AHSS/UHSS applications for heavy trucks

Lightweighting of heavy-duty and commercial trucks isn’t just about lower emissions, fuel efficiency, or longer e-truck battery range – it’s also about freight efficiency: hauling more to earn more. AHSS/UHSS steels can help.

Higher truck payloads and better durability at lower costs

Heavy-duty and commercial truck components that switched from traditional carbon steel to lightweight aluminum, or even carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs), are now excellent candidates for more economical and durable advanced high-strength steels (AHSSs) and ultra-high strength steels (UHSSs).

Truck manufacturers are eager to leverage the auto industry’s decades-long experience with using AHSS/UHSS steels to make cars safer, lighter, carry more, and last longer. The following is a quick review of the many AHSS/UHSS application possibilities available today for commercial and heavy-duty truck manufacturers.

truck crossbeam

Truck frame rails

Just converting a heavy-duty truck frame from traditional (e.g., 827 MPa) steel to 1100 MPa martensitic steel can save 90 kg. And aluminum’s reduced stiffness – when compared to steel – makes sagging a problem, ruling out aluminum frame rails for a range of weight-sensitive trucks, such as tankers. Docol® AHSS steels can be used for both heavy-duty trucks as well as pick-ups, light commercial vehicles, and city trucks.

Suitable steel grades:
We want to transfer our knowledge in lightweighting cars while increasing safety performance – but we can only do so together with you, the truck manufacturer. Consider Docol® Martensitic (M), Complex Phase (CP), High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) with metal-coated (MC) grades.

truck frame rails

Truck cross members

Docol AHSS steels are a much more economical approach than aluminum for lightweighting truck cross members, with much better fatigue, stiffness, and resistance to twisting.

Suitable steel grades:
We want to transfer our knowledge in lightweighting cars while increasing safety performance – but we can only do so together with you, the truck manufacturer. Consider Docol® Martensitic (M), Complex Phase (CP), High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) with metal-coated (MC) grades.

truck cabin

Truck cabins

Making sleeper cabs lightweight – but comfortable – is key for many trucking companies. AHSS/UHSS steels are ideal for lightweighting truck cabin structures – plus they use forming processes already familiar to OEMs.

Suitable steel grades:
Consider Docol® Martensitic (M), Complex Phase (CP) or Dual Phase (DP) grades.

truck bumper

Truck bumpers

UHSS steels, whether cold-formed martensitic or hot-formed PHS grades, can create weigh-saving, cost-effective bumpers for excellent crash protection.

Suitable steel grades:
Consider Docol® Martensitic (M), Press-Hardening steel (PHS), Complex Phase (CP) or Dual Phase (DP) grades.

battery protection

EV battery protection

A lightweight UHSS battery enclosure not only protects a truck’s large EV battery packs – it can also provide torsional stiffness. The Docol EV Design Concept includes energy-absorbing sill beams, energy-transferring floor cross members, and 3D cold-roll-formed battery-carrying structure.

Suitable steel grades:
Consider Docol® Martensitic (M), Complex Phase (CP)  or Dual Phase (DP) grades.

AHSS and UHSS applications for cars and light vehicles

Making lightweight truck components at attractive prices

AHSS and UHSS steel components can frequently be made with cold-forming equipment that truck OEMs already use – with relatively minor upgrades to tooling for the higher strength material. Plus, Docol steels are as CO2 efficient as recycled steels, making them a sustainable choice.

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