Metalforming Technology Critical to the Future Steel Vehicle

By: Brad Kuvin

Thursday, July 1, 2010
WorldAutoSteel, the automotive group of the World Steel Association, has presented findings on the progress of FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) Phase 2, a global steel-industry effort to develop advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) architectures for electrified vehicles. The group presented interim results at the Great Designs in Steel event, held May 5 in Livonia, MI. Jody Shaw, chairman of the FSV program and manager of technical marketing and product research at U.S. Steel Corp., described in detail to the more than 1000 engineers in the GDIS audience the optimization of multiple manufacturing solutions (including stamping, hot stamping and hydroforming) for seven different subsystems: the rocker; B-pillar, roof, rear and front rails, front upper load path, and battery-tunnel load-path

Metalforming tech. body structure sub system-rocker solutions
four proposed 2015 to 2020 year vehicles. General results include a new benchmark in weight reduction achieved through AHSS optimized structures, enabling power-train downsizing for affordable electrified vehicles; a portfolio of innovative steel solutions that apply to a full range of electrified or internal-combustion-engine vehicles; and a new design methodology to realize the best environmental solution for compliance with future vehicle-emission regulations.

“Because of steel’s flexibility, we were able to produce a broad bandwidth of solutions, all of which were evaluated on the basis of cost versus weight and CO2 equivalent emissions,” said Shaw. “Within this portfolio of solutions are applications that all vehicle manufacturers and segments will find relevant.”

The FSV is achieving its results through the use of a broad range of available steel grades and a design-optimization process that develops non-intuitive solutions for structural performance, including optimized shapes and component configurations. FSV’s steel portfolio is utilized during the material selection process with the aid of full vehicle analysis to determine material grade and thickness optimization.

A “Mass Paradigm Shift” Coming

The design and development process was expedited, we learned, by use of the Accelerated Concept to Product (ACP) process developed by Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA), Troy, MI. The ACP process incorporates the Heeds Professional software package from Red Cedar Technology, Inc., which allows FSV developers to automate the design-optimization process. Thus, they’re able to quickly and efficiently analyze such a wide variety of forming options. Shaw noted some 30 different materials and 19 process variations being reviewed by the FSV team, alerting attendees to a “mass paradigm shift” in the vehicles will be developed in the near future.

Three Cheers for the Ford F-150

Receiving special recognition at GDIS 2010 was Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 research and development team, which received the annual Automotive Excellence Award from the Automotive Applications Council of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) honored with its. The team was recognized for its cost-effective and efficient use of advanced and ultra high-strength steel, which helped to minimize the vehicle’s weight while maintaining its durability and safety

Metalforming Tech. body structure sub system-front rails

Among the advanced high-strength steel features of the F-150 are a hydroformed front-end, low-pressure hydroformed dual-phase 780 roof rail, boron hot-stamped B-pillar reinforcement and high-strength side rails.

Here’s a partial list of presentations from GDIS 2010, available for download on demand at

  • FutureSteelVehicle—Jody Shaw, United States Steel Corporation; Harry Singh, EDAG; and Akbar Farahani, Engineering Technology Associates, Inc.

   • Lightweighting Automobile Body– Enablers and Manufacturing Challenges—Dan Grieshaber, General Motors Co.

   • Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies in the 2010 Ford Fiesta— Shawn Morgans, Ford Motor Co.

   A Methodology for Estimating the Potential Mass Reduction of an All Steel Body-in-White by Replacing Mild Steel with High-Strength Steel—Gregory Peterson, Lotus Engineering
 Metalforming Tech. body structure sub system-B pillar

   • Tailor Welded Coils: Applications, Results and Body Structure Impact—Mark Eisenmenger, TWB Company LLC

   • Economics of Lightweighting Steel Wheels through Flow-Forming—Erik Waelchli, IBD Connection, Inc.

   • Lightweight Suspension Front Lower Control Arm Design Optimization—Hannes Fuchs, Multimatic Engineering

   • Investigation of Tooling Durability for Advanced High-Strength Steels—Tareena Mulholland, General Motors Co.

   • Hydroformed Front Bumper Technology in the 2010 Ford Raptor Truck—Conrad Kudelko, Consultant; and John Cass, Amino North America.  MF



See also: ETA Dynaform

Related Enterprise Zones: Materials/Coatings, Other Processes, Software

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