In the automotive sector, there’s been more importance placed on reduced emissions, cost efficiency, and customer value. What can take all of these factors into consideration? The introduction of high strength steel (HSS) in new vehicles.
HSS is a type of alloy steel that gives multiple benefits over conventional steel. It is six times lighter than aluminum, more cost effective for the manufacturer, and is stronger. The advantages of HSS in modern vehicle manufacturing are quite astounding and will only advance over time.
HSS has been used by some manufacturers to replace the front-end of vehicles, among other areas, and is becoming more commonplace for the car body.
While some manufacturers are focusing on hybrids to decrease fuel emissions, others are taking advantage of HSS because it is so light, therefore improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. Take for example, Volkswagen. They’ve chosen to use HSS in their new Golf model. It has reduced the weight of the vehicle by 100kg ( 220lbs ). Honda, BMW, Audi, and many others are taking advantage of HSS in their vehicle manufacturing process as well.
Although HSS is thought to be difficult to cut and shape, manufacturers are prepared for the slightly higher demands the steel provides. They use specialized tools and machines to ensure the final product is exactly right. The other issue often brought to mind is that HSS cannot be protected from rust, but it can be coated with a protective layer to prevent corrosion without adding weight. It also preforms very well in crash test simulations, upholding the high safety standards of the automotive industry.
On the repair side of the industry, the demand of HSS requires the introduction of new types of repair procedures. For example, when common steel is heated it can be bent or molded into shape; when heat is applied to HSS, it actually becomes weaker. At Quality Assured Collision & Glass, our technicians undergo yearly training to learn the latest industry standard practices.