Engineering Materials: High Strength Steel Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2830 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] A Canadian study found that by using magnesium in the chair design results in a "weight reduction of approximately 475 kilograms per 50-passenger motor coach" (Guerette 2004). Also magnesium chairs can be less expensive to product than the standard steel frame. A cost benefit analysis suggests that using a lighter weight material such as magnesium results in direct savings in fuel and maintenance costs of several thousand dollars per bus over the vehicle's service life. It has been found that by reducing weight not only reduces fuel consumption and makes the vehicle more environmentally friendly but also reduces wear and tear on the highway infrastructure, which over the long run reduces costs to the government. Magnesium contributes to passenger safety because of its ability to absorb vibrations and shocks while in transit. With these facts in mind, does it make sense to switch to magnesium rather than continue researching ways to make steel lighter? Is steel the better material of the two?

Steel has a few positive factors on its side when it comes to competing with alternative materials for design purposes. For one, steel is highly recyclable and easy to manage environmentally. It does not expel harmful chemicals into the air like other materials. This makes the cost of producing large quantities cheaper for manufacturers. It can be argued that materials like magnesium are not as strong and corrode more easily. Magnesium is more expensive to make because its chemical composition must be changed to be as strong as steel. Steel, on the other hand, is not as flexible as a material like magnesium. It is a double-edged sword really coming down to an issue of investment. Clearly, steel is stronger and highly adaptable. Because of new techniques being introduced into the market of making ultrahigh strength steels, steel is able to have new applications within the automotive industry. Related issues include the design of production and fabrication processes suitable for use with such materials. Hydro-forming, for example, shows promise in the fabrication of lighter-weight steel components, allowing the formation of a chassis component as a single part rather than as a piece spot-welded together from up to six different stampings. Hydro-forming eliminates the flanges ordinarily required for welding, and maintains stiffness by eliminating the welds themselves. And for aluminum components, such techniques as the brazing of honeycomb panels, the production of lightweight squeeze castings, and the extrusion of large-scale shapes have shown promise. One issue that has not bee addressed however, is the issue for steel tariffs or tax. This issue is more revelant to the United State market as the government has put a tariff on imported steel in an attempt to stimulate the struggling steel industry. This issue may make alternative materials more desirable for American automobile manufacturers. This may also stimulate further research in steel's usages as well.

Implications

For a long time, the automotive industry has been one of the most significant users of flat steel products. Advanced high-strength steels and steel tubes are the latest solutions offered by the steel industry to support the development of safer and more environmentally-friendly vehicles. New steel grades and steel tubes mean that cars have become lighter and designs can now achieve CO2 emissions as low as 86g/km, equivalent to fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100km with low operating costs (Tetsuya et al. 2004). These new lightweight solutions are based on advanced-high-strength steels or AHSS and tubes. Products of this type are either already included in the market range, or will be added to it as demand for them is generated. Steel in tubular form is being used more and more in North American-built cars and trucks because it provides parts-consolidation benefits, weight reductions, manufacturing cost savings, and/or reductions in welding energy requirements.

Not only can tubular steel be found in seat frame components, gear shifting mechanisms, mirror assemblies and suspension system components but also in other parts of the car making those parts safer and lighter. The new or expanding applications include everything from structural (frame) rails, door intrusion beams, instrument panel beams, and radiator enclosures to engine cradles, camshafts and exhaust manifolds. The on-going applications include axles, drive shafts, shock absorbers, and steering columns.

Applications are growing about as fast as for tailored steel blanks, and for some of the same reasons. Tailored blanks usually enable parts to be consolidated, weight savings to be achieved, and reductions in manufacturing operations that come after parts-forming to be realized. Often, the use of tubing and tailored blanks also provide material savings. The growing demand for steel tubing was dramatized recently by two things: An increase in prices on the kinds of tubing used in cars and trucks, and the announcement by one of this country's biggest steelmakers, LTV Steel Corp. (Cleveland), that it is going to build a new $66-million plant in Marion, OH, to make more than 146,000 tons of mechanical tubing annually (Tetsuya et al. 2004). When used in place of conventional stamped-and-welded frame or body structural sections, a single hydro-formed tubular steel part can replace a number of box sections that are typically assembled by resistance spot welding.

Conclusion

Steel is steel, but it can be used in forms that are new or promising enough to encourage expanding use, and this seems to be what's happening now with tubular steel. Many auto materials engineers believe that if steel maintains its dominance in cars and light-duty trucks for years to come. Engineers are looking for new applications of the material everyday mainly to promote safety but also to make a better product for the public to use. Ultra high strength steel gives the designer a durable, low maintenance product to work with while remaining cost effective.

The purpose of this paper was to conduct research and the review the findings. This paper sought an understanding of the engineering material of high strength steel, the process in which it is made and the items it is used to build specifically that of bus seat frames. Over the course of the research, was determined that high strength steel is effective when used in building lightweight yet safe and sturdy bus seat frames. This construct lends to the overall safety of buses using this material, specifically in existing models found in buses designed by a company called Fainsa located in Barcelona, Spain. This paper explored the process and design of these seats by looking at the process in which high strength steel is created. By understanding how high strength steel is made, one can better understand its unlimited uses an applications when it comes to designing safer vehicles used for mass transit around the world. This meant doing in depth research of the process and investigating recent data regarding bus seat frames. This paper investigated international case studies that showed different outcomes of use high strength steel as a material.

References:

(2005). "Compartmentalize." (Sept. 21, 2005).

(2005). "Steels for Strength." http://www.machinedesing.com/BDE/materials/bdemat6/bdemat6_8.html. (Sept. 21, 2005).

Basta, E., and Hoon, G. (2004). "Slitting ultrahigh-strength steels: Are you ready to process these coil types?" Stamping Journal 8,
Dalen, C. "Passenger seats of high-strength steel make buses lighter, safer." (Sept. 21, 2005).

Guerette, C. (2004). "Feasibility study on the use of magnesium in mass transit passenger seats." Transport Canada, Research and Development 3, 2.

Olsen, G.B. "Stronger Steels by Design." Scientific Computing.

Ruqian, W., Freeman, A.J. And Olson, G.B. (1994). "First Principles Determination of the Effects of Phosphorus and Boron on Iron Grain Boundary Cohesion." Science 265, 376-80.

Sawyer, C.A. (2005). Interesting Steel Developments, Gardner Publications, New York.

Tesuya, M., Kohei, H., and Hidetaka, K. (2004). "Ultra High-Strength Steel Sheets for Bodies, Reinforcement Parts, and Seat Frame Parts of Automobile -- Ultra High-Strength Steel Sheets Leading to Great Improvement in Crashworthiness." JFE Technical Report 4.

Valenti, M. (2001). "Fluid Handling and Fluid… [END OF PREVIEW]

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