Distributed mechanical properties can be obtained in ultra high strength steel parts formed via hot forming die quenching (HFDQ) by controlling the cooling rate and microstructure evolution during the quenching step. HFDQ experiments with variable cooling rates were conducted by quenching Usibor® 1500P boron steel blanks between dies pre-heated up to 600°C. The heat transfer coefficient (HTC) at the blank / die interface, which is used to determine the blank cooling rate, was evaluated via inverse heat conduction analysis. The HTC was found to increase with die temperature and stamping pressure. This heat transfer coefficient increase was attributed to macroscopic flattening of the boron steel blank as well as microscopic deformation of surface roughness peaks. At the end of the hot stamping process, the HTC reached a pressure-dependent steady-state value between 4320 and 7860 W/m2·K when the blank and die temperatures equalize.

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