Steel's Continued Reinvention: New Advanced Steel Grades Meet Growing Automaker Demands

    Steel's Continued Reinvention: New Advanced Steel Grades Meet Growing
                              Automaker Demands

Dollar for dollar and ounce per ounce, new steels clearly outperform competing
materials

PR Newswire

DETROIT, Aug. 7, 2012

DETROIT, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --An increasing number of recently
published studies about advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) reveal that it has
become the lightweight automotive material that best addresses society's need
for reduced greenhouse gas emissions, without compromising safety, performance
or affordability, according to Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive
market, Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American
Iron and Steel Institute.

The development of  AHSS grades has been driven by the ever-increasing
challenges faced by automakers, such as crash performance requirements, the
need to reduce vehicle mass for fuel efficiency and the need to enhance
formability to manufacture high-strength parts.

"The advanced grades are relatively new to vehicle design and are
significantly different from the conventional steels they replace," Krupitzer
said. "The lightweighting capability of AHSS results from their unique
combination of strength and ductility. These attributes are developed by
creating specific microstructures through precise and tightly controlled
steelmaking processes. The results are lightweight automotive designs that are
cost effective with low emissions that also provide unmatched safety
performance."

Below are some key advantages of AHSS:

Safety and Durability Performance

  oAs shown in WorldAutoSteel's recent FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) study, using
    today's design optimization tools, a steel body structure with 35 percent
    weight savings can meet or exceed all  safety requirements.
  oSteel remains the dominant material for automotive bodies and safety
    cages.
  oConsumers value the safety benefits of steel. When asked which automobile
    components protect them most, the top three choices by consumers were seat
    belts, steel frames (the steel safety cage) and steel side-impact beams
    (placed inside car doors to better protect passengers in side-impact
    collisions).

Sustainability

  oSteel is recycled more than all other materials on the planet combined,
    with an extremely high overall recycling rate. Recycling of automotive
    steel can top 100 percent, as the cars being recycled may be heavier than
    new models.
  oBecause it is 100 percent recyclable, steel used in today's cars can help
    automakers reduce the carbon footprint of tomorrow's vehicles.
  oAutomobiles are recycled more than any other consumer product, with nearly
    100 percent of vehicles being recycled for their iron and steel content.
    In 2008, this resulted in more than 14.8 million tons of steel was
    recovered for reuse from scrapped automobiles.
  oLife cycle assessment (LCA) is an established method of accounting for
    total greenhouse gas emissions associated with products like automobiles
    and determines the carbon footprint of products. Steel is the only
    material that reduces greenhouse gas emissions in all phases of a
    vehicle's life: manufacturing; driving; and end-of-life.
  oLCA shows that steel, which currently makes up about 60 percent of the
    average North American vehicle, generates fewer emissions than other
    automotive body materials; therefore, steel-intensive automobiles will
    continue to be the overall lowest-emitting vehicles on the road.
  oThe use of AHSS reduces a vehicle's structural weight by as much as 25
    percent (35 percent with the FSV) and can cut total life cycle CO[2]
    emissions by up to 15 percent more than any other automotive material,
    according to aWorldAutoSteel LCA study.

Affordability

  oThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology study "Process Cost Modeling:
    Strategic Engineering-economic Evaluation of Materials Technologies" and
    related cost models identify alternative materials to be at a significant
    cost disadvantage for all aspects of the body-in-white manufacturing
    process. For example:

       oIn raw material costs, aluminum is three times more expensive than
         steel;
       oIn conversion costs, aluminum is two times more expensive than steel;
       oIn assembly, aluminum is 20 to 30 percent more expensive than steel;
         and
       oIn total, an aluminum structure is estimated at 60 to 80 percent more
         expensive than a conventional steel design.

  oOptimized steel body structures using AHSS can be constructed at no
    significant additional cost relative to a conventional body structure.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public
policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the
preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development
and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of
25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers,
and 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel
industry. AISI's member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S.
and North American steel capacity.

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) grows and maintains the use of
steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the
automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth
opportunities in emerging steel markets. For more news or information, visit
www.autosteel.org or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/smdisteel.

SMDI investors include:

  oAK Steel Corporation
  oArcelorMittal Dofasco
  oArcelorMittal USA LLC
  oNucor Corporation
  oSeverstal North America Inc.
  oThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
  oUnited States Steel Corporation

SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute

Website: http://www.autosteel.org
Contact: Deanna Lorincz, +1-248-945-4763, dlorincz@steel.org