Accelerator pedals in motor vehicles are not typically made of laminated steel, but that material has been the accelerator for Material Sciences Corp. (MSC), winner of AMM’s award for Best Innovation: Product.

The new material—called Smart Steel®—is a lightweight steel laminate that the producer said is highly formable and weldable and can offer substantial mass savings vs. monolithic steel. The laminate addresses many concerns that arise when automakers and their suppliers consider sweeping changes to vehicle designs over a short period.

The composite is designed to replace nonstructural stamped panels for the bodyin-white of vehicles without requiring substantial changes to the stamping, welding and assembly process. Smart Steel, which the company said provides more economical mass savings compared with aluminum, is engineered to be compatible with existing automotive manufacturing processes as well as for nonstructural galvanized and uncoated vehicle applications.

MSC is engaged with vehicle manufacturers on future programs involving mass savings of greater than 50 pounds per vehicle. “There has been a major push for weight reduction to meet rising fuel-economy standards.” said Patrick Murphy, who has been with Elk
Grove, Ill.-based MSC for 13 years. “MSC has a history of working with laminates. We engineered an acoustic laminate we call Quiet Steel® for the Ford (Motor Co.) F-150 pickup truck and for Chrysler (Group) minivans. Typical steel needed an overlay for damping, but we took that to the next level with a material that could be stamped and welded and offered the same performance.”

Read the full article: “Material Sciences Corporation (MSC) Recognized in AMM Awards for Steel Excellence