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Method For Producing A Structural Component Including A Thermomagnetic Tempering Process Yielding Localized Soft Zones

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The invention relates generally to structural steel components for automotive vehicles, and methods for manufacturing the structural components. The method includes heating a workpiece to at least C. to form austenite in the steel material, hot forming the workpiece, and quenching the formed workpiece to transform the austenite to martensite. The method next includes tempering at least one portion of the quenched workpiece, wherein the tempering step includes simultaneously applying thermal energy and a magnetic field to the workpiece. During the tempering step, the martensite of the steel material transforms to a mixture of ferrite and cementite precipitates. The portions of the steel material subject to the thermomagnetic tempering are also typically free of pearlite and spheroid particles. The remainder of the workpiece is protected during the tempering step to maintain a hard zone including the martensite.
WINFREE, Richard Lee (Knoxville, TN), STEINEBACH, Edward K. (Oak Ridge, TN), JONES, Mark Justin (Knoxville, TN), BRADY, Jeremiah John (Knoxville, TN), ADAMS, Kenneth Ray (Troy, MI), LUDTKA, Gerard M. (Oak Ridge, TN), THERRIEN, Kenneth James (Oak Ridge, TN)
15/ 513,315
September 18, 2015
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH [0002] The Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Work for Others Agreement No. NFE-13-04839 awarded by the Department of Energy.