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Trade press, 2013-11-05, 10:10 AM

Automotive weight reduction

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe showing off weight-optimized steel solutions

weight reduction press ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe
The newly developed sandwich material LITECOR® stands for cost-efficient automotive weight reduction.

The trend towards weight reduction in the auto industry is continuing. At this year’s Blechexpo in Stuttgart the Duisburg-based flat carbon steel supplier will therefore be presenting new materials and technologies for cost-effective automotive weight reduction. Among other products on display from November 5-8 in hall 5, booth 5307, will be the new dual-phase steel DP-K® 700Y980T with optimized yield strength; its formability sets new standards in the 1,000 MPa strength class. Also new: the improved finishes PrimeTex® and EloTex® for outer body panels.

Less is more: The trend towards weight reduction in the auto industry continues apace. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is aware of the demands posed by automotive manufacturers and suppliers and is demonstrating its expertise at the Blechexpo exhibition in Stuttgart.

Light, safe and affordable

For crash-relevant structural body parts ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is presenting its latest development in the 1,000-MPa class: the ultrahigh-strength dual-phase steel DP-K® 700Y980T with elevated yield strength. It sets new standards for processing in its strength class, particularly in terms of forming and hole expansion. DP-K® 700Y980T is suitable for cold forming. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is also displaying a solution for hot forming: The new manganese-boron steel MBW® 1900 offers ultrahigh strength and maximum resistance to deformation. It can be used for example in bumpers, side impact beams or as a reinforcement in crash-sensitive parts. The two high-end steels are ready for production, open up new weight-saving opportunities and meet rising requirements for occupant protection.

Sandwich materials offering even more possibilities

Another alternative for reducing weight is to use hybrid materials. One example is the steel sandwich material LITECOR®, for which ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is currently developing a high-volume manufacturing process. Prototype material from the first pilot line in an outer skin application will be on display at Blechexpo. The extremely stiff and dent-resistant steel-polymer composite LITECOR® combines the high strength of steel with the low weight of a modern polymer. In addition, it has the usual good forming properties of solid steel sheet, so delamination is not an issue even in extreme forming operations. Flanging and hemming are possible. The environmental performance of LITECOR® is also all-positive: Low CO2 emissions during manufacture, lower fuel consumption through reduced vehicle weight, and recycling with no loss of quality make LITECOR® the number one choice when it comes to low-cost automotive weight reduction.

Systematically lighter

Maximum weight savings result from the intelligent combination of lightweight materials and special processing technologies. One example on display at this year’s Blechexpo is a side beam made from the multi-phase steel TPN®-W by the unique T3® process. T³® (Thyssen Tailored Tubes) stands for a technology advanced by ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe for the manufacture of tubular parts: Weight and cost savings are optimized through significantly higher material utilization. At part level the combination of T³® technology and TPN®-W 780 achieves a weight saving of more than four kilograms. The B-pillar also on display made from TPN®-W 900 – production of which will start in 2014 – saves more important kilos to reduce the emissions of future generations of vehicles.

Visible quality

And to ensure the quality of the weight reduction is reflected in the surface ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe offers a special surface texture that achieves an increased peak count and reduced waviness. The roughness values of the surfaces are suitable both for forming and for the auto industry paint process. Under the brand names PrimeTex® for hot dip galvanized and EloTex® for electrolytically galvanized steels, the flat steel producer is opening up new possibilities for outer skin quality – for example for filler-less painting meeting high standards for appearance.Anyone interested can learn more about the diverse products and services of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe at the Blechexpo exhibition taking place at Stuttgart Exhibition Center from November 5-8 (hall 5, booth 5307).

The Steel Europe business area is focused on the attractive market for premium carbon steel flat products, where it is one of the world's technology leaders. It employs around 27,800 people and generated sales of almost €11 billion in fiscal 2011/2012. Its capabilities range from intelligent material solutions and product-specific processing to comprehensive service. It serves a broad spectrum of steel-using sectors, including the automotive, shipbuilding, engineering, energy, construction, packaging and appliance industries.

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