Bake Hardening Behavior of DP, TBF, and PHS Steels with Ultimate Tensile Strengths Exceeding 1 GPa
Third generation advanced high strength steels (AHSS) have been developed combining high strength and formability, allowing for lightweighting of vehicle structural components. These AHSS components are exposed to paint baking operations ranging in time and temperature to cure the applied paint. The paint baking treatment, combined with straining induced from part forming, may lead to increased in-service component performance due to a strengthening mechanism known as bake hardening. This study aims to quantify the bake hardening behavior of select AHSS grades. Materials investigated were press hardenable steels (PHS) 1500 and 2000; transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) aided bainitic ferrite (TBF) 1000 and 1200; and dual phase (DP) 1000. The number designations of these grades refer to minimum as-received ultimate tensile strengths in MPa. Paint baking was simulated using industrially relevant times and temperatures from 15 to 60 min and 120 to 200 °C, respectively.