The treatment increases the durability of the moulds four-to fivefold. This can help automakers boost productivity because they don’t need to stop production as often to replace the moulds. Such moulds wear down on the assembly line because of heat and the impact with the steel sheets. The problem has become worse as automakers shift to higher-strength steel to reduce weight and increase safety.

In the new process, the surface of the mould is coated with a film made from a reformulated mixture of titanium and chromium compounds. The film is only 10 microns thick and can be baked at a temperature of only 450°C, more than 500 degrees cooler than required with film coatings used to date. The reformulated coating helps the mould better withstand contact with high-strength steel, and because it is baked at a lower temperature there is less chance of the mould warping during processing. Several automakers have already decided to use the technology, including Toyota and Hino Motors www.hino.com.

Source: Nikkei News