Steel Products

MSC's Smart Steel a PACE Award Finalist

Written by Sandy Williams

MSC Smart Steel® from Material Sciences Corporation (MSC) is one of 35 finalists for the 2019 Automotive News PACE Awards. The prestigious PACE program honors automotive suppliers for advanced levels of technical achievement, superior innovation and business excellence.

“MSC Smart Steel is a new multilayer steel laminate engineered as a direct substitute for low carbon stamped vehicle body parts.” said Matt Murphy, MSC vice president, Engineered Solutions. “Offering up to a 35 percent mass save compared with same-thickness standard steel, MSC Smart Steel is produced as a coil, stamped in conventional dies, spot welded with existing equipment and processed through standard electro-coat and paint systems – essentially compatible with existing manufacturing systems. This is the first ever spot-weldable low-density composite laminate to be used in a body application.”

One of the driving principles of automotive engineering is improving fuel efficiency, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Many strategies have been implemented concurrently by the automotive OEMS, such as improving aerodynamics and adopting alternative powertrains. But the most widely implemented practice involves reducing vehicle mass. More than ever, innovative designs and lightweight materials are playing a significant role in enabling engineering teams to design competitive vehicles that do not compromise performance.

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“Traditionally, automotive OEMs have been slow to adopt new materials and technologies that are perceived to result in big changes to their manufacturing and assembly processes. The threat of additional equipment investment, fastening challenges, unproven CAE modeling techniques, and general fear of the unknown are sometimes in conflict with achieving vehicle weight reduction. MSC Smart Steel integrates seamlessly into longstanding manufacturing and design practices, and offers attractive degrees of mass saving over traditional materials,” Murphy said.

This is the second time one of MSC‘s advanced metals technologies has been named a finalist for the prestigious PACE Awards. In 2003, Quiet Steel® was among the finalists, and went on to win the PACE Award. Since that time, the MSC advanced metals family has grown to include Quiet Aluminum®, and now MSC Smart Steel.



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