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LIGHTWEIGHTING VEHICLES Jody Hall, the Steel Market Development Institute’s vice


president for automotive market, said her group over the past few years went to automakers to discuss the results of studies about high-strength steel. She said there has been a


“very rapid implementation” of that data, including on models which were “well into engineering.” According to SMDI, which is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, models such as the 2015 Acura TLX, 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon and 2016 Nissan Maxima have used high-strength steels to reduce weight. According to SMDI, for example, the Colorado cut its weight by 200 lb (90 kg). Among the ways that was achieved: More than 72% of the main cab structure was made from high-strength or advanced high-strength steel. The truck’s box also used advanced high-strength steel to reduce mass compared with traditional steel.


“It has been 17–18 years of work and we’re on the two-yard line.”


The institute also says it’s working with automakers to ensure a smooth transition to higher strength steel. The newer steels “act like different materials, it’s harder on the tooling,” Hall said. “We found out it was chewing up the tooling.” The third generation of high-strength steels is now coming out and the steel industry wants “to make sure automak- ers are ready for it,” she said.


‘Design House’


One of the companies involved in developing the third-generation of high-strength steel is Providence, RI-based NanoSteel, which designs alloys and licenses them to steel companies. NanoSteel has about 30 employees, mostly scientists. The company’s business model is based on receiving a royalty from automakers


See us at WESTEC Booth #2602 Full page CEW and Automation ad version MFGEng new 2015 r2.indd 1 70 AdvancedManufacturing.org | September 2015 8/4/15 4:27 PM


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