Leaner Manufacturing with Precoated High Strength Steels 2001-01-3433
The car manufacturing process benefits from a competition between different materials that have to fulfil such demands as lightweight, comfort and safety. For ecological and economical reasons low vehicle weights minimise the energy consumption necessary for transportation.
High strength steels enable to lower body weight by reducing sheet thickness and increase car safety by excellent crash behaviour. A very important contribution to vehicle safety and value maintenance during the whole life cycle is the use of galvanised steel sheets to prevent corrosion and premature failure of crash relevant body components.
Up to date the high standards in corrosion protection and appearance of the exposed car body in the automotive industry are verified by extensive surface coating processes, applied to the body in white by batch processes. Continuous coil coating of galvanised sheet steel is an extremely efficient alternative to the currently used surface finishing processes. The range of possible coil-coating systems expands from spot weldable thin film coatings over EDP-replacements to complete body paints.
Thin film precoated, galvanised steel sheets are comparably or easier to process in terms of formability and weldability as well as adhesive joining than their uncoated counterparts. Furthermore they yield better application properties like enhanced corrosion protection, especially in cavities. This results in a possible elimination of secondary corrosion protection measures and leaner production processes. Thus, by avoiding, or shifting environmentally sensitive processes to the steel supplier it is possible to slim down the production efforts for high quality automotive vehicles.
Precoated steel sheets offer a high potential to optimise car production in terms of environmental aspects and economical benefits.