The requirements on materials for outer panels of cars mainly comprise of a good deformability for processing by deep-drawing and high strength of the finished product. Such materials are, for instance, the so-called bake-hardening steels, which show a significant increase of strength during
paint-baking or interstitial-free steels, which possess superior deep-drawability.
The excellent mechanical properties of these steels are mainly due to the carbon content of the matrix and the strenghening potential by precipitation hardening during controlled thermal treatment.
The current project deals with the characterization of the microstructure of
these materials and with the computer modelling of the thermo-physical
processes occurring during fabrication and processing. To simulate the thermo-kinetic processes, a special software package 'MatCalc' has been developed. This program was successfully applied to describing various precipitation reactions that typically occur in these steel grades.