One of the main goals of ThyssenKrupp’s InCar plus (phase 2) project, which the company claims is the largest manufacturer-independent development project by an automotive supplier, is weight reduction. Experts achieved that goal in many areas including the A- and B-pillars. The slim A-pillars offer a number of advantages such as a significantly improved field of vision, a high level of passive crash safety, and about 10% less weight. The reduction in material usage and new manufacturing technologies ensure moderate lightweight costs of about $0.85/lb. Integration of the new A-pillar concept into a modular strategy offers possible cost advantages, the company notes. The B-pillars reportedly offer greater safety at lighter weight. A hot formed and roll-clad steel-composite material TriBond 1400 allows for a weight reduction of 2.82 lb (1.28 kg) per vehicle compared to a tailored tempering B-pillar made of MBW 1500. (Pictured is TriBond 1400 three point bending test setup and result.) The design costs less than $0.85/lb. Cold forming also can provide for lighter and cost-effective B-pillars. New materials, such as multiphase DP-K 700Y980T, open up further potential of lightweight design and cost advantages.
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