Advanced High-Strength Steel Offers Automakers The Complete Package

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New three-part video series highlights steel solutions for vehicle safety, fuel efficiency and affordability

DETROIT--Dec. 3, 2012: In a new three-part video series about the clear advantages advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) offer to automakers, Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president, the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), focuses on how steel is able to help automakers meet stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and strict safety requirements while maintaining affordability.

The first segment of the automotive-specific series -- steel and CAFE -- is available online at Steel Media. The second and third segments are slated for release in December.

In the series, Kavanagh discusses how steelmakers worldwide continue to develop new materials to meet the challenges of stricter automotive regulations. The different segments of the video explain the environmental, cost and performance advantages of new AHSS versus competing materials. For example, Kavanagh points out that automakers are increasing their use of AHSS because its unique properties enable them to take weight out of the vehicles while maintaining top safety performance. Kavanagh also discusses automotive design successes with these advanced materials, including the FutureSteelVehicle and front lower control arm projects, as well as SMDI's upcoming lightweight chassis and engine programs.

"Due to advances in modeling and materials science, steelmakers can manipulate the molecular structure of materials to meet the evolving needs and specifications of the auto industry," Kavanagh said. "Advanced high-strength steels are created to provide automakers the complete package: unparalleled crash performance for safety; reduced vehicle weight for fuel efficiency; and affordability to consumers."

In the interview series, Kavanagh explains how steel's advantages go beyond performance and life cycle emissions, emphasizing the lifetime cost benefits of owning and operating a steel-intensive vehicle. Kavanagh also describes how incorporating new steels into vehicle designs allows engineers to put the strength -- or any other desired steel property -- exactly where it is needed to provide maximum occupant protection.

"Using advanced high-strength steels in automotive manufacturing allows car companies to put customers in safe vehicles they can afford to buy and maintain," Kavanagh said. "And over the past 10 years, the steel industry has reduced vehicle mass through steel innovations by 35 percent. Imagine what we will do in the next 10 years."

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.

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