Technical Paper

Advanced steel products for lightweighting at DaimlerChrysler

International Symposium on Niobium Microalloyed Sheet Steel for Automotive Application

Ever since the oil shortage of the 1970s and the introduction of tougher environmental regulations, the automotive community has been challenged to push initiatives leading to higher vehicle fuel efficiency. Initial efforts worked to downsize vehicles, while at the same time substituting the traditional body-on-frame, rear-wheel drive architecture, with the lower mass unibody, front wheel drive architecture. Lighter vehicles with smaller and more efficient powertrains have led to significant improvement in fuel economy. Since then, customer driven requirements for more personalized driving characteristics such as increased cockpit comfort, accessories, enhanced performance, functionality, and safety have allied with relatively affordable fuel prices to once again lead the North American industry to steadily increase vehicle size, powertrain displacement and a return to rear wheel drive architecture, while still meeting stringent fuel economy requirements. This paper will cover the current automotive trends t wards advanced materials utilization for the body-in-white at DaimlerChrysler in order to meet the requirements of light-weighting while maintaining or increasing overall vehicle safety. (AU)
Technical Paper (PDF 836.46 KB)