Steel Break-Through Sponsored By Mitsubishi Motors
A new high strength, light weight steel that will produce lighter, more fuel efficient cars, has been developed by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in conjunction with three of Japan's biggest steel makers.
Chassis and panel components made from the new steel will be approximately 13 percent lighter than parts manufactured from the hot-rolled steel currently used.
The new steel, known as 590MPa (MegaPascal) High-grade, has greater stretchability than current high tensile steels, making it easier to form into the intricate shapes required in vehicle chassis components.
In the past, vehicle designers were limited to using hot rolled steel with grades between 370 MPa and 400 MPa because high tensile steel cracked and split during pressing. It also softened under heat, limiting the strength of welds.
The characteristics of 590 MPa High-grade provide the advantages of greater strength with lighter weight, while the high silicon and manganese content prevents softening during welding and greatly improves weld joint strength.
Engineers and metullurgists from Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Steel and Kobe Steel worked with Mitsubishi Motors on the new material, which will be used for the first time in the new Mitsubishi Pajero, due to be released in New Zealand early next year.