Stainless Steel In Structural Automotive Applications 2002-01-2067
High strength characteristics, ease of fabrication, excellent fatigue resistance, and energy absorption capability are some of the properties held by stainless steel which enable us to meet the specific requirements of various passenger car structural members: these requirements include weight reduction, energy absorption, and pedestrian protection. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the weight reduction potential of austenitic stainless steels i.e. Fe-Cr-Ni- (N) alloys in side members and bumper beam applications. The hydroforming technique combined with the high formability of austenitic stainless steel allows the optimisation of the side member cross section.
In the case of a crash this shape optimisation promotes the crushing of side members instead of buckling and therefore improves the energy absorption capability. This survey shows that the weight reduction is about 50% in the case of low speed crashes.
According to pedestrian protection requirements a weight reduction of the bumper beam of the order of 40% can be achieved by both redesigning and using the right grade of stainless steel in the right cold worked condition.