Tailor-welded in serial production

Order for component series with tailor-welded blanks made of phs-directform®

phs-directform®, the world novelty developed by voestalpine, is directly hot-formed, hot-dip galvanized steel strip to be used in corrosion-resistant light-weight components for the automotive industry. Tailor-welded blanks (TWB) can also be treated using phs-directform®, the direct press-hardening process. The first component series order for tailored-property parts has been accepted.

Individually optimized

The right steel type at the right place ensures the required hardness and optimized component weight. Tailor-welded blanks individually customized to meet specific requirements can consist of different strengths and/or sheet thicknesses ranging between 0.8 mm and 2.3 mm. This creates harder and softer zones exactly where they are required in the component.

Elimination of a process step.

Hot-dip galvanized phs-directform® steel strip can be treated directly in the same way as conventionally galvanized steel strip in the laser-welding process to create TWBs. This is an advantage over aluminum-silicon-coated steels, on which the AlSi layer must be removed in certain locations either mechanically or by laser in order to ensure sufficient weldability. This results in additional expense.

Tailor-welded blanks partially press-hardened
Tailor-welded blanks partially press-hardened

In the phs-directform® forming process, tailor-welded blanks are heated to 900 °C. The subsequent innovative contact-free pre-cooling with air to below 550 °C prevents the occurrence of any microcracking during the subsequent forming process. The blanks are then formed into their final geometry and hardened. Laser cutting technology is used to cut the components after they have been hardened.

Tailored-property parts from a single source.

The benefit that voestalpine can simply and efficiently offer to its customers is comprehensive material and process expertise, coordinated overall performance without interfaces, short processing times. phs-directform® is a cross-company development of the voestalpine Group.  The steel strip is produced and hot-dip galvanized by voestalpine Stahl GmbH, tailor-welded blanks are developed and produced at voestalpine Automotive Components in Linz. The serial order for the first components made of tailor-welded blanks is being filled in the phs-directform® production line at voestalpine Automotive Components in Schwäbisch Gmünd. voestalpine Automotive is currently working on projects with two premium OEMs.

Overview of benefits

  • Complete solutions from a single source: from the blank to the ready-to-install component
  • Individually optimized tailored-property parts (TPP)
  • Maximum light-weight design with minimum component weight
  • Excellent cathodic corrosion protection
  • Strengths of up to 2,000 MPa
  • Economical manufacturing
Tailored-property parts in serial production in the phs-directform® line in Schwäbisch Gmünd
Tailored-property parts in serial production in the phs-directform® line in Schwäbisch Gmünd