Typically HFQ components, designed optimally for the process, can save 20-50% weight versus alternative aluminium or steel designs.
Our Coventry line can host HFQ part manufacture whilst tiers or OEMs install their own accredited HFQ lines.
Cycle times for the pressings depend on the level of automation and oven throughput, but could be below 10 seconds.
Similar in many ways to the forming of press hardened steel (PHS), there are distinct metallurgical, simulation and process differences covering temperature profiles, lubrication and trim operations. PHS lines can be reconfigured to produce HFQ parts, provided modifications are made to the oven and process controls.
HFQ Technology is an interconnected process and forming simulation solution whereby the process ‘recipe’ for each alloy-part combination in unique to a particular tool design so that mechanical properties, process capability and cycle times are optimised.
HFQ simulation tools (soon to be available to OEM and tier designers) impressive predictability of damage and thinning, allowing for right-first time tools optimisation of material gauge (and therefore weight and cost)
The HFQ Technology is underpinned by 6 patent families covering detailed forming process methods, extensive know-how acquired over 17 years of development and validation of over 25 parts now in serial automotive production.
The Benefits of HFQ
Proven lightweighting technology for ultra-high-strength aluminium pressing
Advanced cost-effective solutions for electric vehicle structures and battery enclosures
Improved dimensional control, crash properties and lower part count reduction
Choice of material and supplier globally, all to a common technical standard
Potential to use highly recycled alloys compatible with the circular economy
Early design feasibility and prototyping support
Access to simulation tools and unique material cards for HFQ design
A ready-made proven technology to widen product portfolio and access growing markets
HFQ can be implemented rapidly to a common standard
Can often utilise current equipment with some modifications
Fully supported during technology transfer and during production and new business acquisition
Access to and support from a global aluminium and equipment partner network
Enabling competitive manufacture of components in advanced high strength alloys
Characterisation of alloys to be listed within simulation software to be issued to tiers and OEMs
Development of new and applications markets for alloys
HFQ can achieve unparalleled depths of draw (over 200mm), tight radii (<1.0/t) and high levels of part integration.
HFQ has been proven in gauges from 0.8 to 4.5mm with component sizes limited only by available press beds and solutionising ovens.
HFQ can form all standard grades of aluminium, including those supplied in cheaper F Temper. HFQ is ideal highly-recycled grades, offering enhanced sustainability.
HFQ parts retain a high residual ductility, therefore providing enhanced energy absorption properties for crash structures.
Unlike cold forming, HFQ can form through weld-zones and is therefore very well suited to use with laser or friction stir tailor-welded blanks.
Because the alloy is solutionised as part of the HFQ process, there are no shelf-life concerns for the aluminium being used for HFQ components.