According to insights shared in the article “Selecting a hydraulic hot-stamping press” from The Fabricator, the utilization of hot-stamping technology, known as press hardening, has emerged as a crucial method for manufacturers to craft robust yet lightweight structural vehicle components. This technique involves stamping extremely hot boron steel, which, when heated, becomes pliable for forming. This not only aids in shaping the steel but also alleviates issues like cracking that can arise from working with hard metals at room temperature. The outstanding hardness of boron steel is achieved through heating it to ultrahigh temperatures and then rapidly cooling it.
The hot-stamping process encompasses several stages. It commences with destacking a blank and placing it into an oven or furnace for heating above 900 degrees Celsius. Subsequently, the warmed blank is transferred to a hot-stamping press, where it undergoes forming and is promptly cooled through rapid quenching. The final step involves automated unloading from the press.
To ensure safe handling during the exposure to high temperatures and rapid cooling, the material necessitates automated loading and unloading into both the furnace and press. This can be achieved through robotics or high-speed feeders.
Automotive components, including door beams, roof rails, body pillars, bumpers, and tunnel reinforcements, are currently produced through hydraulic hot-stamping processes.
The pivotal component of a hot-stamping line is the hydraulic stamping press. When specifying such a press, crucial variables like frame style, guiding configuration, ram closing speed, tonnage, off-center loading, quick die change, and operator safety should be meticulously evaluated.
Press Frame Style In the realm of hydraulic hot-stamping presses, two common press frame styles are the prestressed housing and monolithic type.
The prestressed housing-style press frame comprises distinct structural elements, including the bed, crosshead, housings, four tie rods, and regular and prestressing nuts. This configuration is essential when the frame’s size demands disassembly for shipping and subsequent reassembly on-site.
On the other hand, the monolithic-style press frame is a single unitized weldment that is thermally stress-relieved before undergoing finish machining. Due to its unified nature, this frame style facilitates simplified installation. It is an optimal choice for frames small enough to be shipped as a single unit and is generally more cost-effective compared to a prestressed housing frame of equivalent dimensions.
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