- The ToughSteel project has drawn up a database and an industry user guide which compiles existing information on fracture toughness values of sheet steels and new methods for evaluating this property, respectively.
- The aim is to optimise materials selection, prevent production losses and shorten the time to market for high-performance metal components which are used in several sectors such as the automotive industry.
- It is estimated that rolling out these new methodologies will cut production losses by 25% and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% through the use of lightweight materials.
The European ToughSteel project has drawn up a database and an industrial guide containing existing information on fracture toughness of sheet metals and new evaluation methods drawing on research conducted in various projects and investigations in this field. The idea is to unlock the use of fracture toughness as a tool for predicting cracks and impact resistance in high-strength steels.
The open access online database compiles fracture toughness values for various metal alloys, especially high-strength steels, to help steel producers, product design engineers, sheet metal fabricators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to position their products compared to existing ones and fast-track the design of new alloys and performance-optimised parts by anticipating forming problems. The industrial guide features application examples and information about how to use fracture toughness evaluation methods for sheet metal.
The initiatives coming under the ToughSteel project seek to “optimise materials selection, prevent production losses and shorten time to market for sheet metal products in sectors such as the automotive industry,” says David Frómeta, coordinator of the project and a researcher in the Eurecat technology centre’s Metallic and Ceramic Materials Unit.
Fracture toughness “is an excellent indicator of the sheet metal’s impact resistance and whether it can be transformed in high-volume production processes without defects as has recently been shown in various scientific publications and showcased at international conferences by Eurecat,” adds Daniel Casellas, Eurecat’s scientific director.
It is estimated that rolling out these new methodologies will help cut production losses by up to 25% and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% through the use of lightweight materials.
The ToughSteel consortium is made up of the Eurecat Technology Center, which is coordinating the project, together with Luleå Tekniska Universitet, (Sweden), the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the Stellantis research centre CRF (Italy), the steel associations Jernkontoret (Sweden), UNESID – Unión de Empresas Siderúrgicas (Spain) and AIM (Italy), and UNE (Spain) as the standardisation body.
ToughSteel project involves and engages the main actors of the sheet metal forming community with the objective to promote, disseminate and transfer the know-how acquired about the use of fracture toughness as a tool to address cracking problems in forming and in-service performance of Advanced High Strenght Steels.