Steel Mills

NanoSteel and AK Steel Team Up to Create New AHSS

Written by Sandy Williams

NanoSteel announced delivery of its first advanced high strength steel to General Motors for initial testing.

The new product was developed in partnership with AK Steel and is designed to provide automakers with a new standard in strength, formability and weight for steels used in the production of lightweight, fuel efficient vehicles.

NanoSteel says what makes the new steel different from other AHSS is the combination of both high strength (1200 MPa) and high formability (50% elongation).

“This combination of properties allow automakers to use thinner gauges of steel to reduce part weight, form unique geometry parts to meet stiffness requirements for ride quality/safety, all while leveraging their existing manufacturing capital equipment and skilled workforce. Just for perspective, carbon automotive steels with 1200 MPa tensile strength typically have <15% elongation and those with 50% elongation register tensile strengths in the 200 to 350 MPa while steels. By overcoming the historical tradeoff between these two properties, NanoSteel AHSS offers an entirely new level of lightweighting capability to auto designers.”

The unique combination of properties also allows engineers the design freedom to create novel part shapes, which further reduces weight, said NanoSteel.

“Many advanced materials with outstanding properties end up abandoned because they are too hard to use or too expensive to make,” said NanoSteel CEO and president David Paratore. “NanoSteel’s advanced high strength steel is designed to be both easy to produce—using conventional alloying elements with standard slab casting equipment; and easy to use—enabling the stamping and forming of parts at room temperature without additional manufacturing infrastructure or investment, such as that required for ‘hot’ stamped parts.”

“AK Steel is pleased to partner with NanoSteel to bring this exciting new product to the market,” said AK Steel CEO Roger Newport. “As the first steel producer to manufacture this unique product using traditional slab casting, we are proud to add this accomplishment to our long and successful track record of innovation.”

AK Steel developed the manufacturing process that enabled the unique alloy composition to be produced on traditional steel casting equipment. “This third generation product also allows for potentially dramatic weight reduction, facilitating work to light-weight auto body structures to meet our customers’ needs concerning future CAFE standards requirements,” said AK Steel.

Paratore added, “We are confident that the exceptional properties of NanoSteel’s sheet will enable automakers to affordably meet the ever-changing requirements of vehicle design and foster a new era of steel competitiveness in the battle of material choice.”

About NanoSteel

NanoSteel is an advanced materials company specializing in the design and commercialization of patented steels with exceptional mechanical properties derived from their nano-scale microstructure. The Company’s primary focus is proprietary alloys for use as sheet steel in automotive lightweighting applications. Founded as a spinoff of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory in 2002, NanoSteel has developed multiple generations of ferrous materials innovations including metallic coatings, additive manufacturing powders, and sheet steel protected by over 300 patents filed and granted worldwide. NanoSteel is a privately held company funded by lead shareholders EnerTech, Fairhaven Capital, and GM Ventures.

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