Nissan Motor will build more models using a new type of steel that combines high tensile strength with a higher degree of formability. Nissan claims that it results in lighter vehicles that can help lower emissions while protecting occupants.
The highly formable steel comes with a tensile strength of 980 megapascals, which was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. The steel’s combination of stamping formability and strength makes it possible to form parts with complex shapes that are thinner and lighter than those made of conventional high tensile strength steel while maintaining the ability to absorb energy in a collision. The 980-megapascal steel can be cold-pressed, making it suitable for mass production. This will help contain increases in vehicle cost.
The INFINITI QX50 premium midsize SUV, an offering from Nissan luxury car segment, went on sale in the U.S. in March. Nissan claims it to be the world’s first vehicle with front and rear side members made from 980-megapascal ultrahigh tensile strength steel, along with other body frame parts. Nissan plans to expand the use of the material, which enhances fuel efficiency as well as driving performance by lowering vehicle weight, to other models.
Nissan launched a sustainability plan this month that calls for lowering of CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 40 percent by fiscal year 2022, compared with fiscal year 2000. Nissan is aggressively developing technologies to expand the use of ultra-high tensile strength steel, aiming for it to make up 25 percent of the company’s vehicle parts by weight. The material makes up 27 percent of the new QX50.
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