Implications of Hot-Stamped Boron Steel Components in Automotive Structures 2008-01-0857
The demand for fuel economy and the stringent requirements on automobile safety have required automakers to emphasize strength over stiffness in designing light-weight body structures. The change in emphasis has necessitated the exploitation of ultra high-strength steels to achieve improved crashworthiness and durability in automotive vehicles. In this paper, the viability of hot-stamped boron steels in high-performance automotive structures will be discussed. A brief discussion of hot-stamping process will be followed by recent mechanical property data that underscore the superiority of boron steels in enabling the development of safe and fuel-efficient vehicles. The relatively low-carbon and low-alloy content of boron steels enable better weldability compared with high-carbon and high-alloy steels. Results that demonstrate the establishment of sufficiently-wide process windows (a range of over 1000 amps) for 2-T and 3-T stack-up configurations made up of boron steels and other automotive steels will be presented. A brief discussion on coated boron steels is also provided.