The process of press hardening
One successful example for the manufacturing of super high strength car body parts is press hardening: a production process for hot forming of sheet metals. It is also called form hardening and combines shaping and heat treatment of sheet metal components in one single process step. The process involves inserting sheets or closed profiles, which have been heated beyond the austenitization temperature, into a cooled forming tool, where they are quenched. This heat treatment, which is integrated into the forming process, produces a martensitic structure that provides the press-hardened parts with an extremely high tensile strength of up to 1,800 MPa. Such components can be used in crash-relevant structures, for instance A-pillars and B-pillars, bumpers or sills, or they can be applied in the powertrain, for example as camshafts.