Monday, April 28, 2008

Steel is still the material of choice

Despite the increasing weight of cars on our roads, steel continues to remain the preferred body structure material for vehicle construction.
In fact, steel was used in the manufacture of 99% of all new cars in 2007.
Professor Jon King, Director of Corus Automotive Engineering gave a lecture on the subject at the IMechE "Lightweighting for carbon-free vehicles" conference, which took place on 23rd April at the Jaguar Assembly Plant in Birmingham.
Although the average vehicle is now 50% heavier compared to 40 years ago, the use of Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) has provided solutions for cost-effective lightweighting on vehicles over the last 10 years or so.

This has made them up to 60kg lighter, despite the huge improvements in structural safety.
Further weight savings due to AHSS deployment are now being realised on many recently launched vehicles, which can equate to a saving of more than one tonne of CO2 over the vehicle's lifespan.
The forthcoming EU legislation is proposing a 20% reduction in today's CO2 levels, down to 130 g/km in 2012, with penalties for non-compliance by the vehicle manufacturer determined by a weight-based sliding scale.

Read the full article at NewCarNet

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