This paper presents the feasibility of an innovative application of laser-assisted bending process. The high strength steel sheets bending, carried out after a laser heat treatment, is studied. Several strategies aimed at obtaining a ductile structure along the bending line, suitable for cold forming, are investigated. The influence of laser processing parameters on the microstructure, hardness and strength of the sheets are discussed and analyzed. In order to predict the temperature and ensure the repeatability and reliability of the process, a model for heat treatment simulation is developed. The study of the experimental data and the integration with the simulation of the heating phase lead to the definition of specific process parameters suitable for achieving a crack-free cold bending of high strength steels.

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