Most hot forming lines use slow, energy-intensive roller hearth furnaces to austenitize boron steel “blanks”. This paper describes an alternative heating technology in which blanks are austenitized by bringing them into contact with a hot monolith. The austenitizing temperature was reached in less than 30 seconds, and subsequent material characterization tests on oil-quenched blanks confirm that a fully martensitic structure is formed, and that the hardness and yield strength are comparable to furnace-treated samples. An Al-Si coating is typically used to prevent the oxidation and decarburization of the blanks within the furnace; preliminary tests found that the coating adheres to the monolith, impeding blank transfer and damaging the Al-Si-Fe ternary coating. Five interchangeable striking surfaces were assessed to see if they were less prone to adhering to the molten Al-Si coating.

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