Meeting the transport industry needs

Boosting the use of high-strength steels for lightweight and safety in Europe

Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) and High Strength Steels (HSS) have become the dominant material choice for lightweight construction in the automotive and transport sector for being affordable, easily manufactured and recycled.

As new grades of high-strength steels are developed, more limitations in cracking resistance and formability appear during their processing, which may trigger edge-cracking problems, shear affections such as cut-outs in inner panels or corners, hub holes or hidden joints that compromise part quality.

Nowadays, edge-cracking cannot be accurately predicted using traditional experimental and computation approaches at the product design stage, constituting one of the main drawbacks in the application of AHSS in the transport industry. As cracks appear in later in production during forming, industries are facing serious non-avoidable productivity loses.


Facing edge-cracking in AHSS

What is CuttingEdge4.0

New experimental and modelling approaches to predict and avoid edge-cracking in the automotive industry

CuttingEdge4.0 project holistically addresses the edge-cracking problem in different AHSS grades:

  • Developing predicting tools (experimental and digital twins).
  • Investigating the material response to cutting and forming (damage evaluation and rationalization of crack growth by fracture toughness).
  • Incorporating Industry 4.0 data driven analytics based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning expert systems.


Start: June 2019 – End: November 2022

Funded under: Research Fund for Coal and Steel RFCS-RPJ

The final aim is to transfer to automotive industry tools and methodologies to predict edge-cracking in the early part design stages and machine learning solutionsbased on real-time process data to detect edge-cracking defects and assure part quality during forming.

CuttingEdge4.0 will increase safety in the automotive industry through the development of high-performance parts and will have a positive effect on employment and its sustainability within the involved industries and the steel sector (330.000 direct employees in the EU).

Furthermore, in the long term, developed solutions will enable the development of more performing and sustainable vehicles, leading to higher market demand and boosting job creation in Europe.

Zero-defect manufacturing

Key Outputs

Industrial solutions to edge cracking

Development and improvement of experimental methodologies to accurately reproduce at lab scale edge-cracking. Implementation of a phenomenologically-based computer model to predict edge-cracking with commercial software: XFEM (ABAQUS/LS-DYNA) and SPG (LS-DYNA).

Industry 4.0 data driven edge-cracking prediction tools

Implementation of data driven approaches based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for predicting edge quality based on material characterization and process sensors.

Fracture toughness as a tool to predict crack propagation

Implementation of fracture toughness as a parameter to understand and predict crack propagation in AHSS sheets and as failure criterion in FEM.

Industry guidelines

Elaboration of industrial guidelines to specifically address edge-cracking, formulated from the newly developed experimental methodologies and the knowledge gathered on material behaviour.

Numerical methods integrated in digital twins

Application of digital twins for industrial metal cutting simulation to simulate sheet metal shearing. Also, constitutive models including strain rate and triaxiality effects and a damage model based on toughness for a novel approach in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering.