Category Archives: Uncategorized

Making bottle crowns 50 microns thinner leads to multimillion dollar savings for SABMiller

Global brewing company SABMiller has developed a bottle crown that reduces the crown thickness to 0.17mm from a typical thickness of 0.22mm to 0.24mm. This thickness change of 50 microns reduces the standard crown weight from 2.38g to 2.14g, corresponding … Continue reading

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Calculating Sheet Metal Thinning in a Formed Part

Through my website, someone from a manufacturing company asked how to calculate thinning in a sheet metal part made from 2mm thick high strength steel. My response: First, I assume the nominal or expected thickness is 2mm. But this is … Continue reading

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Ultra High Strength Steel in 2013 Honda Accord

2013 Honda Accord body structure is made of >55% high strength steel with tensile strengths starting at 440MPa. Of this, >17% is ultra high strength steel, with tensile strengths of 780MPa, 980MPa, and a martensitic grade 1500MPa. This 2013 model … Continue reading

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Automotive Lightweighting Workshop: February 12-13, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan

The next meeting of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Fuel Economy of Light-Duty Vehicles, Phase 2 will be a lightweighting workshop focused on lightweighting, mass reduction and their impact on fuel economy. On the agenda for the meeting … Continue reading

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Steel, Aluminum, and Automotive Market Concentration in China

Currently, around half of China’s total steel capacity is owned by the 10 biggest steel firms; the government aims to bring this to 60% by 2015. Also by 2015, targets call for 90% of automobile production and 90% of aluminum … Continue reading

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Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) for Exposed Applications

In one of the first uses of AHSS for automotive skin panels, POSCO is supplying Hyundai with an exposed quality advanced high strength steel with 490 MPa minimum tensile strength. Hyundai was able to reduce the mass of the door … Continue reading

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FASTLITE: French Program to Cut Vehicle Weight

In the next 5 to 7 years, the French FASTLITE project is attempting to take 200 kg (440 lb) out of vehicle weight. FASTLITE is subsidized by the French government, and involves Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen, a dozen suppliers, research … Continue reading

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Audi A3: Mixed Materials Leads to Lighter Weight

The current model Audi A3 is 80 kg lighter than the prior version, resulting from “relatively thin-walled, form-hardened steels that make up 26% of an A3’s body materials, many aluminum parts including the hood and fenders, plastic for the front … Continue reading

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Aluminum from Bauxite and Alumina

Here’s a video showing how aluminum is made:

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Aluminum Can Manufacturing

Here’s a great video on how aluminum cans are made:

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IIHS Small Overlap Frontal Crash Test

New challenges are ahead in material requirements and automotive structural design. http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr081412.html

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Training, Mathematics, and Communicating

I read a summary of a research report out of Carnegie-Mellon University this morning which found that early understanding of fractions and division predicts a student’s future math success (http://www.cmu.edu/homepage/society/2012/summer/math-success.shtml). Similarly, I read an interesting and somewhat humorous article in … Continue reading

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North American Deep Draw Research Group (NADDRG)

On May 15, the Spring 2012 Symposium of the North American Deep Drawing Research Group (NADDRG) was held at Oakland University, Auburn Hills, MI, with over 100 attendees from industry and academia coming to discuss the latest theoretical and practical … Continue reading

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Bridge the Gap Between Virtual Modelling and your Plant Floor

Manufacturers and designers have much interest in virtual design and modelling for formed sheet metal products. There can be significant advantages, including reduced time to manufacture, lower cost, environmental friendliness, and greater flexibility in experimentation. The problem many encounter, though, … Continue reading

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The Ultimate Material in Automotive Manufacturing

Cheap, strong, manufacturable, light-weight. That’s all the auto industry wants. Of course, there is no single material that meets all of these qualifications, at least not under today’s economics and technologies. The likely candidates – steel, aluminum, magnesium, and composites … Continue reading

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AHSS Applications in Automotive

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) just released a 42 page report titled AHSS 101: Evolving Use of Advanced High-strength Steels for Automotive Applications. It’s a great overview of the different grades of AHSS and their applications. For a … Continue reading

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