Chinese autos to use more high strength steel, cut CO2 emissions

SBB 17 May Swedish steel company SSAB predicted there will be more demand for high strength steel from auto makers, which would help to reduce a car’s CO2 emissions Steel Business Briefing learns from a company press conference in China last week.

According to Kennet Olsson, SSAB’s marketing and business development manager, high strength steel is mostly used in a car’s body frame and key safety components including bumpers and door beams. The total amount of steel used in a passenger car is generally around 800-900kg, with about 68kg of that being high strength steel at present.

Olsson predicted that the amount of high-strength steel used in a passenger car may increase to 204kg by 2020. Since high strength steel such as SSAB’s Docol product is stronger and lighter than traditional auto sheet, it can help to lower a vehicle’s weight by 25%, which helps to lower fuel consumption and thus contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

China’s Chery Motor and ChangAn Motor are now in the process of studying using lightweight materials in their manufacturing process, as SBB reported.

However, there are still some challenges to overcome. An R&D engineer from Chinese passenger car producer, Haima Motor told SBB high-strength steel is difficult to mould and therefore it is not very popular with Chinese auto makers. He expects the use of high-strength steel in China to increase as moulding technology matures as Chinese auto makers are looking to enter the green vehicles market.


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