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Green Steel for revolutionising the automotive industry with special steels

Green Steel for revolutionising the automotive industry with special steels

August 3, 2023 6:32 pm

Swiss Steel Group is pioneering Green Steel for Automotive Innovation. Delivering versatile and eco-friendly specialty steels, enabling lightweight construction, fuel efficiency, and high-performance components for the ever-changing automotive industry.

The automotive market is undergoing constant change – special steels in Green Steel quality are becoming increasingly important and only a few can already supply them. 

It is not just a question of producing low-CO2 powertrains, but also of meeting requirements for ever lighter, safer and more comfortable vehicles with alternative powertrains. 

With its specialty steels, the Swiss Steel Group is helping to successfully master these increasingly pressing challenges.

In the production of automobiles, manufacturers and designers must be able to rely on the versatility and performance of the material for components and systems. It must be produced with low CO² emissions and the material must also be affordable. This is what the Swiss steelmakers deliver. The Swiss Steel Group produces consistently high-quality, reliable and customized solutions for engine components, high-pressure pumps, exhaust systems, chassis components, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and airbags. 

Steel expertise for the automotive industrie

Green steel and lightweight construction are the order of the day for reducing fuel consumption in conventional powertrains or optimizing the range of electric vehicles. The Swiss Steel Group has a solution ready for automotive suppliers for all special applications, the perfect steel.

The Swiss Steel Group with its plants, Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, Ugitech, Steeltec and Sorel, is one of the leading developers and suppliers of engineering steel, stainless steel and tool steel. The Group’s own research and development departments are in regular contact with customers, keep their ear to the market, and help shape the future of auto manufacturing thanks to innovative solutions.

When it comes to lightweight components, for example, the innovative Bainidur 1300 from Deutsche Edelstahlwerke can be used to produce sophisticated forgings cost-efficiently. This bainitic material can be processed without distortion and with only a small amount of machining allowance without further complex process steps. The use of this material makes it easier for manufacturers to produce parts of consistently high quality without additional quenching and tempering and without the risk of warpage. And this also applies to large-format parts (> 60 mm round).

Less inspection effort for manufactured parts

The Bainidur 1300 allows a wide process window with regard to temperature control during forging and cooling. The bainitic microstructure and the properties of the component can be reliably adjusted, and the testing effort of manufactured parts is reduced. 

“The material is the ideal solution for heavily loaded parts and at the same time significantly reduces material usage compared to conventional steel, with comparable load values,” emphasizes the Head of Technology & Quality at Deutsche Edelstahlwerke of the Swiss Steel Group.

Bar steel is already installed in almost every vehicle today: up to 300 kg of engineering steel and up to 10 kg of stainless steel, because every weight saving thanks to innovative products means lower gasoline consumption, greater range and above all conservation of resources.

When it comes to demanding applications

The heat-resistant steel Thermodur® 2383 Supercool from Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, for example, ensures shorter cycle times in the production of sheet metal components such as the B-pillar: Used for press hardening tools, Thermodur® combines hot forming and heat treatment – significantly reducing process costs. 

Excellent purity characterizes the plastic mold steel SF-2000® LQ40 from Sorel Forge. This makes it suitable for mirror polishing: This gives headlight lenses a crystal-clear surface and allows them to be permanently reproduced in high quality. 

The HSX® 90 steel from Steeltec ensures that the airbag sleeve can be welded within a very short time so that the propellant introduced does not escape. On top of this, the high-strength special steel withstands enormous pressure until the airbag is triggered. 

Splitasco XS for lighter and stronger connecting rods

Ascometal has been very successful in developing and supplying its Splitasco HC steel grade. With this, Ascometal has launched a steel grade that the company developed in close cooperation with a specialist in connecting rod production. The new steel grade enables a further improvement for connecting rods in lightweight construction and higher load transmission. 

Splitasco XS meets two key customer requirements, namely maximum compressive load without plastic deformation and increased fatigue strength. Compared to the standard C70 grade, the compressive yield strength is increased by 110% and the fatigue strength by more than 60%. These very high application properties can significantly reduce the weight of the manufactured parts.

Outstanding mechanical properties

As bainitic steels the mechanical properties of the parts produced with Splitasco XS are achieved without quenching, thus avoiding distortion of the components. Furthermore, by optimizing the chemical composition, a fully bainitic microstructure can be achieved with respect to different cooling rates.  As a result, connecting rods weighing several kilograms can be manufactured with the same mechanical properties as smaller ones weighing only 500 grams.

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