International Steel Mills

NSSMC Develops New Automotive Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. has developed a new automotive steel that is 20-30 percent lighter and 25 percent stronger than any high-tensile steel now on the market.

The highest tensile strength currently available is 1400 megapascals with the industry average around 1200 MPa. NSSMC’s new steel has a grade of 1470 MPa and is designed for use in vehicle frames, chassis and other components where strength and light weight are critical.

An improved heat treatment process and added alloys makes the 1470MPa grade steel easier to roll and resistant to cracking during the stamping process.

The product is not as light as aluminum or plastic reinforced with carbon fiber, but costs less to produce. The NSSMC product will be about a third to one half of the price of aluminum and about a twentieth of pricing for carbon-fiber plastic. NSSMC anticipates the reasonable cost will make it a material of choice for lightweighting vehicles to meet fuel-economy regulations.

Verification test are underway and NSSMC hopes to start marketing the product in 2020.

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