JANUARY 2012

Advanced steels enable automakers to meet vehicle emissions standards

Automakers’ use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) is the fastest growing automotive lightweighting material, according to a recent study conducted by Ducker Worldwide on behalf of the Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute. These new steels will be the key for automakers as they look to meet tough new emissions standards while also meeting safety criteria that steel best addresses, and at a cost that consumers can afford. The global steel industry’s innovative Future Steel Vehicle program projects a steel body structure solution that is 35 percent lighter than benchmarked vehicles, on par with aluminum body structures available today, but with the strength and affordability of steel.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a proposed rulemaking to set stringent requirements for model years 2017 to 2025.

The recent study conducted by Ducker Worldwide found that AHSS presently account for approximately 175 pounds per vehicle, are projected to double by 2020, and nearly triple to 500 pounds per vehicle once the 54.5 mpg standard proposed in the rule is finalized.

The FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) program includes more than 20 new AHSS grades that are expected to be available in 2015 to 2020, 47 percent of which are GigaPascal steels – steels with strength levels in excess of 1,000 MegaPascals.