Achieving An Affordable Low Emission Steel Vehicle; An Economic Assessment of the ULSAB-AVC Program Design 2002-01-0361
Vehicle weight reduction, reduced costs and improved safety performance are the main driving forces behind material selection for automotive applications. These goals are conflicting in nature and solutions will be realized by innovative design, advanced material processing and advanced materials. Advanced high strength steels are engineered materials that provide a remarkable combination of formability, strength, ductility, durability, strain-rate sensitivity and strain hardening characteristics essential to meeting the goals of automotive design. These characteristics act as enablers to cost- and mass-effective solutions. The ULSAB-AVC program demonstrates a solution to these conflicting goals and the advantages that are possible with the utilization of the advance high strength steels and provides a prediction of the material content of future body structures.
This paper provides an overview of the materials utilized in the ULSAB-AVC body structure and describes how these advanced materials, combined with effective design and advanced material processing, deliver a cost effective light-weight structure that satisfies the demanding crash performance requirements anticipated for 2004. The paper compares the ULSAB-AVC design to the previous ULSAB body structure program to provide a comparison of the influence increased crash performance requirements and materials have on the overall mass and cost of a vehicle body structure. This paper also describes the cost assessment of the ULSAB-AVC, which encompasses the entire vehicle manufacturing and assembly process.