Press hardening tools increase their service life with laser impregnation
“The first tool that was laser impregnated has to date completed 380,000 strokes,” says Age Risberg at Gestamp HardTech in Luleå. A tool without impregnation normally does about 20,000 strokes before it must undergo reconditioning.
A growing trend in the industry is thermoforming technology, so called press hardening. The method means that high-strength steel is heated up to over 900 degrees Celsius and then shaped and cooled at the same time in press hardening tools.
The component manufacturer Gestamp HardTech is the pioneer behind press hardening technology. The company supplies safety details to the automotive industry. In 2005, Duroc began a collaboration with Gestamp for laser impregnation of wear-exposed parts in press hardening tools.
Thin high-strength steel places new demands on the manufacturing processes
The background to thermoforming technology is, among other things, the increased environmental requirements. Car details will be lighter and thus more energy-efficient at the same time as they will be harder and safer. The use of thin, high-strength steel is increasing, which places new demands on the manufacturing processes.
In Olofström, Volvo Cars is preparing for an upcoming technology change, even though no formal decisions have yet been made. The method has also become common in other industries, where parts with high strength, low weight, and advanced geometries must be formed.