Gestamp and SSAB develop lighter, stronger steel

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 04 Jul 2022

Front lower control arm. Docol 1000CP steel has been developed specifically to fabricate a Toyota Yaris chassis product.

Together with SSAB, Gestamp has developed a new steel with a high strength level and at the same time a good formality, lighter and therefore more respectful of the environment, to manufacture chassis part for the Toyota Yaris. It is Docol1000CP steel, which has a significantly higher strength (1000 Mpa) than conventionally used grades, maintaining the quality, performance and geometry of the parts.

In 2014, Gestamp started developing a new front lower control arm (FLCA) for the Toyota Yaris in Europe. To deliver a lighter solution to his customer, Gestamp Chassis wanted to challenge the steel grades available. This is when Gestamp approached SSAB. This Nordic company, a steel company specializing in delivering high strength steels, is an important partner for Gestamp on the path towards a more sustainable automotive industry, where weight reduction and CO2 savings are key factors.

The characteristics of Docol 1000CP, an advanced high strength steel, also allow lighter parts to be produced and it offers a very positive behaviour against fatigue, an important property for any part of the steering and suspension of a car such as the FLCA. In addition, since a lower weight equals lower fuel consumption and therefore reduce emissions, this steel contributes to protecting the environment.

Close collaboration pays off
As SSAB Sales Segment Manager Ben Cook says: "That's exactly how SSAB likes to work: being invited to participate right at the beginning of the project." Both companies have worked closely throughout the process, from the composition of the material to the characterization and, finally, the homologation of said steel to be used in parts as sensitive to vehicle stability as a front lower control arm (FLCA).

L-R: Dr. Mehdi Asadi, Carlota Arenillas, Erik Nymann, and Ben Cook.

Dr. Mehdi Asadi, Materials Engineering Manager at Gestamp Chassis Germany, states: "This new material (Docol 1000CP) has enabled us to offer a much lighter front lower control arm than its predecessor."

Carlota Arenillas, Manager of innovation projects at Gestamp Chassis Spain, comments: "We were able to test a large number of different compositions thanks to SSAB's flexibility and speed of response regarding the prototype materials."

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