People used to think ‘the heavier, the stronger’ about materials. However, with the progress in the materials industry, now we have stronger and lighter materials.
The light-weight materials for automobiles are evolving continuously. With the different demands for physical properties in regard to these materials, it is now the global trend to adopt multi-material mixes rather than using one material for multiple purposes.
Advanced high strength steel (AHSS) materials with High formability (3rd generation steel), aluminum, CFRP, and more high-end materials are now finding their ways into our automobiles. They sometimes compete with each other, get combined, and evolve hand-in-hand with one another. The technologies to make auto-parts with these materials and join different materials to create new ones are evolving along with these trends.
Hyundai Motor Group has been dedicated to identifying and developing new materials and adopting them in our auto-parts to be used in our cars, so that our products can be more fuel-efficient and safer for our customers.
3rd-Gen Steel The existing high-strength steel sheets did provide solid strength. But, this made it difficult to form them into the shapes we needed. So, this limited their availability in auto-parts. The 3rd-gen steel sheets are 30% easier to form into the desired shapes, securing high strength and ease of forming at the same time. Hyundai Motor Group has been utilizing these 3rd-gen steel sheets in our next-generation auto-part development projects whenever there was a chance to make our parts lighter, stronger, and more integrated.
Aluminum To reduce the weight of the vehicles, we are trying to use more aluminum in our body and suspension parts. In order to enhance the formability of exterior body pannel, we are developing new aluminum with superior formability than conventional aluminum. And, to reduce the weight of suspension parts, we are developing high-quality casting methods to ensure superior quality competitiveness.
CFRP, or carbon fiber reinforced plastics, is a high-strength fiber plastic material that weighs only 1/4 of steel, while five times stronger.
This new material weighs only half of steel and 2/3 of aluminum. And, by applying the HP-RTM method, we are developing various parts including roofs and hoods.