Did you know that the new Infiniti QX50 premium midsize SUV is the first production vehicle to feature front and rear side members, along other structural body details, made from 980-megapascal ultrahigh tensile strength steel? Well, it is, and Nissan plans to use the material in more future models and here’s why.
Basically, the two main advantages of this new steel are the high level of formability and its high tensile strength. Using it results in lighter vehicles with more aerodynamic shapes, which have lower emissions and can better protect the occupants.
The material was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, one of the world's leading metalworking companies. The steel makes it possible to form parts with complex shapes that are generally thinner and lighter than equivalent details made of conventional steel.
The new 980-megapascal ultrahigh tensile strength steel is part of Nissan’s plan to reduce the CO2 emissions of its new vehicles by 40 per cent by the year 2022, compared to 2000. The automaker aims for the steel to make up to 25 per cent of the company’s vehicle parts by weight. In the new QX50, for example, it makes up 27 per cent of the construction.
Another advantage of the new steel is the fact that it can be cold-pressed, making it suitable for cost-effective mass production.
Nissan’s aforementioned plan to significantly reduce CO2 emissions is in unison with the company’s decision to gradually phase out diesel engines from its European lineup by early next decade. While compression ignition engines produce less CO2, they are believed to be much more harmful than petrol motors because of their NOx levels.
To keep its overall CO2 footprint low, Nissan will invest heavily in electric and hybrid vehicles. For example, the automaker is currently teaming up with Toyota, Honda, Panasonic, and GS Yuasa for an initiative to bring solid-state batteries to market.
Gallery: 2019 Infiniti QX50: First Drive
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will build more models using a new type of steel that combines high tensile strength with a previously unachievable degree of formability, resulting in lighter vehicles that can help lower emissions while protecting occupants.
Nissan is the world’s first carmaker to use the high-formability steel, with a tensile strength of 980 megapascals, which was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. The steel’s combination of stamping formability and strength makes it possible to form parts with complex shapes that are thinner and lighter than those made of conventional high tensile strength steel, while maintaining the ability to absorb energy in a collision.
The INFINITI QX50 premium midsize SUV, which went on sale in the U.S. in March, is the world’s first vehicle with front and rear side members made from 980-megapascal ultrahigh tensile strength steel, along with other body frame parts. Nissan plans to expand the use of the material, which enhances fuel efficiency as well as driving performance by lowering vehicle weight, to other models.
Nissan launched a sustainability plan this month that calls for lowering CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 40% by fiscal year 2022, compared with fiscal year 2000. The company is aggressively developing technologies to expand the use of ultrahigh tensile strength steel, aiming for it to make up 25% of the company’s vehicle parts by weight. The material makes up 27% of the new QX50.
The 980-megapascal steel developed with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal can be cold-pressed, making it suitable for mass production. This will help contain increases in vehicle cost.