Hydrogen effect on the formability of 3rd generation advanced high strength steels to be used for future vehicle designs 

H2FORM3G (RFCS 101157237) 


Start: 2024 

Duration: 42 months 

Coordinator: EURECAT 

Participants: French Corrosion Institute, ENSTA Bretagne, UBS, UNIPI, Letomec, AMMR, VAS, CRF, MA 

Budget: 2 892 540.70 € 

EU contribution: 1 735 524.42 € 


Understanding the effect of hydrogen on the formability of 3rd generation AHSS is crucial to fully exploit their great potential as cost-effective and sustainable lightweight solutions for future mobility. Therefore, the main objective of H2FORM3G is to provide the necessary tools to prevent the risk of cracking during the manufacture of automotive components and reduce the risk of delayed fracture after forming. To reach this goal, the project aims to generate a comprehensive understanding of the interaction between hydrogen and the microstructure of quenching and partitioning (Q&P) steels during the process of forming to ensure its safe application in the manufacture of lightweight automotive parts at affordable costs. The project includes the development of new characterization methodologies and predictive models that will contribute to accelerate the design and optimization of new automotive components made of 3rd Generation AHSS with reduced weight (10 – 20% with corresponding savings in CO2 emissions) and improved crash-safety performance. The application of these new methodologies and models will: 

1) reduce the time to market of new high performance steel products by reducing the time and cost of prototype validation. 

2) reduce the number of failed parts during production due to more accurate determination of risk of cracking during forming. 

3) reduce the amount of material waste (estimated 25% reduction in scrap and failed parts compared to the current situation and 20% GHG emission savings based on machine usage/time reduction) by limiting the use of trial and error methods and encouraging the use of digital predictive models. 

H2FORM3G solutions are expected to strengthen the technological competitiveness of the EU steel and automotive industry (accounting for 6.1% of total EU employment), crucial for Europe’s prosperity (the automotive industry alone represents over 7% of the EU’s gross domestic product).