Microstructural Evolution of the 55 Wt Pct Al-Zn Coating During Press Hardening
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Press hardening is increasingly being used to produce ultra-high strength steel parts for passenger cars. Al-Si, Zn, and Zn-alloy coatings have been used to provide corrosion protection to press hardening steel grades. The use of coatings has drawbacks such as coating delamination or liquid metal-induced embrittlement. In the present work, the microstructural evolution of Al-Zn coating during press hardening was studied. The 55 wt pct Al-Zn coating can in principle provide both Al barrier protection and Zn cathodic protection to press hardened steel. During the heat treatment associated with the press hardening, the 55 wt pct Al-Zn alloy coating is converted to an intermetallic surface layer of Fe2Al5 and a FeAl intermetallic diffusion layer. The Zn is separated from both intermetallic compounds and accumulates at grain boundaries and at the surface. This Zn separation process is beneficial in terms of providing cathodic protection to Al-Zn coated press hardening steel.
KeywordsDiffusion Layer Alloy Layer Cathodic Protection Press Hardening FeAl Intermetallic Compound
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Dr. Yeol Rae CHO of the POSCO Technical Research Laboratories in Gwangyang, South Korea.
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