Docol Customer cases

Customer cases

Read about our customers' success when using Docol®

Higher strength steel helps lightweight a chassis

Higher strength steel helps lightweight a chassis

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Higher strength steel helps lightweight a chassis

A leading manufacturer of stamped automotive parts in the United States was challenged to come up with a front-suspension upper-control arm (UCA) for the automotive giant Chrysler. To lightweight this component, the company turned to a higher strength steel.

The challenge

Iroquois Industries Inc., of Warren, Michigan, had already been producing a front-suspension UCA for the Dodge Ram pickup truck. But in the face of rising gasoline prices and fuel economy demands, Chrysler wanted to reduce the UCA’s mass in the Dodge Ram 2009 pickup. The mass reduction program had to be accomplished without giving up the truck’s load carrying or towing capabilities — two critical reasons why customers buy full-size pickup trucks.

Upper-control arm (UCA) in high-strength steel for pickup trucks  Upper-control arm (UCA) in high-strength steel for pickup trucks

The front suspension upper control arm main stamping is made of Domex 700 M "with folded under construction" resulting in a saving of 2.72 kg (6 lbs) per vehicle.

Chrysler Purchasing and Engineering dictated that the DS UCA had to have its mass reduced to match the mass of a proposed formed-wire UCA made from cold-drawn steel wire. This arm was 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs) lighter than the DR UCA that Iroquois was producing at the time for the production Dodge Ram pickup.

The solution

One clear solution emerged: use a new design with a smaller section modulus, made from significantly higher strength steel.

The steel Iroquois selected was SSAB’s Domex 700 MC. Domex 700 MC steel is an hot rolled ultra-high strength HSLA steel with a yield strength of 700 MPa, which is twice the 340 MPa yield strength HSLA steel used on the former Dodge Ram DR UCA. Since the loading on the UCA was along the plane of the arm, it was clear that a design that maintained about the same plane view shape as the former DR UCA but with a thinner section would offer a more efficient design.

The result? The DS UCA is 1.36 kg (3 lbs) lighter than the DR UCA, and it achieved the Chrysler mass target for the arm, at the same time as the functional requirements are fulfilled. This saves 2.72 kg (6 lbs) per vehicle.

    Car door beams become safer, lighter and more cost effective

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    Gestamp is an international group that designs, develops and manufactures metal components and structural systems for the automotive industry. Gestamp Automotion manufactures to only the highest quality and safety standards, and expects its suppliers and partners like SSAB to have the same ambitions.

    As part of its product offering, Gestamp produces a unique side-impact beam solution for a well-known car manufacturer, cold rolled in 1200 MPa steel. Gestamp agreed with SSAB to run a trial with Docol 1400M-EG steel for the same application. The result?

    A side-impact beam that meet the same technical and quality standards but with a lower weight and better cost efficiency by using Docol 1400 M-EG. The manufacturing process ran smoothly with the same performance as for the cold-rolled 1200 MPa steel using the same settings during production without any problems. No investments were needed in order to use Docol 1400 M-EG.

    Top crash-test ratings at half the weight

    The unique strength of Docol AHSS increases the chances of obtaining the highest possible crash rating while reducing vehicle weight. Its best-in-class energy absorption and outstanding strength also provide many environmental benefits. In today’s market, this directly translates to greater competitiveness and higher sales.

    Whether you are looking to change steel grades or begin using Docol AHSS, you can be rewarded with weight reductions of up to 50 percent. And, you can reduce material consumption and cost through thinner grades of steel.

    Here are some strong reasons why Docol steel is optimal for producing side-impact beams:

    • Docol AHSS exhibits a pronounced yield strength increase of about 150 MPa or more after work-hardening and bake-hardening.
    • Docol AHSS exhibits a strain rate hardening effect. This effect corresponds to an increase of about 100 MPa at the high strain rates that are involved locally in a side crash.
    • Using alternative materials like aluminum can require up to three times the thickness of Docol AHSS in order to match its strength.

    Cost savings with Docol AHSS

    Here’s how you can lower your costs with Docol AHSS:

    • Use less material – thinner steel, same strength
    • Use cold forming instead of expensive, hot-stamped boron
    • Replace aluminum and other materials for better cost efficiency
    • Simplify production processes
    • Retain current production machinery
    • Recycle materials
    • Reduce overall cost of final product

    Gestamp is an international group that designs, develops and manufactures metal components and structural systems for the automotive industry

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