SSAB has debuted two variants of Docol steel that have been customized for chassis applications in the automotive industry. According to Daniel Sund, Product Manager for hot-rolled automotive products at SSAB Europe, the advanced high strength steels exceed 800 and 1000 MPa in tensile strength and offer a combination of properties as a result of which they will provide maximum hole expansion and edge ductility. The Docol HR800HE and Docol HR1000HE steel grades are capable of meeting the most stringent OEM requirements for hole expansion ratio, like in the case of a lower control arm.
So far, steel products of higher tensile strength have demonstrated lower ductility in the case of advanced high strength steel products. SSAB made a major technical breakthrough due to which the company’s R&D division was able to develop advanced high strength steel products which retained a high level of ductility to cater to the demands of the automotive industry though they had higher tensile strength.
Chassis components offer immense potential for weight reduction. When it comes to the design of chassis components, high stiffness and good fatigue properties are very important and it can be a challenge to reduce the thickness. Using steel with good forming properties and optimized edge ductility can help improve the design and reduce the weight of chassis components as well as reduce costs by creating potential to reduce the number of components.
Daniel said that the two variants of Docol steel have excellent fatigue properties thus increasing the durability and life time of the products. The new Docol HR800HE and Docol HR1000HE materials will be stocked at SSAB’s Trial Material Stock Center in Gothenburg and customers will be allowed to test the steel grade for their new projects.
SSAB’s R& D department has always been at the forefront of innovation and has closely collaborated with universities, research institutes, customers to come up with technologically advanced products. According to Daniel, the needs of customers have fuelled SSAB’s interest in continuous improvement, whether it is to develop new products or to adjust the properties of steel grades to fit specific applications.
Daniel concluded, “Our company tradition is that every new advanced high strength steel grade we launch shall be tested and be 100 percent functional before introduction onto the market.” He said that this is one of the company’s distinctive features, in addition to its flexibility and the technical support it provides to its customers spread across the world.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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