J. Iron Steel Res. Int. 24 (2017) No. 11
Preface for Special Column on Automotive Steel
It is believed that steels are still the most important materials for automobile in the foreseeable future because of the advantages in performance, cost, tolerance, fabrication, and recycling, etc. Over decades, a variety of steels are developed and widely used in the car body, from low carbon steel to IF steel, BH steel, phosphorous steel, DP steel, CP steel, and boron steel, etc. In recent years, people from academy and industry are focusing on the further novel steels, such as TRIP steel, TWIP steel, QP steel, and medium manganese steel (MMnS). Even less concerned special steel is similarly changing to cope with the lightweight and high power density requirements for engine, transmission and suspension systems of the automobiles. These steady developments are certainly due to the requirements from automakers and strict regulations, and based on the deep understanding in steel metallurgy and renovation in processing facilities.
It is no doubt that lightweight and crash worthiness are still to be the main topics which the automakers care about, even new energy car and new intelligent car being in the service. That means higher strength levels with improved ductility are desired to accompany with both the processing evolution and fabrication measures. The issues of delayed fracture and fatigue failure become more and more important than ever before. The potential optimizations of other properties, for example, density and modulus, are now taken into the mind of steel people to meet the lightweight requirements. It may result in the occurrence of low density steel and high modulus steel, the truly fantastic steels, to compete with the less dense materials, such as aluminum, magnesium, plastics and carbon fiber, etc.
It is ambiguous to predict what will happen for steels in the future, but it is definite that the steels for automobile are always innovative. The steels for automobile are changing year by year due to the contributions of passionate people from both academy and industry. It is proved by the times gone that automotive steel is a kind of the materials, which should be redefined essentially in the time span of every decade.
Total 10 papers were collected in this special column which represents the recent advances in automotive steels. The authors are the most vigorous researchers in this field in China. You may taste it as you read the papers covering from medium manganese steel and TRIP steel to Q&P steel, microalloyed steel and bearing steel. It is supposed that the special column could draw a rough image of the basic research progress in automotive steels.
Guest Editor: Dr. Han Dong