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Technical Paper

The Properties of Bright Stainless Steel Clad to Aluminum for Class 8 Truck Bumper Applications

Previous work has shown that mirror bright stainless steel clad to lightweight aluminum offers an optimum combination of weight, appearance, fabricability, styling, and durability against road damage and corrosion for automotive trim and bumper applications. This paper characterizes the properties of stainless steel-aluminum clad bumper materials for application on Class 8 trucks. The rule of mixtures is confirmed for an SAE 30301 stainless steel clad to 3003 aluminum, and is applied to show the tradeoffs between weight, strength, and cost that affect material selection for truck bumpers. The fabricability is demonstrated by sweeping, aerodynamic bumper designs that are readily formed, and is quantified by forming limit diagrams of 301SS / 3003Al clad and 301 stainless steel. The durability against road damage is demonstrated with Gravelometer testing, followed by ASTM standardized corrosion testing. The clad is also resistant to erosion from water impingement.