- Selected companies will act as case studies for the ToughSteel project to demonstrate the benefits of fracture toughness as a tool to rationalise cracking problems in forming and in-service performance of Advanced High Strength Steels.
- The Open Call, launched on October 1st, has closed on November 7th to provide companies with the opportunity to receive technical support addressing cracking problems such as edge-cracking, flangeability or crashworthiness.
Six European companies in the metal industry applying to the ToughSteel Open Call have been selected to receive free services to characterise metals’ fracture properties to predict cracking and prevent production losses, tackling challenges in formability and part quality assessment.
The organisations winning the Open Call are Benteler Automotive Vigo (Spain), MW Italia srl, MA SRL Gruppo CLN and Marcegaglia Ravenna (Italy), SSAB (Sweden) and Forvia Faurecia (France). The awarded companies will act as case studies for the ToughSteel project to demonstrate how an analysis of fracture toughness can better predict the formation of defects in an early stage of design and forecast part performance, as well as assess coil quality and allow for a better materials’ selection for specific components.
The selected companies have been awarded with free novel fracture toughness testing services in accordance with the EWF methodology to solve cracking problems such as edge-cracking in cold forming or crack formation under crash loading. The methodology offers a more cost-efficient alternative compared to standardised fracture tests to evaluate crack initiation and propagation of thin metal sheets.
The application of this methodology will help Open Call selected companies to assess the cracking susceptibility of high-strength sheet metal products and predict in-service crack-related problems that cannot be addressed using conventional ductility criteria.
The awarded companies applied to the ToughSteel Open Call, which was launched on October 1st and closed on November 7th2022. Each organisation proposed a cracking problem willing to be understood and applied to receive technical services and advisory support in better characterising their materials and components to upcome formability and quality challenges.
The applications were evaluated by an expert committee consisting of seven experts from the ToughSteel consortium partners with specific expertise in different areas of knowledge in the metal forming industry and fracture toughness. Proposals were assessed based on the overall fitness of the problem, materials, challenges, resources and its potential replicability and transferability to a number of industrial production sectors, among others.
Activities for the development of use cases will start during the month of December and will last until March 2023, finalising with a public workshop to present the main results obtained.
The 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 Strength Steels.
ToughSteel project is executed by an consortium of eight institutions from four European countries: 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), the Associazione Italiana di Metallurgia – AIM (Italy), and UNE (Spain) as the standardisation body.