SSAB launches Docol™ (hot-rolled) steel tailor made for chassis applications
During the next few months SSAB releases two new hot rolled advanced high strength steel products that are more or less tailor-made for chassis applications. “The advanced high strength steels exceed 800 and 1000 MPa in tensile strength which offers a unique combination of properties for maximized hole expansion and edge ductility” says Daniel Sund, Product Manager for hot-rolled automotive products at SSAB Europe. The Docol HR800HE and Docol HR1000HE steel grades fulfil the toughest OEM requirements for hole expansion ratio, for example for a lower control arm.
Thus far, higher tensile strength has affected the ductility of advanced high strength steel products. Now SSAB has had a major technical breakthrough thanks to previous investments made in the hot rolling mill in Borlänge. “As a consequence our R&D could develop totally new advanced high strength steel products” Daniel says. They are extremely strong, but also ductile enough for the tough demands in the automotive industry”.
Chassis carry a large potential for weight reduction. General stiffness and good fatigue properties are very important design factors and reducing the thickness can be challenging. But with good forming properties and optimized edge ductility in the steel you can improve the design and reduce the weight. With great edge ductility you can also have a more cost-effective production with possibility to reduce number of parts. “We have seen that these steels have excellent fatigue properties which ensure durability and a long life time” Daniel continues.
The new Docol HR800HE and Docol HR1000HE materials will be stocked at SSAB’s Trial Material Stock Center in Gothenburg. This service allows for customers to test the steel grade for new projects.
SSAB is a unique producer of high strength steel. By having close collaboration with customers, research institutes and universities the SSAB R&D department has created a melting pot for innovation. “This often makes us an important partner to our customers”, declares Daniel. “When we develop new grades we always have our customers’ business in focus. This is the strong driving force behind continuous improvement, whether we develop new products or adjust the properties of our steel grades to fit specific applications”.
SSAB have been market leaders within advanced high strength steels for decades, given that customers have high expectations on new products. “Our company tradition is that every new advanced high strength steel grade we launch shall be tested and be 100 percent functional before introduction onto the market”, states Daniel. “That is a distinctive feature for SSAB, as is our flexibility and the technical support available to all our customers worldwide. SSAB is a small actor in a huge market, but thanks to this we can keep our strong position. Our customers know that SSAB is a partner to rely on”.