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Nissan will incorporate a significant amount of its Advanced High Tensile Strength Steel in its future vehicles, including electric vehicles.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced March 12 its plan to expand the use of Advanced High Tensile Strength Steel (AHSS) in to up to 25 percent of the vehicle parts (measured by weight) installed in its new production models.
Nissan said it will make use of advanced high tensile strength steel starting in 2017 as one of its initiatives to help reduce vehicle weight.
The 1.2 gigapascal Ultra High Tensile Strength Steel with High Formability was jointly developed by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Kobe Steel, Ltd. It was employed in the Infiniti Q50, which goes on sale in North America in 2013.
Prior to the development of 1.2GPa ultra high strength steel it had been difficult to use high tensile steels for vehicle parts with highly complex shapes. Nissan said it is for now the only auto manufacturer using 1.2 GPa Ultra High Tensile Strength Steel with High Formability for use as structural body parts in cold pressing.
With the active adoption of 1.2 GPa ultra high strength steel, which is one grade among several types of advanced high tensile strength steels, Nissan considers it will increase the adoption rate of AHSS as far as 25 percent of the gross weight of the parts installed per vehicle.
This effort will begin in 2017 and aims to reduce the weight of Nissan’s vehicles by 15 percent with corresponding body structure rationalization.
The jointly-developed 1.2 GPa AHSS provides, according to Nissan, greater elongation, and offers strength and high formability, to make lighter-weight steel sheets. These attributes enable it to be used for parts with complex shapes, which had been difficult to manufacture using established high tensile steels.
Combined with high-precision die design and a welding process suitable for materials during the production process, the material can now be applied to the production of more vehicle parts.
In addition, employing 1.2 GPa high tensile strength steel leads to fewer materials used per vehicle produced, and existing production lines can be used without a big modification. This results in a reduction in total cost per unit.
Under the Nissan Green Program 2016, Nissan’s mid-term environmental plan, the company is aiming for a 35 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with 2005 on a corporate average for all Nissan vehicles by the end of fiscal 2016.
To that end, the extensive use of Advanced High Tensile Strength steels will contribute to reduced vehicle weight and better fuel economy.