In a quest to achieve low-mass vehicles (i.e., higher fuel economy and lower emission), the automotive industry has been actively investigating the use of lightweight materials for a wide range of body panels and structural parts. Among the lightweight materials considered, Advanced and Ultra High Strength Steels (A/UHSS) hold promise as a prominent choice for the near future due to their relatively high formability and low cost compared to Aluminum and Magnesium alloys. However, due to their significantly higher strength than mild steel, in addition to the springback, blanking and joining issues, serious problems with the die wear are expected to arise during manufacturing. Although the die wear literature for the forming of conventional steels is prevalent, tribological issues of high strength steels have not been understood well yet. This study aims to develop a new, rapid and automated wear test for the die materials used in sheet metal forming operations of high strength steels (mainly DP and TRIP steels) and to investigate the wear, friction, and lubrication issues. With this test, the actual stamping conditions such as contact pressure, temperature, and sliding velocity can be represented well. Our preliminary tests on two different extreme contact conditions (soft-soft, hard-hard) indicate that this novel wear test method results in relatively reasonable wear rate estimations/measurements when compared to the results in the literature.

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