The NanoSteel Company (Providence, RI), a leader in nano-structured steel materials design, has developed new, advanced high-strength steels with exceptional combinations of strength and ductility for automotive structures. NanoSteel has developed three classes of steel with measured strength/elongation performance of 950 MPa/35%, 1200 MPa/30%, and 1600 MPa/15%, respectively.
NanoSteel's innovation gives automakers additional ways to use steel in the pursuit of lighter vehicles with better fuel economy without compromising safety. It also allows the auto industry to continue to utilize steel's existing infrastructure, scale, and efficiencies versus switching to other lightweighting materials which may have higher costs, longer cycle times, and limited availability.
"These paradigm-changing performance levels are enabled by new discoveries related to the formation of nano-structures," says Daniel Branagan, CTO and founder of NanoSteel. "Previously, sheet steel made of nano-structures was considered too brittle (no elongation) to form the shapes required for automotive parts. In contrast, NanoSteel's materials are based on newly discovered mechanisms to form nano-structures during production which eliminate the cause of this brittleness." NanoSteel's new AHSS utilizes conventional steel processes and avoids the use of exotic alloying elements.