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Steel Eliminates Weight Gap with Aluminum Car Bodies

             Steel Eliminates Weight Gap with Aluminum Car Bodies

New studies show a further reduction in body structure mass

PR Newswire

DETROIT, April 16, 2013

DETROIT, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The latest in a continuing series of
research studies by WorldAutoSteel, strongly suggests that steel auto body
structures in the near future can be as lightweight as today's aluminum
bodies, while meeting all crash performance standards and at cost comparable
to today's steel structures. The studies also show how car makers can form and
fabricate sophisticated steel designs and accelerate their implementation in
production vehicles.

Building on a weight reduction of 35 percent announced in 2011 in its initial
FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) design, the most recent studies boost lightweighting
to 39 percent, compared to a baseline vehicle using an internal combustion
engine. The optimized FSV body weighs 176.8 kg, putting steel on par with
today's aluminum-intensive production designs. These lightweight, advanced
high-strength steel (AHSS) body structures, designed to carry heavier
electrified powertrains, fall in line with the lightest internal combustion
engine aluminum vehicles, and are on par with other concepts featuring
alternative materials.

"The results show that by incorporating FSV's materials and manufacturing
technologies, car makers can avoid pursuing more costly alternatives and
complicated multi-material designs to achieve their goals," Lawrence W.
Kavanagh, president, Steel Market Development Institute said.

The FSV program employs more advanced steels and steel technologies in its
portfolio and consequently adds to the tool sets available to automotive
engineers around the world. It includes more than 20 new AHSS grades,
representing materials expected to be commercially available in the 2015 to
2020 timeframe. The FSV program addressed four 2015 to 2020 model-year
vehicles: battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) A-/ B-Class
vehicles; and PHEV and fuel cell C-/D-Class vehicles. Though FSV focused on
electrified powertrains, its innovations are applicable to any vehicle.

The two most recent studies, titled FSV Final Gauge Optimization and FSV
Near-Term Front Longitudinal Rail Shape streamlined the FSV design and devised
an alternative geometry leading to an additional mass reduction of 11.6 kg,
bringing the total weight savings to 39 percent. The study includes two
different, but comparable, front rail designs, expanding the range of
solutions available to car makers in the near term.

Intensive use of AHSS, as FSV demonstrates, also contributes to lower total
greenhouse gas emissions over the entire vehicle life cycle, compared to
greenhouse-gas-intensive alternative materials. "It is important regulators
and consumers understand the impact of materials choice on the environment,"
Kavanagh said. "The logical approach in designing low-emitting vehicles is to
use low emitting materials like these new steels and, especially so, when they
are cost-effective."

WorldAutoSteel, the automotive group of the World Steel Association, is
comprised of 18 major global steel producers from around the world.
WorldAutoSteel's mission is to advance and communicate steel's unique ability
to meet the automotive industry's needs and challenges in a sustainable and
environmentally responsible way. WorldAutoSteel is committed to a low carbon
future, the principles of which are embedded in our continuous research,
manufacturing processes, and ultimately, in the advancement of automotive
steel products, for the benefit of society and future generations. To learn
more about WorldAutoSteel and its projects, visit www.worldautosteel.org.

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 125 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.

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
  oThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
  oUnited States Steel Corporation

SOURCE Steel Market Development Institute

Website: http://www.autosteel.org
Contact: DEANNA LORINCZ, 248.945.4763 / dlorincz@steel.org, or JENNIFER
GREENFELDER, 248.945.4767 / jgreenfelder@steel.org