The subject of lightweight construction currently dominates the automotive sector. voestalpine offers the ideal solution with phs-ultraform.
phs-ultraform combines the benefits of press-hardened components with the proven corrosion resistance of hot-dip galvanized strip. For the first time the protective mechanism has successfully been transferred to hot-formed components. phs-ultraform is the futuristic solution offering freedom of design, dimensional accuracy and process security, particularly for safety-relevant components subject to heavy corrosion such as longitudinal members, A and B pillars, sills, side panels, tunnels as well as doors and hatches. Components made from phs-ultraform significant increases occupant safety. With special heat-treatments during heating-up, cooling-down or after forming, complicated component geometries and special strengthening processes can be achieved using only a few individual components. This is important in ensuring that, in the event of a crash, stresses are absorbed in the intended place.
Nowadays the components with crash-optimized characteristics can be manufactured using both direct and indirect processes. In the indirect process phs-ultraform blanks are first formed and cut to their final geometries using conventional cold-forming technology before being heated to 900°C. Once heated the component geometry is hardened and finalized, the so-called hot-stamping process.
Using the direct process, the phs-ultraform blanks are heated to around 900°C and then shaped into their final geometry and hardened in a cooled form-hardening tool.
With its extreme strength (up to 1,800 MPa) phs-ultraform contributes to minimizing material consumption in components. This reduces fuel consumption which in turn serves to reduce CO₂ emissions. In comparison, conventional steels have an average strength of 300 MPa. These characteristics enable steel to maintain its position as the material of choice in the automotive sector, over the alternatives, aluminum and carbon-fiber reinforced plastics.