Thursday, May 5, 2011

No. 273: New technology for high-tensile steel plate (May 5, 2011)

Kobe Steel successfully developed the technology to process a high-tensile steel plate two times as strong as the conventional product using steel stamp in alliance with Toyota Motor. The two companies succeeded in developing the technology effective for saving weight and increasing strength simultaneously. The newly developed technology prevents the distortion created in the process to distort a high-intensity steel plate using steel stamp without decreasing the precision. Toyota applied the new high-tensile steel plates to the center pillar of its Lexus brand hybrid CT200h. Because no reinforced parts are required, the company made the right and left center pillars 6 kg lighter and reduced the production cost by 25%. Toyota will expand the application of high-tensile steel plates gradually and apply them to its cars to be built in plants abroad. The company currently applies them only to the section that does not need intricately shaped parts including doors and bumpers. It plans to increase the numbers of sections to realize weight saving for better mileage. Demand for the technology to realize both weight saving and increased intensity is strong, but it grows hard to fabricate a high-tensile steel plate into a complicated shape as strength grows, preventing the spread of high-tensile steel plates.

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