Bake hardening of automotive steels
Bake hardening (BH) is widely used in the automotive industry for enhancement of components' yield strength (YS), leading to the improvements in dent and crash resistance. The mechanisms involve interaction of carbon atoms with dislocations, planar defects and later on formation of clusters and fine carbides. The understanding of the effects of alloying additions, previous processing parameters as well as those of BH treatment on YS increment is essential for design of new steel grades and their processing. These underlying mechanisms with respect to different phases and factors affecting them are addressed in this chapter.