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SSAB launches new, stronger press hardening steel for automotive safety components – Docol PHS 2000

Through a join collaboration with a prominent automotive component manufacture, SSAB has developed Docol PHS 2000, a new press hardening steel that offers higher tensile strength than any other product in its wide portfolio of press hardening automotive steels.

Docol PHS 2000 is a new steel that is the result of a close collaboration between SSAB and automotive component manufacturer Gestamp.  The collaboration project had the primary goal of finding an even lighter and more cost-effective solution for a bumper component. Upon project completion, Docol PHS 2000 achieved this with a 17 percent weight reduction compared to similar steel bumpers and a lower weight than comparable bumpers made from aluminum.

Docol PHS 2000 maintains crash ductility, while other mechanical properties such as yield strength and ultimate strength have been significantly improved. Most other high strength press hardening steels on the market have not been fully optimized for automotive applications in this way.

“For many years, press hardening steels have been used for complex geometries and high strength, explains José Puente Cabrero, Product Manager Cold Rolled Products, SSAB Europe. The advantage of Docol PHS 2000 is a higher strength with the same crash performance as our previously strongest press hardening steel.  The product is special in that you can keep the ductility, while increasing the strength.”

In terms of environmental impact over a component’s entire lifetime, steel performs better on the Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) than other materials. In addition, the costs associated with steel for safety components are lower than other automotive materials like aluminum.

The joint development project between SSAB and Gestamp was efficient and led to an optimal outcome thanks to the expertise possessed by both companies.

“When you are working in such close collaboration with the customer, you get a very clear picture of the requirements from the beginning,” says Puente Cabrero. “Having access to global leading expertise makes it easier to solve the unexpected. Since everything in the cooperation worked so smoothly, the development process was shorter.”

Docol PHS 2000 is currently available as part of the wide Docol product portfolio and can be used for any crash relevant automotive application including B-pillars, rockers, bumpers, and BIW structural components.

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