Fabrication of Press Hardening Tools by Laser Powder Bed Fusion Process

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Siyuan Qin © Copyright: IWM


Siyuan Qin

Research group Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing


+49 241 80 99547




Press hardening is a forming process that combines the forming and heat treatment of the metal sheet in a single process step. Cooling channels inside of press hardening tool can be designed into complex geometry to achieve the best cooling rate. There are limitations of geometry in the conventional method for press hardening tools production. Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is a typical additive manufacturing technology that uses high power laser to melt or fuse metallic powders together. This is different from conventional manufacturing methods, relying on removing material form parts. Therefore, LPBF process provides much more potential and freedom to the complex geometry of cooling channels.


  • Development of a stable LPBF process for the fabrication of tools, which are crack free and with demanded geometry precision.
  • Understanding the material from microstructure to mechanical properties.
  • To achieve sufficient mechanical properties of the tools by LPBF for press hardening process.

Project Contents

By preheating powder bed and optimized laser parameters, a stable LPBF process can be achieved. The comprehensive microstructure study is linked to the mechanical properties of printed tools steels. With proper heat treatment and hot isostatic pressing, the adjusted microstructure can lead to improved mechanical properties. Due to the limitation of current tool steel grades, modified materials will be tested to obtain a stable LPBF process and proper mechanical properties for press hardening tools.

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