“We see a growing number of OEMs using AHSS in India.”

Automotive business development specialist on SSAB’s advanced high-strength steels and how it is helping OEMs develop lighter products.

By Brian de Souza calendar 09 May 2014 Views icon6332 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
“We see a growing number of OEMs using AHSS in India.”

Automotive business development specialist on SSAB’s advanced high-strength steels and how it is helping OEMs develop lighter products.

What are the key benefits of SSAB’s Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) in terms of lightweighting?
SSAB is a global leader in value-added, high-strength steel. The company offers products that have been developed in close cooperation with our customers in order to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world.
Therefore, lightweighting is a continuous process at SSAB and we do so without using expensive materials like aluminium, magnesium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics. As a company, we try to understand the customer’s requirements and offer a cost-effective solution which combines light weight with good formability and weldability. As known to the automotive industry, AHSS is also easy to recycle which makes it more suitable for sustainable solutions.

Docol AHSS has a high formability, requiring only minor tooling adjustments. What are the maximum weight savings which can be achieved?
The weight savings can be achieved using AHSS as we have seen in the increase of AHSS usage in recent years for global platforms of different automotive OEMs. The weight saving achieved is 35 percent lower weight on a complete car body as compared to a benchmarked car body that is made of conventional steel.

We understand the high strength of AHSS is a useful tool to reduce the weight of the body-in-white, bumpers systems, door side impact beams and seat structures. Can you explain this?
The energy absorbed during a crash is related to the strength in the steel and by using AHSS, which has higher strength than conventional mild steel, the same forces and energy can be absorbed by using a lower thickness which reduces to lower weight.

Metals are facing much competitive pressure from high-performance engineering plastics in the automotive sector. To what extent can they replace metal in vehicles?
The alternative materials can replace metal to a high extent, but cost will be 10 times higher; for instance, in Formula 1 racing cars and some other luxury vehicles coming to market right now.

Can you detail the OEMs to whom you supply in India and which parts do they make from SSAB products?
SSAB is a global company working with most of the OEMs present globally and we work in close cooperation with them to produce the right product suited for better design and reducing weight. We have brought our global expertise to the Indian automotive industry and see an increasing number of OEMs using AHSS and incorporating it in their designs for both existing and new platforms in India.

What is SSAB doing for the emerging electric vehicle and hybrids market?
SSAB is involved in integrating AHSS in this kind of vehicles in order to reduce weight in a cost-effective manner. For instance, in battery protection components in some new electric and hybrid vehicles like the Chevy Volt manufactured by General Motors. We are also involved in World Auto Steel, a consortium which developed a lightweight concept for electric vehicles by using a high percentage of high strength and AHSS steel. The concept vehicle is called Future Steel Vehicle.

What are the global trends in lightweighting and how much more can vehicle weight be reduced, from a safety point of view?
In the Future Steel Vehicle concept study, we showed that the car body weight can be reduced more than 35 percent by using a high amount of high strength and AHSS steel compared to a conventional car body made of conventional steel. At the same time, the five-star crash safety was reached, according to global crash safety standards.
The global trends are to use more and more AHSS in order to reduce weight as much as possible and still reach the five-star crash performance, as per the NCAP criteria of different countries. By using steel, this can be achieved without increasing costs considerably and keeping a high rate of recycleability.

BRIAN DE SOUZA

 

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