Report outlines the future of automotive steel

The figure above shows the progression of third generation AHSS development. The currently available third generation AHSS products are shown adjacent to the range of third generation steels under development.

Detroit, Michigan — August 2, 2016 — Aluminum, carbon fibre and graphene grab headlines, but steel is still very widespread in the automotive world and will likely remain so for some time. This is especially true when considering third generation advanced high-strength steels. 

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) has released its 2016 Steel Industry Technology Roadmap for Automotive. The Roadmap looks at advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) material and manufacturing technologies related to design, fuel economy, strength, durability, environmental performance and value and how AHSS meets those requirements now and in the future. It outlines and responds to automakers’ needs by identifying AHSS solutions and recommended areas for future research.

“Steel remains the fastest growing material in automotive applications and the North American steel industry continues to develop new grades and advanced manufacturing technologies to respond to the changing needs of automakers, as it is an important material in the designer’s toolbox,” said Dr. Jody Hall, Vice President, Automotive for SMDI. “There are areas where research still needs to be done and the Roadmap will help guide automakers, academia, national labs and other technical organizations in the right direction. We invite those at the forefront of R&D to work collaboratively with us to develop the required solutions.”

The Roadmap details the challenges facing the automotive and steel industries along with relevant steel results. The roadmap also identifies technical gaps in the application of these advanced products and on a high level identifies potential projects. It also provides information on materials, joining and forming related to advanced steels.

The Roadmap also outlines future automotive applications, specifically in terms of third generation AHSS. Specifically, automakers have requested development of AHSS with improved ductility for better formability. This classification of steel is expected to provide a cold-stamped alternative for some hot-stamped applications through traditional stamping processes. Hot-stamped grades will still be needed for advantages in high strength, complex formability and part consolidation.

The Steel Strength Ductility Diagram, shown above, was developed to show the wide variety of steel grade classifications by their relative strength and ductility. The diagram shows the progression of third generation AHSS development. The currently available third generation AHSS products are shown adjacent to the range of third generation steels under development. A new group of continuously heat-treated third generation AHSS alloys continue application and development adding to those 3rd Gen AHSS steels already available.

You can read the complete report here.

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