The in-die quenching is a key stage in the hot stamping volume production chain which determines the post-formed strength of lightweight alloy components, tool life, and hot stamping productivity. In this paper, the performance of in-die quenching, reflected by the quenching efficiency (the time of work-piece held within stamping dies) and die surface temperature during the simulated hot stamping process of AA6082, was experimentally and analytically investigated. A range of in-die quenching experiments were performed for different initial work-piece and die temperatures, quenching pressures, work-piece thickness, and die clearances, under hot stamping conditions. In addition, a one-dimensional (1D) closed-form heat transfer model was used to calculate the die surface temperature evolution that is difficult to obtain during practical manufacture situations. The results have shown that the in-die quenching efficiency can be significantly increased by decreasing the initial work-piece and die temperatures. Die clearances are required to be designed precisely to obtain sufficiently high quenching rates and satisfying post-formed strength for hot-stamped panel components. This study systematically considered an extensive variety of influencing factors on the in-die quenching performance, which can provide practical guides for stamping tool designers and manufacture systems for hot-stamping volume production.
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