The stuff car dreams are mode of
Mobility – the ability to travel around – dictates the pace of modern life. But things change, and with them: demands. The cars of tomorrow will have to do a lot more things than they do now. For example: how can we make cars more efficient while making them lighter and safer, without having a negative impact on production and resources? Through individual commitment and the support of people on a number of fronts, will it be possible for the market to make a giant leap in the right direction?
Before and after the crash: Stefan Schuberth presents high quality steel in it’s finest form. As an innovative and safe automotive component.
The Next Generation Vehicle project looked at non-rusting stainless steel for use in the automotive industry. Launched at the end of 2004, the aim of the project was to join forces with Arcelor Mittal and Outokumpu to show that thanks to stainless steel, we need not exclude the possibility that vehicles can be made lighter, safer and sustainable. As part of their investigations, project members developed and tested innovative materials to be used in new areas of automobile construction – and made some ground-breaking discoveries to boot. Also taking part in the project were the car makers Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, General Motors/Saab and Ford/Volvo. The Next Generation Vehicle Project sought to lay down processing guidelines for non-rusting steel as a prerequisite for the application of stainless steel. B-pillars (between the front and rear side windows of cars) were used as a reference and put though vigorous crash testing. Non-rusting stainless steel already offers development engineers at car companies some interesting options and the material is already being used to make crash components in the Porsche Carrera GT, the roll hoop on the Porsche Boxster, parts of the Audi A6, and the chassis of the Audi A8.
He makes cars lighter, more economical and safer: Stefan Schuberth, ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH.
Forger of the future:
Stefan Schuberth is Head of Application Technology at ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. His aim was to make more intelligent use of materials. For him and his co-workers, the priority was to improve the overall utilization conditions of stainless steel and lay down guidelines for the processing of precious metals in keeping with working material requirements. But to do this, they would have to join forces with two of the company’s three biggest competitors – which they did, forming a large international team consisting of experts from the metal, automotive, and software industry. Before long, Schuberth realized that the high raw material price of stainless steel could only be justified by reducing its overall weight and, part and parcel of this, by saving on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. No problem for an inter-company cross-border alliance. Professionally networked and made up of leading experts, the team quickly struck gold. And what did Stefan Schuberth learn from the project, on top of all the technical insights? That at a fundamental level, everyone involved in the project – independent of background or sponsoring company – works and thinks in the same way. For him it was simply “really fascinating”.
At ThyssenKrupp, progress takes center stage. Which sometimes means you’re willing to step into the wings. So you end up working in some pretty unusual constellations but this enables you, together, to make changes for the better of all.
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