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8th Annual Great Designs in Steel Seminar Showcases Steel Solutions That Increase Fuel Economy and Reduce Emissions

Advanced high-strength steels offer automakers cost-effective, lightweight design solutions

DETROIT, May 13 -- To demonstrate how new advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) technologies provide cost-effective solutions to help automakers increase fuel economy, curb emissions and improve safety, the Automotive Applications Council of AISI's Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) held its 8th Annual Great Designs in Steel seminar today at the Laurel Manor Conference Center in Livonia, Mich.

The steel seminar - which is the premier forum for the latest trends and applications in automotive steel technologies - featured more than 25 technical presentations given by various North American automotive and steel industry experts. Vehicle structures and components featuring the innovative use of steel, new materials and processes were displayed on the exhibit floor.

"Since its inception, the Great Designs in Steel seminar has helped educate automotive engineers in using advanced high-strength steel technologies to design safe, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles," said Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for AISI's SMDI. "This year's program featured some of the latest developments in next-generation steels that address key issues in the automotive industry today."

  The presentations included:

  --  A live extrication demonstration of a crashed car manufactured with
      ultra high-strength steel to highlight how new rescue equipment can
      help first responders free entrapped passengers from vehicles
  --  Applications of AHSS in the 2009 Acura TL and 2009 Honda Pilot;
  --  Future of Steel in the 21st Century;
  --  Optimized Steel Solutions for Roof Strength Using AHSS;
  --  Automotive Lightweighting and Upcoming Energy Climate Policy
      Opportunities; and
  --  Future Steel Vehicle - Advanced Powertrains and the Influence on
      Material Selection.

On display was the 2009 Ford F-150 Super Cab, which used a combination of AHSS and tube hydroforming to achieve the new roof-strength standards recently implemented by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. According to Ford Motor Co., the roof strength of the F-150 increased by nearly 75 percent compared to the 2008 model.

Additionally, AISI presented the BMW X6 Research and Development team with the third annual Great Designs in Steel Automotive Excellence Award. The team was selected for its cost-effective use of ultra high-strength steel that meets new market demands in safety, fuel efficiency and emission standards.