Auto/Steel Partnership (A/SP), an international association of vehicle makers
and sheet steel producers, has begun work on two UltraLight Steel Auto Body (ULSAB)-based,
vehicle weight reduction projects.

One will use the partnership’s ULSAB front-end structure as the basis
of a study aimed at reducing the weight of front ends.

The project will aim at a double Five Star rating in the U.S. federal government’s
New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests and an overall good rating in
the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) 40 mph/40 percent offset
deformable barrier test.

The second project will research methods and materials to reduce the weight
of doors, bonnets, boot lids and hatchback doors by 25 percent.

The first phase of this project focuses on passenger vehicle front doors using
the 2002 Jeep Cherokee as the reference vehicle.

Both projects will develop weight-reduction methods suitable for high-volume
production of a family of vehicles across platforms and will rely heavily on
the use of advanced and ultra high-strength steels.

The A/SP is also undertaking nine projects to improve the industry’s knowledge
and understanding of the properties, performance, forming and joining characteristics
of the latest generation of these steels.

The work also involves updating and improving engineering and design tools
such as databases, software and predictive models.

Other projects will examine the effects of tube hydroforming on HSS, use of
tailor-welded blanks, spot welding and die interface.

An additional project will investigate optimising joints in light truck frames.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

VS Aluminium – The battle for market share

to 2004