June 18, 2009
Through collaborative efforts with automakers, the North American steel industry is continuing to reinvent its advanced steel technologies to meet stringent requirements for safer, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, according to Ron Krupitzer, vice president of automotive applications for the AISI's Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI). Krupitzer recently discussed the importance of steel in future vehicles in a testimony at the Congressional Steel Caucus hearing Washington D.C.
"Over the years, automotive steel has reinvented itself repeatedly, as the requirements for newer, safer, more fuel-efficient vehicles have become more demanding," Krupitzer said. "The use of new advanced high-strength steel makes vehicles considerably stronger, while requiring less mass, which increases fuel economy. Steel's extreme energy efficiency and high rate of recyclability make it the ideal material of choice for new vehicles."
Krupitzer also noted that collaboration among steel and automotive companies is critical for future vehicle development efforts. He discussed the accomplishments of this partnership with the Steel Caucus. For example, the U.S. steel industry has reduced the amount of energy required to produce one ton of steel by more than 60 percent. SMDI member companies brought new ideas to the global automotive industry through a series of projects, including UltraLight Steel AutoBody (ULSAB), UltraLight Steel Auto Closures, Suspensions and ULSAB-Advanced Vehicle Concepts. He also pointed out that the average recycling rate for automotive steel is 97 percent, making it the most recycled material in the industry.