Press hardening is employed in the automotive industry to produce advanced high-strength steel components for safety and structural applications. This hot forming process depends on friction as it controls the deformation of the sheet. However, friction is also associated with wear of the forming tools. Tool wear is a critical issue when it comes to the dimensional accuracy of the produced components and it reduces the service life of the tool. It is therefore desirable to enhance the durability of the tools by studying the influence of high contact pressures, cyclic thermal loading, and repetitive mechanical loading on tool wear. This is difficult to achieve in conventional tribological testing devices. Therefore, the tribological behavior of tool–workpiece material pairs at elevated temperatures was studied in a newly developed experimental setup simulating the conditions prevalent during interaction of the hot sheet with the tool surface. Uncoated 22MnB5 steel and aluminum–silicon (Al–Si)-coated 22MnB5 steel were tested at 750 °C and 920 °C, respectively. It was found that higher loads led to lower and more stable friction coefficients independent of sliding velocity or surface material. The influence of sliding velocity on the coefficient of friction was only marginal. In the case of Al–Si-coated 22MnB5, the friction coefficient was generally higher and unstable due to transfer of Al–Si coating material to the tool. Adhesion was the main wear mechanism in the case of uncoated 22MnB5.

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