• FASTEEL Project

    FASTEEL Project

    Disruptive innovation through new tool steels with unique thermo-mechanical performance for material forming applications.

Fasteel project

Disruptive innovation through new tool steels with unique thermo-mechanical performance for material forming applications.

Since the mid 80’s, vehicle weights have increased despite the importance of vehicle weight on driving dynamics, agility, and fuel consumption. The trend of ever-increasing weight of cars has been curtailed in recent years, predominantly motivated by CO2 emission targets and correlated penalties, through the increased use of composites, plastics, light alloys and advanced and ultra-high-strength steels. The increasing use of components made of these lighter materials could reduce car weights and life cycle emissions very considerably.

The previously mentioned light-weight components have to be produced by an appropriate material forming process, such as plastic injection moulding, die casting of light alloys, resin transfer moulding (RTM), hot stamping, and forging amongst others. In all these processes, dies, matrices, moulds, and in general terms tools, are used to shape the components. Besides the geometrical shaping functionality, the tools play an important role as heat transfer media and in controlling the heating and cooling rate mechanism during the forming process. Shaping components with these new materials often requires tailored heating and cooling of the corresponding forming tool, along with specific tool surface features and mechanical properties that can respond to the rheological and tribological behavior of the component material and to the resulting thermo-mechanical solicitations during their production. The traditionally used tool material, often conventional hot work tool steels (type 1.2343, 1.2344, 1.2365, etc.), do not combine all these required properties to ensure a reproducible and cost-effective forming of the components made of these new materials. Especially the low level of thermal conductivity and the mechanical and surface properties under working conditions of tools made with traditionally used tool materials limit the introduction of these new components to the relevant industries.

As pioneer of the high thermal conductivity hot work tool steels, ROVALMA SA has successfully developed and verified a prototype hot work tool steel, FASTEEL, that offers a very high level of thermal conductivity, along with high levels of tribological and mechanical properties. In addition, the flexibility offered by FASTEEL, especially in terms of machining, welding, surface treatments, fast and easy hardening, tool size, large range of working hardness, etc., means that FASTEEL can be applied as high performance tool material across many applications combined with the related advanced heating, cooling and surface technologies, allowing the production of large and geometrically challenging lightweight pieces made from advanced component materials.

In this SME phase 2 project FASTEEL will be demonstrated and evaluated by several market leading clients in the automobile components sector, in 8 key market applications, to assess FASTEEL’s performance at producing high strength, large, lightweight components. It is estimated that the successful completion of FASTEEL will provide over 30 new jobs by 2023, with a ROI of 643%.

Fasteel Results


The new generation of FASTEEL tool steels, currently in the industrial piloting phase, will outperform traditionally used hot work tool steels by enabling tools that can form large, strong and lightweight components at significantly reduced costs and lead times. They will be supplied in an easy-to-machine state and ready for precipitation hardening through a single low temperature cycle, or in pre-hardened condition. These new tool stools, apart from having hardness and other mechanical properties adjusted to the typical application requirements, feature thermal conductivities around double that of traditional tool steels.


A common characteristic of the different hot work material forming processes is that the heat transfer mechanism is controlled by the thermal properties of the tool material. Tool materials function as a bridge between the cooling medium and the shaped component inside the die. The flux of heat crossing this bridge is determined by the thermal conductivity (TC) of the tool material. As the rate of heat transfer, along with the complex mechanism of local cooling of the components and the tools, depend on the TC of the tool material, the low TC of traditionally used tool steels of around 25-29 W/mK limits the productivity of these hot forming processes and the feasibility of making thinner and more complex components. ROVALMA has invented the technology and developed know-how to make tool steels with the required mechanical properties for these tools, but with thermal conductivities of more than 60 W/mK. 


An overview over achieved project results is available under the section "Fasteel results achieved up-to-date”.

3rd edition DIESEL POWERTRAINS 3.0

The 3rd edition of Diesel Powertrains 3.0 took place on the 11th and 12th of July in Ludwigsburg, Germany. This conference offered multiple opportunities for mutual exchange between engineering experts and industry representatives working on current and future powertrains, Diesel powertrain layout and configuration or in the fields of Diesel engine development and their formulation. The Diesel Powertrains 3.0 Scientific Committee selected Mr. Isaac Valls’ topic as one of the presentation titles to be included into the conference program, so he participated with his speech titled “High thermal conductivity tool steels to increase the strength-to-weight ratio and the process productivity of the casted light alloys power train components”.



On the 2nd of July Rovalma participated at the 36th IDDRG Conference “Materials Modelling and Testing for Sheet Metal Forming”. The conference, that took place from July 2nd to July 6th 2017, was hosted by the Chair of Metal Forming and casting, a research institute at the Technical University of Munich. It brought together more than 140 speakers all around the world.

The IDDRG conference is a gathering for the world’s leading production specialists and researchers from all over the world for fruitful discussions on challenging technical topics in sheet metal forming technology. Mr. Isaac Valls, Rovalma’s Technical and Managing Director, participated with the speech titled “Extending the range of high thermal conductivity tool steels to boost the productivity of press hardening and reduce the tool manufacturing time and cost”.


ALU2000. Verona, Italy

Rovalma participated in the 10th edition of the Aluminium Two Thousand World Congress, which was held in Verona, Italy, June 20-24, 2017.

The event took place at the PalaExpo Congress, at Verona-Fiere, and brought together “Aluminium and light alloys” specialists, creating a formidable opportunity for industry managers, technicians, researchers, technology suppliers and expert speakers to exchange information on the latest developments, improvements of the technologies, and the future trends for the strategic materials of aluminium and light alloys for the manufacturing industries.

