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Automotive insights The return to cold forming steels



THE RETURN TO COLD FORMING STEELS

Why cold forming is experiencing a resurgence in the automotive industry?

Today, some car manufacturers are using a high amount of hot forming steels in their vehicles, while other automotive companies are almost exclusively relying on the cold forming production method. One of the reasons for an increasing trend towards cold forming is that more and more companies are realizing that hot forming is a costly process and less favorable from a sustainability perspective.

For years, hot forming steels flourished in the automotive industry simply because there was not a cold formable range of steels with the right properties. Times are changing and more cold forming steels have been developed that can live up to the high strength and geometric demands of modern automotive applications. As these steels become available the trend towards cold forming is likely to continue. By learning how to best design an application for cold forming, these companies will have a competitive cost advantage.

Today, some car manufacturers are using a high amount of hot forming steels in their vehicles, while other automotive companies are almost exclusively relying on the cold forming production method.

Many compelling advantages

So what are the advantages of cold forming steel? To begin with, cold forming steels are easier to weld and join due to leaner alloy composition. Furthermore, the fact that they are easier to weld means that some challenges with different kinds of embrittlement can be avoided with cold formed applications.

Without the need for energy-intensive heating processes used for hot forming steels, cold forming steels are also a more environmentally friendly alternative. In contrast to hot forming, cold forming is a method that can be turned on and off without any issues. While the hot forming method works best when running 24/7, the cold forming setup can be utilized when needed.

Finally, the main advantage with cold forming compared to hot forming is the difference in processing costs, including tooling costs, productivity, energy consumption and the need for more expensive laser trimming when hot forming is used.

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