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Nissan Motor Adds Lightness with Ultra High Tensile Steel

March 12 – Yokohama – Infiniti’s new Q50 isn’t just high performance. It’s less heavy metal.

A red center pillar made of Ultra High-Tensile Strength Steel

The stylish premium sedan, on sale later this year, is set to be the first model to use a new grade of steel developed by Nissan Motor Company and partner steelmakers that is stronger, lighter and easier to manufacture.

“The results is we can make the car lighter and lighter cars enable customers to use less gasoline and produce fewer CO2 emissions,” said Haruaki Nakatsukasa, an expert leader in Nissan’s body engineering department.

The newly developed 1.2 gigapascal steel is part of a broader goal of reducing vehicle weight and raising fuel economy through use of advanced steel technology.

Expert Leader Mori discusses steel technology

 

An important breakthrough allows the steel to be used on existing production lines without expensive modifications, pressing it into parts with complex shapes without risk of cracking.

“Normally, when you make the steel stronger and harder, it makes it less malleable, which means when we press the steel, we can’t make the part,” said Kiyokazu Mori, an expert leader in Nissan’s  advanced vehicle manufacturing and prototype technology department.

“The important thing is this is malleable and with the highest strength possible.”

Using less-heavy metal will become even more important from 2017, when Nissan Motor will cut vehicle weight by 15%, with high-tensile steel in up to a quarter of cars’ body parts (measure by weight).

In terms of better fuel economy, the new steel is a way for automakers to show their mettle.

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