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Automotive & transportation
Outokumpu news
Weight savings; Sustainability; Corrosion resistance
Forta; Supra; Outokumpu Pro; Outokumpu Classic

Automotive industry is facing new challenges

JUN 01, 2015    
As increasingly stringent emission requirements change the fundamentals of automotive design, stainless steel plays an increasingly important role. Advanced materials, specialized design and deep expertise are needed.

Imagine an ultra high-strength austenitic – one that’s lightweight, with good crash resistance and high production efficiency. That describes Outokumpu Forta H-series, a material of various possibilities.

The need to reduce fuel emissions is forcing dramatic change in automotive engineering, as manufacturers seek a way to balance the conflicting needs of fuel efficiency, performance and passenger safety.

The solution will require a complex mix of lightweight construction, superior corrosion resistance and high-strength materials that perform well at high temperatures – the kind of advanced materials that are Outokumpu’s specialty.

Ultra-strong meets ultra-li​​​ght

At the recent Outokumpu Experience event in Berlin, stainless steel showed its excellence as a material well suited to the challenges faced by the automotive industry. The Forta H-Series was one of the topics generating clear excitement there.

The Forta H-Series trims vehicle weight. Automotive fuel tanks made of Outokumpu’s HyTens® stainless steel, for instance, are significantly lighter than today’s plastic tanks. The solution was recently awarded by International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) as an innovation of the year.

A non-volatile austenitic material with ultra-high strengths, the Forta H-Series lends itself to resistance point welding, delivering high power transmission in every direction. Passengers can’t predict or control point of impact. For them, that kind of material behavior is essential.

For original equipment manufacturers (OEM), the H-Series is the preferred way to reduce CO2 emissions and improve passenger safety – at a stable, competitive price. It also delivers high production efficiency and is fully recyclable.

Reducing emissions, increasing efficiency

Technologically advanced systems are vulnerable to stresses caused by pressure, high temperatures, corrosion and vibration. Stainless bar plays an important role in Outokumpu’s Gasoline Direct Injection technology. Delivering fuel efficiency via a highly pressurized fuel system, stainless bar is strong and corrosion-resistant.

Stainless steel is also helping reduce CO2 emissions in automotive exhaust systems. According to Sylvia Hartmann, Director of Technical Analysis for Eberspächer Exhaust Technology, stainless steel is the best material group to address exhaust loads.

Light-weight materials are transforming stainless steel road tankers as well. Supra 316plus, an enhanced version of Supra 316L/4404 offers higher corrosion resistance, excellent formability and dramatically higher strength, making thinner gauges – and lighter structures – possible. That, in turn, leads to increased capacity and greater efficiency.

Committed to meeting the needs of the automotive industry, Outokumpu provides expertise to face the challenges of today and advanced solutions to help build a sustainable future.

Angel Ramirez


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