WINNER: Smart Steel
Material Sciences Corporation
2019 - PACE Award Winner
What: Steel is reduced through layering
Innovation: Working with Productive Research and Ford Motor Co., Material Sciences engineers have developed a multilayer steel laminate that replaces low-carbon stamped-steel vehicle body parts. The product, developed for high-volume production, is a three-layer sandwich with steel outer skins and a low-density polymer. The material can be spot-welded and reduces steel use about 35 percent.
First Customer: Ford
Judge's Citation: A central strategy for fuel efficiency is vehicle weight reduction, often by replacing steel with aluminum and plastics and composites. Vehicle body structure has been a difficult challenge because of the large changes to assembly areas generally needed for aluminum and composite material substitution. Material Sciences has developed smart steel, a laminate of two thin steel skins with a polymer core, which permits assembly in existing areas. It can be formed like steel, spot-welded to steel and processed through existing electro-coat ovens. It can economically replace many steel structural body panels while saving about 30 percent of the weight.
Web site: materialsciencescorp.com