- Mass savings of 25% over the benchmark at no cost penalty
- 80% improvement in torsional rigidity
- 52% improvement in bending rigidity
- 58% improvement in first body mode
- Meets all mandated crash requirements
An UltraLight Steel Auto Body (ULSAB) structure was assembled, weighed and tested, validating results from the concept phase of a global steel industry study and satisfying the project goals. ULSAB has proven to be lightweight, structurally sound, safe, executable and affordable.
The ULSAB structure weighs merely 203 kg, 25 percent less than the average benchmarked in the concept phase of the study. Physical tests of the structure reveal similar remarkable results: torsion and bending tests showed improvements over benchmark of 80 percent and 52 percent, respectively, and 1st body structure mode indicates a 58 percent improvement.
Analyses also show ULSAB satisfies mandated crash requirements, even at speeds exceeding the requirements. In addition to reduced weight and superior performance, ULSAB costs no more to build than typical auto body structures in its class and can even yield potential cost savings, according to economic analysis.
The ULSAB structure consists of 94 major parts necessary for its structural integrity, plus brackets and additional reinforcements normally included in this type of auto body structure. It does not include doors, hood or decklids, which are the subject of a separate, independent study.
Creation and testing of ULSAB body structures culminated this aggressive $22 million project to demonstrate a lightweight steel auto body structure that meets a wide range of safety and performance criteria. The ULSAB project was sponsored by a consortium of 35 steel companies representing 18 countries around the world.
The goal of the consortium was to meet the challenges issued by their automotive industry customers: reduce the weight of steel auto body structures at no additional cost, while maintaining or improving performance. The most prominent sheet steel producers from around the world joined together to design and validate an UltraLight Steel Auto Body.
The ULSAB consortium contracted Porsche Engineering Services, Inc. (PES) to provide engineering and manufacturing management for the ULSAB project and also worked with them to define the project goals. They took a two-stage approach, encompassing a concept phase and a validation phase.
The consortium is releasing patentable features of this project along with other project results freely to its customers and to the public.
ULSAB Consortium Member Companies
Aceralia Corporación Siderúrgica, S.A.
AK Steel Corporation
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Ispat Inland, Inc.
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
LTV Steel Company, Inc.
Pohang Iron and Steel (POSCO)
Rouge Steel Company
SSAB Tunnplåt AB
The Tata Iron and Steel Company, Ltd. (TISCO)
ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG
U.S. Steel Group
voestalpine STAHL GmbH
Weirton Steel Corporation