Car manufacturers are under pressure to meet legislated targets to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicles. While innovation in engines, transmission and the overall drivetrain is one aspect, a major focus is on reducing the overall vehicle weight by manufacturing the car body from thinner sheets. However, the vehicle must also meet or exceed crash-protection standards and so advanced high strength steels are used; these newer materials present their own challenges in terms of forming and processing.
In a review article by researchers from the University of Hong Kong, ArcelorMittal, Paristech and McMaster University, the driving force and logic behind the development of advanced high strength steels and their application in the automotive industry is discussed. Insight is also given into new materials that are currently on the lab bench, but may be coming to a car showroom near you very soon.