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      12-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
Jason
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BMW's Increasing Use of New Advanced Steel

With growing vehicle sizes and increasing weight from advanced technology and safety features, manufacturers are turning to the use of advanced materials to reduce vehicle weight. BMW is looking to the more widespread use of carbon fiber in its future cars (here's a great video about it), but is already currently considered an industry leader in the use of advanced steel in its cars.

Per Autonews:
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As North American automakers put their vehicles on a weight-reduction plan, they are turning increasingly to a new generation of advanced high-strength steel.

The average vehicle built in North America contains 151 pounds of advanced high-strength steel, up from 111 pounds in 2007, according to data compiled by Ducker Worldwide, a consulting firm in suburban Detroit.

Dick Schultz, Ducker's managing director, predicts automakers will increase usage of advanced steel 10 to 15 percent annually over the next five years or so. The stronger varieties of steel allow automakers to use lighter structural components.

What's the practical limit? Schultz expects usage will top out at about 450 pounds per vehicle. That would be more than half the weight of a typical vehicle's body, bumper and doors.

Right now, Honda Motor Co. and BMW AG are considered industry leaders in the use of advanced steel. But Schultz says all the automakers are making more use of it. "It's fair to say there were early adopters," Schultz said. "But everybody is catching up."

'New steel'

Schultz prefers to call the new varieties of steel "new steel," to differentiate them from the first generation of high-strength steel that has been around for years.

In the 1990s, the steel industry began to promote new steel as a way to reduce vehicle weight and improve a vehicle's crashworthiness.

Steel makers produce it by adding small quantities of alloys -- such as manganese or molybdenum -- then heating the metal above 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. The result is hardened steel that still has enough "give" to be shaped by a stamping press.

One of the first automakers to make use of advanced steel was BMW, which now uses it in all its models. The 7 Series uses roughly 400 pounds of it per vehicle.
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      12-22-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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      12-22-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Steel? Audi uses aluminum
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      12-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwturkiye.net View Post
Steel? Audi uses aluminum
I'd rather be in a steel car than an aluminum one in a crash
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      12-22-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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I don't care if Audi uses silk

S4: 4000lb
335i: 3620lb curb weight

A5 cabr: 4154lb
328i cabr: 3925lb

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Steel? Audi uses aluminum
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      12-22-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo629 View Post
I don't care if Audi uses silk

S4: 4000lb
335i: 3620lb curb weight

A5 cabr: 4154lb
328i cabr: 3925lb
True, but it seems Audi is shedding off some weight:

A6 2.0 TDI(3,472.28 lb)-from press release, not including the driver.
F10 530d (3780 lb) -according to bimmerfile

I'm assuming any other A6/S6/RS6 model may fall close to that number.

If Audi continues this trend in their lineup, I think they will have a bright future.
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      12-23-2010, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wisesoul View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo629 View Post
I don't care if Audi uses silk

S4: 4000lb
335i: 3620lb curb weight

A5 cabr: 4154lb
328i cabr: 3925lb
True, but it seems Audi is shedding off some weight:

A6 2.0 TDI(3,472.28 lb)-from press release, not including the driver.
F10 530d (3780 lb) -according to bimmerfile

I'm assuming any other A6/S6/RS6 model may fall close to that number.

If Audi continues this trend in their lineup, I think they will have a bright future.
Until you get into an accident. Steel is always stronger than aluminum. I would prefer to hit a lighter vehicle than mine. I have a better chance to coming up on top (alive).
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      12-23-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Which one is stronger?

a) The Man of Steel
b) The Man of Aluminum (or just plain old Al for short)

Regards,

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      12-23-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Steel are far more easy to repair than Aluminum.
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      12-23-2010, 04:18 PM   #10
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Aluminum won't rust like steel.

However, I doubt many people plan on keeping their cars 20 years.

Old used car market will appreciate it.

-scheherazade
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      12-23-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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Its not always about strength, a lot of damage can be done when the energy is not absorbed in through the car. Well designed crumple zones are more critical than you think.
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      12-23-2010, 08:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Its not always about strength, a lot of damage can be done when the energy is not absorbed in through the car. Well designed crumple zones are more critical than you think.
Exactly. Stronger doesn't necessarily always mean safer. If the crash structure of a steel car isn't efficient at dissipating crash forces, then obviously there will be some injuries
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      12-26-2010, 05:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo629 View Post
I don't care if Audi uses silk

S4: 4000lb
335i: 3620lb curb weight

A5 cabr: 4154lb
328i cabr: 3925lb
Those cars don't have ASF (Audi Space Frame). Audi TT, new A6, new A8 have it.
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      12-27-2010, 08:44 PM   #14
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Not a fair comparo, audi is awd, bmw is rwd.
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      12-28-2010, 04:31 AM   #15
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What's an Audi???
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      12-31-2010, 09:41 AM   #16
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Ill be interested to see the days when we see even more CF body parts on a production car.
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