. This means that vehicles can better protect their occupants and reduce injuries caused by accidents.
  • Superior toughness: Although hot formed steel has high hardness, it also maintains good toughness. This balance allows the vehicle to absorb impact energy in the event of a collision, reducing damage.
  • Reducing the weight of the car: The use of thermoformed steel can reduce the weight of the vehicle and improve fuel efficiency. Compared to conventional steel, thermoformed steel can be thinner but still provide the same strength, thereby reducing the weight of the vehicle.
  • Good formability: Thermoformed steel has excellent formability and can easily manufacture complex shaped parts to meet the needs of automotive design. This helps to improve the appearance and performance of the vehicle.
  • Reduce waste and costs: Due to the high formability of thermoformed steel, waste generation is reduced and production costs are reduced. In addition, its low-cost materials and processes also help reduce the total cost of automotive manufacturing.

Development Prospect of Hot Formed Automotive Steel

In the future, thermoformed automotive steel will continue to play a key role in automotive manufacturing. Here are some trends and prospects:

  • Higher strength and lightweight: With the increasing requirements for automotive fuel efficiency and crash safety, thermoformed steel will continue to develop in the direction of higher strength and lightweight. This will help make more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly cars.
  • Environmental protection and sustainability: Hot-formed steel also has a role to play when it comes to environmental issues. The reduction of waste in the production process, the recyclability of materials and the reduction of the carbon footprint will all be a focus.
  • Advanced Manufacturing techniques: Thermoformed steel will continue to benefit from advanced manufacturing techniques such as numerical simulation, automated production and machine learning. These technologies will improve the manufacturing process and increase production efficiency and quality.
  • Multi-material combinations: Future automotive designs will use more multi-material combinations, combining hot-formed steel with other materials (such as aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, etc.) to achieve better performance and lightweight.
  • Intelligence and connectivity: The trend of intelligence and connectivity in the automotive industry will also affect the application of hot-formed steel. The body structure may need to be adapted to the needs of autonomous driving technology and electric vehicles.

In summary, the application of thermoformed automotive steel in automotive manufacturing is undergoing rapid development, providing vehicles with higher safety, performance and environmental protection. As technology continues to advance, thermoformed steel will continue to drive the automotive manufacturing industry towards a safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly direction. This development not only meets the requirements of consumers for cars, but also helps to meet the needs of environmental protection and sustainability, and inject more vitality into the future automotive industry.

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