One Fabulous Frame

Any discussion of the success of the new F-150 must include its high-strength-steel frame, responsible for 60 lb. of weight reduction—well ahead of the original 50-lb. reduction goal. So informs John Caris, chief integration manager in Ford’s chassis engineering department.

“There are more than 20 different frame variations for the new F-150,” Caris notes. “And, there are a few ‘firsts’ with this new frame, including the use of rollformed parts, and a patent-pending stamped 12-corner crush horn. This part alone, stamped as two halves subsequently welded together, shaves as much as 8 lb. from each vehicle.”

A key enabler of the build flexibility required is the use of a rollformed section (of 2.2- or 2.6-mm-thick high-strength steel) in the midrail. Ford cuts the section to length as needed along the rollforming line, and punches the required hole pattern. This rollformed part and the new crush horn, as well as the addition of an eighth rollformed cross member (the previous F-150 frame had seven cross members)—one of which is aluminum—allowed Caris and his team to satisfy 150 specific requirements of the new frame.

“And, not only did we meet those requirements and surpass the original weight-reduction goal,” Caris says, “we also increased torsional stiffness by approximately 5 percent on many versions.” MF
Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Blank, Blanking, Die, Draw, Lines, Model, Point, Scrap
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

Technologies: Stamping Presses

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