Automotive Mass Reduction with Martensitic Stainless Steel 2011-01-0427
Martensitic stainless steels are ideally suited for structural components and assemblies, satisfying the requirements of high strength, toughness and corrosion resistance with ease of forming in the annealed state. New developments in welding and thermal processing, coupled with increased demands for high strength lightweight structures, are positioning martensitic stainless as a cost effective alternative to conventional lightweighting materials. Several examples are shown, including the development of fully martensitic (UNS S41000) automotive subframes, door beams, B-pillars, seat rails, tow hooks and fuel rail assemblies. The excellent mechanical properties of hardened martensitic stainless allow for notable weight savings, achieving 35% or greater weight reduction relative to baseline designs.