Hyundai Steel will provide high-end products for cars

Hyundai Steel has successfully mass-produced the world’s first premium 1.8 Gigapascal (GPa) hot stamping steel. The company announced on Feb. 10 that it had developed the updated steel product in association with Hyundai Kia’s R&D center Namyang.

Hyundai Steel manufactures auto parts with high strength hot stamping steels [HYUNDAI STEEL]

According to Hyundai Steel, it supplies the new steel product for Hyundai Motor’s Genesis G80 (G80EV) next-generation electric vehicle and the new Genesis G90. The company started supplying the new steel to Hyundai Motor Company for the first time in 2021 and plans to supply 145,000 steel sheets every year from 2022. The amount of steel is enough to produce around 30,000 vehicles electrical.

The new 1.8 GPa ultra-high-strength steel has the advantage of not only reducing vehicle weight, but also ensuring passenger safety in the event of a collision. Compared to the existing 1.5 GPa hot stamping steel, the improved version has improved its tensile strength by 20% while reducing the weight of parts made with it by approximately 10%.

A typical hot stamping process heats steel sheets in a furnace to a high temperature of over 900 degrees Celsius, places them in a mold, and produces parts by rapid cooling. Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Kia Namyang R&D Center abandoned the existing method by developing a specialized steelmaking method that lowered the temperature of a heating furnace by more than 50 degrees Celsius.

Additionally, the process prevents internal cracks by preventing hydrogen from penetrating the steel plate. Thanks to this method, it has become possible to produce corrosion-resistant steel sheets with greater weldability.

The energy consumption of the production process is also reduced by lowering the temperature. Thus, the company has set up a quality assurance of steel sheets as well as an ecological production system.

In addition, Hyundai Steel has installed 22 hot stamping lines in Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, and two lines in Ulsan to supply the environmentally friendly automotive materials market. The two factories can manufacture up to 58 million sheets per year. Its production scale was ranked No. 1 in Korea and No. 3 in the world. As the company keeps an eye on the international market, additional investments to strengthen international competitiveness are underway.

As the main task of green cars is to become lighter, Hyundai Kia Motors is gradually increasing the application rate of hot stamping parts to achieve this goal. For example, hot stamping steel has been applied to approximately 15% of motor cars, but the application rate has been increased to 20% for electric vehicles (EVs).

Hyundai Steel has made progress in developing materials for lightweighting with Hyundai Kia Namyang’s R&D center. The TWB 1 GPa hot stamping material for automotive bodies used for the center pillars is the representative product developed by the two companies.

“Lightening, developing and applying high-strength steels that ensure passenger safety are at the heart of future environmentally friendly cars,” said an official from the Hyundai Steel research institute, adding “We will continue to expand the development and application of parts using hot stamping to become the best environmentally friendly automotive materials company in the world.

BY HAJIN KIM ([email protected])

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