A “third-generation” steel being developed at a US university could help auto manufacturers roll out fuel-efficient vehicles that could meet future energy efficiency requirements, say researchers.
The development of this new steel, known as a “third-generation advanced high-strength steel”, is under way at Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Kent D. Peaslee Steel Manufacturing Research Centre.
”We are currently refining the steel design to achieve ‘Gen 3’ mechanical property goals while also maintaining manufacturability,” said centre director Ronald O’Malley in a university statement.
”This is one of the most promising generation-three steels I have seen,” O’Malley said.
Improvements in exhaust treatment systems, transmission efficiency and aerodynamics all contribute to better fuel efficiency but reducing vehicle weight is also important, O’Malley said.
”Automakers must make light-weight vehicles without sacrificing safety,” O’Malley added.
What is called first-generation steel is most commonly used in today’s cars and trucks.
A second-generation product has been developed and it is stronger and lighter weight than the first-generation material.
But it is too costly to produce and more difficult to manufacture.
”The third-generation steel should be lighter, easier to make and strong enough to address automakers’ safety concerns,” O’Malley concluded.
A committee of representatives from four steel manufacturers, including ArcelorMittal are overseeing the project.