Deutsche Edelstahlwerke Quenching at speed for auto parts
A hot-work steel for press-hardening tools has high thermal conductivity.
To address the growing demand from the automotive sector for hot-work steels featuring high thermal conductivity, Deutsche Edelstahlwerke has developed Thermodur 2383 Supercool. This new material is said to be ideal for tools used in press hardening and will be on display at the Euromold show.
Klaus-Dieter Fuchs, the company’s head of hot-work tool steel sales, said: “The relatively new press hardening process allows the automotive industry to fulfil the high, and sometimes diverging, requirements of future drivers.”
He explained that to let the automotive industry leverage the benefits of press hardening over the long term and further reduce cycle times, moulding inserts must be made of steel that also increases quenching speed.
This grade exhibits a hardness of 45 HRC and very high thermal conductivity of 44 W/(m.K) at 100 C. A moulding insert made of the material is therefore able to conduct heat from a heated sheet in a controlled manner in a very short time, Michael Bauer, head of technical customer service for tool steels, said.
“Despite the minimal amount of chromium, in the analysis our new material demonstrates high strength and is just as through-hardenable as our classic hot-work steels,” Bauer noted. “In addition, it is more resilient at consistently high temperatures with no loss of hardness.”
This makes the tool more stable and considerably more wear-resistant later on, he explained, adding that the crucial factor is the balance of molybdenum, vanadium and carbon as carbide-forming elements. “Depending on tool size, a press capacity of between 4,000 and 20,000kN is exerted on the sheet,” he said.
Here, reduced wear is important. “This aspect should not be underestimated because, with minimal post-processing effort, up to a million sheets can be machined using just one tool,” Bauer added.