Steel Strikes Back: Again
The steel industry is working on new material grades and processes in order to keep its position as the material of choice in the auto industry.
An exploded view of the aluminum-intensive Audi A8’s structure. Though many times it has been claimed that high-volume mainstream vehicle programs would follow this path, it has yet to come to pass.
New steels have required a change in die design, necessitating more durable die steels and overbending of panels due to their greater tendency to spring back. While new processes have had to be invented, the steel industry is confident that their similarity to tradition methods, combined with steel’s price advantage, will keep automakers from switching to alternatives like aluminum for high-volume vehicles.