Modelling and simulation of hot stamping
Abstract: The growing effort to reduce vehicle weight and improve passive safety in the automotive industry has drastically increased the demand for ultra high strength steel components. There are several production technologies for such components. The hot stamping technology (press hardening) is one of the most successful in producing complex components with superior mechanical properties. The hot stamping process can be described by the following steps; punching of blanks, heating to 900C in a furnace to austenitization followed by simultaneous forming and quenching in forming tools. In order to obtain accurate numerical Finite Element (FE) simulations of the actual thermo-mechanical forming, correct material data and models are crucial and mandatory. This work is focusing on three main aspects described below for the numerical simulation of the thermo-mechanical forming of thin boron steel sheets into ultra high strength components. The objective is to predict the shape accuracy, thickness distribution and hardnessdistribution of the final component with high accuracy. The first aspect is the flow stress of the austenite at elevated temperatures and different strain rates, which is crucial for correctly predicting the strains in the component and the forming force. During a hot stamping cycle, the actual forming is performed at high temperatures and the steel is mainly in the austenitic state. The second aspect is the austenite decomposition into daughter products such as ferrite, pearlite, bainite or martensite that is a function of the thermal and mechanical history. The third aspect is the mechanical material model used, which determine the stress state and consequently the component distortion. To find the mechanical response (flow stress) for the austenite, a method based on multiple overlapping continuous cooling and compression experiments (MOCCCT) in combination with inverse modelling has been developed. A validation test (in combination with the compression tests) shows good agreement with the simulated forming force, indicating that the estimated flow stress as a function of temperature, strain and strain rate is accurate in the actual application. The austenite decomposition model is developed and integrated as a material subroutine into the FE-code LS-DYNA. The model is based on the combined nucleation and growth rate equations proposed by Kirkaldy. A separate test to simulate different cooling histories along a boron alloyed steel sheet has been conducted. Different mixtures of daughter products are formed along the sheet and the corresponding simulation show acceptable good agreement with the experimentally determined temperature histories, hardness profile and volume fractions of the different microconstituents formed in the process. For the mechanical response, a mechanical constitutive model based on the original model proposed by Leblond has been implemented into LS-DYNA. The implemented model account for transformation induced plasticity (local plastic flow in austenite) according to the Greenwood-Johnson mechanism as well as classical plasticity during global yield. Finally, a FE-simulation using the implemented models of the thermo-mechanical forming of a component is compared to the corresponding experiment, including forming force, thickness distribution, hardness distribution and shape accuracy/springback.
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