The patented and future-oriented product phs-ultraform is a hot-dip galvanized and heat-treatable steel that can be processed into components using either the direct or indirect process. In the direct hot forming process (stamping method), steel blanks are heated to around 900 degrees Celsius and then shaped into their final geometry and hardened in a cooled form-hardening tool. “voestalpine already has fully developed prototypes of car components that are produced using the direct process,” says Peter Schwab. The indirect process already in use involves one additional step. The steel blanks are first formed and cut to their final geometries using conventional cold-forming technology and then heated to 900 degrees Celsius. By cooling the parts down to 70 degrees within a few seconds, they become extremely hard and their component geometry is finalized. voestalpine is the only company in this product field to supply series deliveries and has the approval of almost every premium manufactuer in Europe.
Despite their lightweight construction, the corrosion-resistant phs-ultraform components display a range of convincing advantages such as extreme strength (up to 1,800 megapascals), cathodic corrosion protection and the possibility of processing blanks with various combinations of strength and thicknesses (“tailored property parts”).