ToughSteel Event

Industrial workshop – Advanced material characterization methods to face new challenges in the sheet steel sector

The present event is a joint workshop amongst three research projects funded under the frame of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) programme, ToughSteel, CRYSTAL and MiPre. The workshop covered relevant topics related to the development and implementation of high-performance sheet steels, such as fatigue and fracture performance, edge cracking, hydrogen embrittlement and new material models to predict mechanical properties in press hardening processes. Researchers from different industrial sectors showed the latest findings on these fields and shared novel approaches to address new challenges in the sheet steel industry.

List of event topics

  • Fracture toughness testing of sheet metals
  • Industrial application of the Essential Work of Fracture for quality control, material selection and development
  • New testing approaches for fatigue performance assessment
  • Testing for hydrogen embrittlement of high strength steels
  • Thermomechanical processing of press hardened microstructures

29th June 2023

9.00h – 18.00h CEST


Eurecat Manresa

Plaça de la Ciència 2, 08242 Manresa, Spain

Event materials

Session 1 - Fracture toughness to address the cracking resistance of high strength steels


9:30 – 9:40 – Welcome and introduction

Daniel Casellas, Scientific Director, Eurecat



09:40 – 10:00 – ToughSteel: Dissemination and valorisation of fracture toughness as a material property to rationalise crack-related problems in Advanced High Strength Steels

David Frómeta, Head of Mechanical Behaviour, Unit of Metallic and Ceramic Materials, Eurecat

10:00 – 10:20 – Blanking behaviour of hot rolled steels-correlation with fracture toughness properties

Vili Kesti, Senior Forming SpecialistSSAB Europe

10:20 – 10:40 – Unexpected cracking at Forvia: first experimentation of EWF. Expectations to enrich Forvia simulations

Valerie Woimbee, Scientific Expert, R&D Seating Product, Forvia Group

10:40 – 10:50 – Q&A


10:50 – 11:20 – Coffee break
11:20 – 11:40 – Identification of material parameters to prevent formability issues in TRIP steels

Miguel C. Dourado Veiga, Production Unit Leader, Hot & Cold Stamping Department, Benteler

11:40 – 12:00 – Experimental evaluation of the fatigue behaviour of wheels

Davide Ronco, Research and Development Manager, MW Italy

12:00 – 12:20 – Understanding the fatigue notch sensitivity of high-strength steels through fracture toughness

Sergi Parareda, Researcher, Unit of Metallic and Ceramic Materials, Eurecat

Michele Tedesco, Global Responsible for Metals & Anticorrosion, Stellantis CRF

12:20 – 12:40 – Other case studies: Validating the potential of fracture toughness with the industry

Laura Grifé, Researcher, Unit of Metallic and Ceramic Materials, Eurecat

Simon Jonsson, PhD Student, Luleå University of Technology

12:40 – 13:00 – Fracture toughness tests to improve material selection: Example of application at SEAT laboratories

Noemi Rodriguez, Head of Electric Functions, BodyShop & Powertrain, SEAT

13:00 – 13:10 – Q&A
13:10 – 14:10 – Lunch break


14:10 – 14:30 – Crystal project objectives and AHSS selected

Sílvia Molas, Head of Corrosion and Degradation Research Line, Unit of Metallic and Ceramic Materials, Eurecat

14:30 – 14:50 – Hydrogen absorption and diffusion in press hardened and cold rolled automotive steels

Mélodie Mandy, Senior Project Leader, CRM Group

14:50 – 15:10 – Mechanical testing of the hydrogen embrittlement behavior

Anis Aouafi, Senior Researcher, ArcelorMittal Maizières – Global Research and Development

15:10 – 15:30 – Industrial diffusible H measurement for online hydrogen embrittlement risk assessment

Linda Bacchi, Researcher, Letomec

15:30 – 15:40 – Q&A
15:40 – 16:00 – Coffee break



16:00 – 16:20 – Applying Industry 4.0 concepts to Press Hardening

Jaume Pujante, Head of New Processes for Advanced Materials Research Line, Unit of Metallic and Ceramic Materials, Eurecat

16:20 – 16:40 – Bainitic/martensitic structures to improve mechanical properties of press hardened steels for automotive applications

Carlos Capdevila, Researcher, National Center for Metallurgical Research (CENIM-CSIC)

16:40 – 17:00 – Q&A and workshop closing remarks


17:00 – 18:00 – Visit to the labs

Organizer projects

The main objective of ToughSteel is the dissemination and valorisation of fracture toughness as a material property to rationalise crack-related problems in Advanced High Strength Steels. In this workshop, some of the experimental results carried out in the frame of ToughSteel’s Open Call will be presented. The OpenCall was organized to collect relevant industrial case studies that can be addressed using a fracture toughness-based approach, such as edge cracking issues or fracture problems related to steel coil quality. A total of six case studies from different European companies of the sheet steel sector were selected. The aim is to demonstrate how fracture toughness measurements can help to better understand the fracture behaviour of high strength metal sheets and improve material selection in different industrial processes.

The CRYSTAL project aims to reduce the hydrogen embrittlement risk in high-strength steel parts for the automotive industry. A range of laboratory, real plant and simulated life tests will be carried out to transfer to the steel and automotive industry experimental tools and novel testing methodologies to evaluate hydrogen embrittlement during steel production and life span of the components. The project will make possible to determine the hydrogen content that directly affects the mechanical properties of steel, in order to design new steels and coatings less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement and manufacture safer automotive components.

MiPre has the objective to improve the accuracy of metallurgical and mechanical modelling to predict material properties in press hardening. Together with improvements in sensoring and process control, these advances will allow a further level of microstructural tailoring, leading to components with locally optimized properties. The innovation developed by the project is based on the creation of an innovative complex material model covering mechanical, thermal and metallurgical factors.