Steel is one of the most used metals across different industries globally. It has spared no industry, be it construction, manufacturing, aviation, or automotive. The metal can be machined and manufactured in several shapes and sizes through different methods, making it a suitable, economical, practical, and durable option.
In this article, we will discuss the use of steel in the automotive industry. Here, you will learn about the types of steel used in the automotive industry.
Stainless steel is the most common steel everyone must hear of. This category of steel contains a minimum of 10.5% of chromium, 1% of carbon, and other alloying compounds. One unique feature of stainless steel is its ability to resist rust and corrosion. Its light-bodied and lustrous design perfectly fits into the durability and functionality requirements of various industries, including the automotive.
It is widely used in the automotive industry to make different sheet metal and auto components and for crafting and assembling different components of vehicles. Most vehicles comprise approximately 2 to 15 kilograms of stainless steel, most of which lies in their exhaust systems.
Fuel-combustion engines, especially, require the use of materials that resist deformation and high temperatures & pressures. The requirement is well-fulfilled by stainless steel, thanks to its extremely high melting point (more than 1500 degrees Celsius) and ability to stay intact under high pressures. As you know, an average vehicle, when in use, generates up to 104°C in engine temperature. Having stainless steel components in the engine help protect the rest of the driver while in motion and ensures the safety of surrounding car materials.
Advanced High-Strength Steel
The constant innovations resulted in the development of a new grade of modern steel, popularised as high-strength steel. It is a more complex, sophisticated material, with cautiously selected chemical compositions and multiphase microstructures, than low carbon and mild steel. It is precisely heated to upgrade its toughness, ductility, fatigue resistance, and other properties.
Owing to its exceptional properties, the high-strength steel offers its best performance in vehicle bodies, bumpers, car doors, and undercarriages. Additionally, steel is light in weight, making it easier for car manufacturers to add new features or create effective engineering solutions to take the automotive sector to the next level with additional safety and performance.
Advanced high-strength steel can be further classified into different sub-categories, such as ferritic-bainitic (FB), martensitic (MS), twinning-induced plasticity (TWIP), and transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP), to name a few. TRIP and DP steels, for example, are better suitable for engine crash zones or portions that require high energy absorption. On the other hand, MS plays a crucial role in improving vehicle safety and performance.
As the name says, high-carbon steel has high-carbon content. This type of steel is an alloy that undergoes a heat treatment called quenching. The steel is first heated, then rapid cooling is applied to trap the carbon and transform the steel into the desired structure or shape.
The high-carbon steel has a low level of ductility compared to other steel. Although, the same offers exceptional resistance to wear and tear, making it a preferred choice for fabrication requirements. Most manufacturing industries in Faridabad fabricate steel into cutting tools or metal fasteners.
You can search “automobile sheet metal company near me” and find several carmakers who are consistently using high-carbon steel to create vehicle frames, bushings, chassis, support beams, door panels, mufflers, etc. When combined with other steel grades, the high-carbon offers its use in the production of vehicles that specifically meets safety standards, crash requirements, and even design.
Low-carbon steel possesses less tensile strength and weaker yield-point runout than its high-carbon counterpart. Also known as mild steel, low-carbon steel is used in the making of various vehicle parts because it’s economical to produce and turn into smaller components.
The steel is used on both the inside and outside of the vehicle. Automotive components made from low-carbon steel are suspension parts, clutch housings, brackets, control arms, etc. It is also used to create decorative components like covers, washers, wheel rims, screws, nuts, bolts, fasteners, etc. All these parts are necessary for creating a vehicle and maintaining its stability in the long run.
Galvanized steel is cost-effective and is vastly used in the vehicle manufacturing industry. It is more effective than aluminum and is used for making diverse automotive components. Nearly 80% of cars, trucks, or motorcycles can be composed of this type of steel. When painted with a thin layer of zinc coating, manufacturing industries in Faridabad can extend the life and functionality of the galvanized steel, further boosting the vehicle’s working with minimal repairs and maintenance required.
A few advantages of galvanized steel are its low cost, enhanced durability, self-healing, and easier availability. Galvanized steel can be effectively used in place of expensive steel grades as it offers long-lasting protection for the vehicle parts it has been used in.
The above-mentioned are a few different types of steel used in the automotive industry. All the types are widely used to manufacture different vehicle components that increase the lifespan and function of the vehicle. As mentioned, some of them can provide good strength, while some are cost-effective and offer ample strength with very few flaws.
As the automotive and steel-making industry continues to evolve in terms of innovation, there is a higher likelihood that manufacturers from both fields will engineer specialty steel parts and products, further solidifying steel’s role in all sectors.