PI: Bryan Webler
University: Carnegie Mellon University

The 3rd Generation of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) are currently under development for advanced lightweight vehicle applications. Before they can see wider adoption, a cracking problem in semi-finished slabs must be solved. This cracking problem results in constrained operations at steel production facilities and high scrap rates, i.e. wasted money and energy. Initial industrial observations suggest that the steel microstructure produced after casting determines slab cracking susceptibility. Microstructure evolution in these steels is complicated by their high levels of alloying elements.

In this project, the team will perform heat treatments on controlled-composition steels to examine conditions under which potentially susceptible microstructures develop. They will then test the mechanical performance of steels with various microstructures via Charpy impact testing. Completing these studies will link steel composition, processing, and properties in the as-cast condition. Developing these links will enable strategies to mitigate detrimental microstructures and reduce cracking of AHSS slabs.