Next Generation Performance of Automotive Steel

Cold forming body-in-white parts at an affordable cost with new automotive steel

The body in white is key for vehicle lightweighting The body in white is key for vehicle lightweighting

Steel has been the material of choice of the automotive industry since the first vehicles were manufactured more than 100 years ago because it is readily available, cost effective, and highly recyclable. For structural components, such as those in the body-in-white, automakers used mild steels given their formability at room temperature and affordable cost.  In the 1990s, high strength steels were introduced to address increasing safety requirements and minimize weight increases.

Next Generation of Steel Meets the Demands of Safety and Fuel Economy

Recently, the demands for increased safety and fuel economy have prompted the development of a new class of high strength steels, called Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) to further increase performance. The increased strength of these steels has come at the expense of ductility, making parts more challenging to form into the ideal shape. To overcome this, AHSS parts today are typically formed at high temperature, which drives up costs.

Manufacturers seeking to lightweight their vehicles can alternatively move to materials like aluminum and carbon fiber. However, these materials are more expensive, can require significant new investment in parts production and do not have existing supply chains to support high volume automotive applications. In addition, these other lightweighting materials may have performance limitations both in production and on an aftermarket basis.

New High Strength Steel: A More Affordable Path to Vehicle Weight Reduction

For automakers, a more affordable path to weight reduction would be to use new steels. These new automotive steels should be stronger, so that parts can be made thinner while maintaining safety, and also more formable so that automakers can utilize their current part production infrastructure. This is the gap that NanoSteel's Advanced High Strength Sheet Steel (AHSS) is designed to fill - allowing an industry which has been built on steel to Stick With Steel™.

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Steel - Automotive Material of Choice

Steel is readily available, cost effective, highly recyclable and provides automotive engineers with design flexibility that no other material can offer.

High Cost Material Alternatives

Aluminum and carbon fiber are lighter material alternatives to steel for vehicle light-weighting purposes. However, these materials are more expensive, can require significant new investment in parts production and do not have existing supply chains to support high volume automotive applications.

NanoSteel AHSS Sheet is Cold Formable

NanoSteel’s breakthrough nano-structured AHSS sheet designs provide a unique combination of high strength and high ductility, allowing lighter vehicle parts to be formed at room temperature using the existing manufacturing infrastructure.

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