Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This project investigated the possible benefits to be gained by chassis components if they were produced from newly-developed higher-strength steels and established the influence of geometry and join-making procedures upon dent resistance, component stiffness and crash behaviour. The investigation included both real components and simulated procedures. Higher-strength steels were found to improve dent-resistance permitting a thickness reduction of up to 15% with "bake-hardening-" and dual-phase steels being particularly recommended. Increased curvature also resulted in increased dent resistance. Crash-resistance behaviour on test components showed more resistance to deformation than with standard steels. Laser welding of flat bars was found to be superior to spot-welding in this context. Mash-seam- or laser welded plates offered improved crash-resistance performance. It was found that welding softer and stronger steels together in assembly units allowed targeted crash-resistance properties to be attained. Overall the use of higher-strength steels combined with optimization of join-making procedures offers great potential for weight-saving (between 20 and 30 % depending on circumstances) while preserving the characteristic properties of chassis components. This improves the market position of steel within the automobile industry.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR 18509 DE (1998) 137pp.
Availability: Available from OOPEC Sales agents
ISBN: ISBN 92-828-4849-3
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