The unique Outokumpu grade of stainless steel – HyTens® X– has significantly trimmed the weight of the automotive fuel tank, and that has created a competitive alternative to the traditional plastic tanks used in Europe and in the U.S.
“When you consider some of the new regulations, stainless steel tanks make a lot of sense,” says Stefan Schuberth, who will speak on “Stainless Steel – Future Lightweight Fuel Tanks” at Outokumpu Experience.
Collaborating with tank manufacturer TechROi Fuel Systems, Outokumpu has almost halved the tank weight and reduced its thickness from 1.2 mm to 0.6 mm. For small volume operations up to 300,000 units per year the benefits are the highest – production costs are very competitive with those for plastic tanks, weight is even reduced and time to market is cut to half. But also for bigger volumes there are significant advantages with this grade.
Meeting challenges of tomorrow
Mandatory emission reduction targets call for significant reductions by 2020. Manufacturers who fail to comply will face enormous fines. “All OEM producers are very interested in reducing vehicle weight,” he says.
“The fact that stainless steel is 100 percent recyclable is always a big advantage,” Schuberth says. “These are the kinds of things we look forward to discussing with our customers. We want to show them that we are the right company to work with.”