Press hardening, a Swedish invention, has shown an exponential industrial growth and has become a global technology. The main driving force for the increased use of press hardened components is care for the environment by the use of ultra-high strength press hardened components. Lighter vehicle structures aiming for lesser emissions have been designed with maintained or increased passenger safety. Since the introduction of press hardened structural components, the material used for ultra high strength components is a boron alloyed steel, 22MnB5.
The present project is aimed to take the press hardening technology to a new level by introducing a new thermo-mechanical forming process based on Quenching and Partitioning (QP) and explore a new steel composition suitable for the process. The methods will be evaluated with industrial demonstrators and a strategy for the development of a new, optimized, QP steel for press hardening will established. With the developments and improvements anticipated in this project, new technical solutions for vehicle structures in cars and trucks can significantly contribute to meet future demands on decrease of emissions from the transport sector. Luleå University of Technology (LTU) is the managing part of the consortium. In addition, the companies Gestamp Hardtech, Scania, SSAB and ESAB as well as the research institute Swerea KIMAB constitutes the project consortium.