Funding: European Union, Research Fund for Coal and Steel (Grant Agreement 709755)
Partners: IMDEA Materials Institute (Project Coordinator), Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG, Universiteit Gent, Centro Sviluppo Materiali, Technische Universiteit Delft and TATA Steel Nederland Technology
Project period: 2016 – 2019
Project Coordinador: Dr. Ilchat Sabirov (ilchat.sabirov@imdea.org)
Project Website: http://optiqpap.eu/ ​

Commercialization of the Quenched and Partitioned (Q&P) steels to a large extent is currently limited by the lack of knowledge on their application related performance properties. The OptiQPAP project (Optimization of QP steels designed for industrial applications) addresses optimization of performance properties of the Q&P steels for their application in automotive industry.

The OptiQPAP project aims to deliver tools to optimize performance properties of Q&P steels while retaining their high mechanical strength via intelligent microstructural design. In other words, the microstructural design in Q&P steels will be carried out with the aim to improve various properties of different character (i.e. basic tensile properties and application-driven properties) simultaneously.

The objectives of the OptiQPAP project include:

  • To gain fundamental knowledge of the principles of microstructural design for engineering of Q&P steels exhibiting a combination of enhanced performance properties with improved mechanical strength.
  • To establish the relationships between microstructural features of Q&P steels and various performance properties, such as fatigue, wear, weldability, crash behavior, etc.
  • To establish the microstructure – properties relationship in the steels in the form of analytical and multi scale models precisely predicting properties of Q&P steels.
  • To develop new AHSS design concepts with combination of improved performance properties (fatigue, wear, weldability, crashworthiness, etc.) and enhanced mechanical properties (strength, ductility and strain hardening) for their application in the automotive sector.
  • To improve the industrial applicability of the Q&P process via optimization of performance properties in Q&P steels and to develop a controlled and reproducible process for their manufacturing.
  • To create methods for future development of new Q&P grades with improved mechanical and performance properties while requiring a minimum of trial and error procedures.

IMDEA Materials coordinates the OptiQPAP project. The main duties of IMDEA Materials under the project will be the analysis of microstructure, fatigue and wear mechanisms, the determination of tensile properties, the study of impact behaviour and the investigation of the low cycle fatigue behavior of steels. Properties of individual phases will be also analysed.

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