The ULSAB-AVC (Advanced Vehicle Concepts) Programme objective was to demonstrate and communicate steel’s capability to help fulfill society’s demands for safe, affordable and environmentally responsible vehicles for the 21st Century. By doing so, the global steel industry aims to reinforce the ongoing commitment of the automotive industry to retain steel as the material of choice for vehicle construction.
The ULSAB-AVC Program focused on the development of steel applications for vehicles for the year 2004 and beyond. To achieve this goal, a holistic design approach considered the complete vehicle, which meant that all of its subsystems and components had to be treated as a whole. Therefore optimizing any subsystem of the vehicle, e.g., body structure, was evaluated based on its interaction and contribution to the performance and efficiency of the entire vehicle with all its subsystems, rather than attempting to optimize on a component-by-component basis.
An important factor for the success of this programme was the combination of an advanced vehicle design, which exploited the properties of a range of new steels, and related advanced and traditional manufacturing and assembly processes to achieve significant mass reduction in the body structure, as well as for the total vehicle.
Two important drivers were the U.S. Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) and EUCAR (The European CO2 reduction program) projects. These projects provided references for setting ULSAB-AVC targets. Porsche Engineering Services, Inc. (PES) was contracted to develop concepts with a common platform approach for the popular European C-Class (so-called Golf-class) and the North American Midsize-Class, which is the target for the PNGV programme (hereafter referred to as PNGV-Class vehicle).
In summary, ULSAB-AVC, sponsored by a consortium of 33 international steel producers, is intended to present advanced vehicle concepts that help automakers use steel more efficiently and provide a structural platform for achieving:
- Anticipated crash safety requirements for 2004,
- Significantly improved fuel efficiency,
- Optimized environmental performance regarding emissions, source reduction and recycling, and
- High volume manufacturability at affordable costs.
ULSAB-AVC Consortium Member Steel Companies:
Aceralia Corporación Siderúrgica, S.A.
AK Steel Corporation
Shanghai Baosteel Group Company
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
China Steel Corporation
Iscor Flat Steel Products
Ispat Inland, Inc.
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
LTV Steel Company, Inc.
National Steel Corporation
Nippon Steel Corporation
NOVÁ HUT, a.s.
Pohang Iron and Steel (POSCO)
Rouge Steel Company
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
SSAB Tunnplåt AB
The Tata Iron and Steel Company, Ltd. (TISCO)
ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG
Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais S.A.
United States Steel Corporation
voestalpine STAHL GmbH
Weirton Steel Corporation