Hot form Quench (HFQ®) represents a leading-edge hot sheet stamping technology for manufacturing complex-shaped high strength aluminium alloy panel components. Transfer of sheet blank from the furnace to the press is the first crucial step in the process. This paper reports work in which the effects of the blank transfer on the deformation of material during pressing and on the final properties after ageing through thermal-mechanical testing and microstructural observations. Two aluminium alloys are investigated, 6082 and 7075. Hardness, quasi-static uniaxial tensile measurements and TEM microstructure observations provide evidence that post-treatment properties and the underlying microstructure are strongly influenced by the blank transfer step. Severe deterioration in the post-treatment strength was observed for blank transfer temperature, ranging from 250 °C to 400 °C. The temperature-time-property (TTP) diagrams showed that 350 °C was the most sensitive temperature that reduced the post-treatment strength by 45% within 10 s holding. As evidenced by TEM, typical coarse η and S precipitates at high temperatures were identified, which resulted in different post-treatment properties and hot deformation behavior. Finally, the results from HFQ® technology processed aluminium alloys 7075 and 6082 were compared with conventional TTP diagrams, enabling comparison with conventional scientific understanding of quenching effects.
|Materials Science and Engineering A
|Published - 12 Jun 2019