Characterisation and comparison of process Chains for producing automotive structural parts from 7xxx Aluminium Sheets

Philipp A. Schuster, Johannes A. Österreicher*, Georg Kirov, Christof Sommitsch, Olaf Kessler, Ermal Mukeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to their high specific strength, EN AW-7xxx aluminium alloys are promising materials for reducing the weight of automotive structural parts. However, their formability at room temperature is poor due to pronounced natural ageing. Therefore, we investigated hot stamping and W-temper forming for EN AW-7075 and a modified variant of EN AW-7021. For hot stamping of the modified EN AW-7021, a low-temperature stabilisation heat treatment (pre-aging at 80 °C for 1 h) was incorporated into the process chain design to inhibit natural ageing after forming. The process chains were compared with respect to dimensional accuracy, mechanical properties, microstructure, precipitation status (assessed by differential scanning calorimetry) and crashworthiness. It was found that hot stamping is suitable to form failure-free parts with good dimensional accuracy for both alloys while W-temper forming suffers from springback. Within a time-span of 21 days after forming, hardness values of hot stamped and stabilised parts did not increase significantly. Compared to non-stabilised parts, stabilised parts also showed significantly improved folding behaviour in quasi-static compression testing and absorbed approximately 15% more energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number305
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • 7021
  • 7075
  • Aluminium
  • Crashworthiness
  • Hot stamping
  • Stabilisation heat treatment
  • W-temper forming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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