Bake Hardenability

Bake Hardened grades of steel and aluminum are common for skin panels in automotive applications. These grades start off with lower strength and higher formability. After the paint-bake cycle in the manufacturing plant, they become stronger and more resistant to denting and damage. Tensile testing before and after bake hardening can determine the degree to which these grades become stronger. Think about bake hardening as similar to the results of baking chocolate chip cookie dough.