Our Technical and Managing Director, Isaac Valls presented the latest developments in high thermal conductivity tool steels for die casting under the presentation titled: “Increasing the solidification rate and shortening the cycle time by using high thermal conductivity tool steels, in dies and moulds of casting processes”.


Moulding Expo

From May 30th to June 1st, 2017, Rovalma participated in the MOULDING EXPO, which took place in Stuttgart, Germany, together with our Distribution Partner in Germany, STM Stahl.

The MOULDING EXPO is an International Trade Fair for Tool, Pattern and Mould Making, with a special focus on plastic injection moulding and composite forming applications. The event provided a great opportunity to meet with our customers in the region, and also to talk to many new cooperation partners from Germany and other geographical markets, and present them our new high thermal conductivity FASTEEL materials. Many thanks to our customers and new cooperation partners for visiting us, and to STM Stahl, for a great week.

Please, click here to read an article about Rovalma’s participation at the Moulding Expo published by the German-Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Spain:

Spanish web page
German web page


7th Aluminum Conclave

We would like to thank the Institute of Indian Foundrymen, Chennai Chapter, for inviting us to participate to the 7th Aluminum Conclave that took place in Chennai on April 28-29th. Our Technical and Managing Director, presented our new FASTEEL products with a presentation about “The main benefits of high thermal conductivity tool steels, for dies and moulds of casting processes”.

It has been a veritable pleasure to participate in the Conclave and to be given this great opportunity to manifold exchange with experts in this field about the advantages of our upcoming FASTEEL products.


The photo shows Rovalma’s Technical and Managing Director, Isaac Valls participating to the Conclave.


MECSPE 2017, Parma, Italy

On March 22-24th, Rovalma participated in MECSPE together with our Distribution Partner in Italy, Bre-Men Acciai.

MECSPE is the reference fair for the manufacturing industry in Italy. There were 11 thematic halls that offered the visitor a complete overview of materials, machines and innovative technologies that represent the Italian way to industry 4.0. Link to the web page: http://www.mecspe.com/en

It was a great opportunity to present Rovalma’s upcoming FASTEEL products, to our industry partners from Italy and other European countries. Many thanks to the organization and, specially, to Bre-Men, for a great event.


The photo shows Rovalma’s Sales Manager (Joan A. Sala) and our Applications Engineer (Pere Ferrer) at our shared booth.


Alucast 2016

We are greatly honored having been invited to give our presentation on “Increasing Cost Effectiveness of Die Casting Dies by Using High Thermal Conductivity HTCS Tool Steels for the dies”, during Alucast 2016, International Conference & Exhibition at Bangalore, Dec 1 – 3, 2016. We would like to express our deep gratitude and send our best congratulations to the organizers for the perfect hosting of this great event.

We also like to thank the European Union for supporting our participation in this event in connection with our SME-instrument co-financed Fasteel project. The Alucast 2016 exhibition provided a great platform for illustrating the advantages of our Fasteel products compared to conventional steels, and for meeting up with and presenting our products to numerous users of die casting materials.


The photo shows Rovalma’s Technical and Managing Director, Isaac Valls, together with our distribution partners, the Lakshmi team, at their booth.


SME Instrument Innovators Summit

On October 10/11, 2016, our Management Team joined the SME Instrument Innovators Summit in Brussels. It was a great opportunity to share experiences, learn from peers via workshops and meet with business partners and potential investors. Once again, we thank the SME Instrument Team for organizing and inviting us to participate in this event.



On September 29th we participated in the Spanish Foundry Congress organized by “Metalspain” in Bilbao. Every year the most outstanding national and international Foundry Professionals meet in Bilbao providing practical technical solutions related to the Foundry Industries. Rovalma made a presentation about its new high thermal conductivity tools steels up-scaled in the FASTEEL project and their benefits in comparison with conventional steels.


Link to Spanish Foundry Congress Video: goo.gl/PtI01z


Jornada Fundición Bilbao

Picture: Dr. Anwar Hamasaiid presenting Rovalma’s High Thermal Conductivity Tool Steel Solutions.


MARIMATCH 2016, September 8th and 9th

Thanks again to the SME instrument Team for inviting us to participate at the MARIMATCH exhibition in Hamburg.


On September 8th we participated in the Matchmaking organized by the “Enterprise Europe Network”. During the session, registered participants were able to request 30 minutes individual business meetings with other participants facilitating networking for small and medium-sized companies. Rovalma also introduced its FASTEEL project to other companies also awarded with Horizon 2020 projects. We found the sessions very interesting providing us with very useful information and peer contacts.


The following day, we had the opportunity to visit the Marimatch fair and met potential customers.




Welcome days, July 5th and 6th

We would like to thank the SME Instrument Team for inviting Rovalma S.A. to attend the Welcome days that took place on the 5th and 6th of July 2016 in Brussels.


During these two days, representatives of EASME and invited speakers from other entities addressed aspects with regard to the SME Instrument Phase 2 projects, in particular expectations, goals and an efficient realization and capitalization of the projects. Furthermore, the attendees were given the opportunity to learn about and exchange highly valuable experience with precedent SME champions.


We are sure that the provided information as well as the experiences shared with our SME Instrument colleagues will be very useful to us all.


Without any no doubt, two highly interesting and fruitful days! Many thanks again to the SME Instrument Team, the speakers and the attendees!


welcome days


The FASTEEL project has started on 2016, May 1st.

The European Commission, within the frames of Horizon 2020-SME-Instrument-Phase 2, has positively evaluated the project FASTEEL and approved funding for the next 2 years.


Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. Horizon 2020 will help to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering solutions to big challenges facing our society.


As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission is hand-picking potentially disruptive businesses to invest and support as part of the SME Instrument.


FASTEEL aims at taking up in the market a new tool steel material for hot work in three hot forming applications: plastic injection moulding, hot stamping and die-casting.


EU flag




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 726558.


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