The bending angle at the peak load is regarded as the most important parameter for evaluating bending properties of hot-press-forming (HPF) steels. However, it is not a mechanics-based parameter for the bending criterion, and the data interpretation is difficult because bending criteria in relation with microstructures and associated bending mechanisms have not been verified yet. In this study, effects of coating and baking treatments on bending angles at the peak load of three kinds of 1470 MPa-grade HPF steels were investigated by interrupted three-point bending tests coupled with direct microstructural observation. According to direct observations of sequential cracking processes of V-shaped crack (V-crack), bending procedures were classified into four stages: (1) formation of small V-crack, (2) increase in number and size of V-cracks, (3) initiation of shear-crack propagation from the V-crack tip, and (4) further propagation and opening of the shear crack. The minimum bending angle required for initiating the shear-crack propagation from the V-crack tip was defined as a critical angle, which meant the boundary between the 2nd and 3rd stages. The present bending behavior related with critical bending angle and V-cracking could be interpreted similarly by the fracture-mechanics concept, i.e., the initiation of shear-crack propagation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas