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High strength steels for contractor equipment and the vehicle industry

SSAB Tunnpl : 29 March, 2004  (New Product)
As the largest producer of strip and sheet steel in Scandinavia, SSAB Swedish Steel maintains a leading position in the manufacture of extra high strength and ultra high strength steels in Europe.
'We want to extend our know-how and move away from commercial grade steel production and are therefore developing and producing new steels in the ultra high strength steel range,' says Mr Anders Elfgren, Marketing Director of SSAB Tunnplåt. He continues: 'Our success over the last few years definitely proves that we are on the right track. We are continuing to develop our products in the Domex and Docol range and, often in co-operation with our customers, seeking new applications for these materials.'

Domex is the brand name of hot-rolled steel from SSAB Swedish Steel, available in high strength and extra high strength steel grades for cold forming. SSAB will conclude the development of ultra high strength steels with yield strengths of 800 N/mm² and 900 N/mm² this year.

Products designed with extra high and ultra high strength steels can be made significantly lighter without sacrificing their strength. As a rule of thumb, doubling the strength of the steel, means that the thickness can be reduced by one third.

An important application for Domex is in construction equipment and automotive production. A number of exhibitors at the BAUMA Trade Fair already use Domex in their products. These include cranes, trailers, concrete mixers, cylinders, tipper bodies and truck trailers. Constructions can be made lighter or more stable and robust due to the increased strength and better performance characteristics of the steel. In the transport industry, this means increased payload. Domex has excellent cold forming properties, whilst still having good properties for welding, shearing or cutting with laser or plasma technology.

Docol UHS – a high-tech steel with many application areas
Docol UHS is a cold-rolled and ultra high strength steel with a guaranteed minimum ultimate tensile stress, depending on grade, of between 800 and 1400 N/mm², and a yield strength ranging from 500 to 1200 N/mm². Docol UHS offers many competitive advantages, even when used for simple parts. Thanks to the high yield strength of this new steel, the sheet thickness in many components can be reduced. Furthermore, it is easy to convert an existing design to Docol UHS with little or no modification. With Docol UHS, the costs of raw material and production can be reduced. There will also be reduced impact on the environment due to less use of resources and less fuel consumption for the final vehicle.

This steel is a good choice for reducing weight or for achieving high resistance against impact, for example in containers. Docol UHS can also be used for products that need to act as a spring and can thus replace spring steel and eliminate expensive heat treatment in the production process. It is also an ideal material for products that are exposed to extensive wear. Typical applications include clutch discs, knives, automotive safety components, clips, fasteners, containers, ladders, tubes, chains, Docol UHS optimises many applications.

Support is a part of SSAB's company philosophy
SSAB assists all its customers in developing new applications for Domex or Docol. In some countries there is a local technical customer engineer that can assist vehicle designers and other users locally on larger projects. The wide knowledge and support of the application departments and technical service centre in Borlänge is a further resource as there are competent specialists with long practical experience of ultra high strength steels working there. The experts in the technical support centre all have extensive know-how in material science and tooling and can offer leading-edge expertise in such areas as dimensioning, forming, joining and surface finishing.

The experts at SSAB Swedish Steel use the latest tools and methods in order to help their customers to identify the appropriate steel grades and the right design. This includes FEM, the Finite Element Method, a method that makes it possible to simulate every step in the development of a component.

This includes for example, the choice of steel grade, the design of the semi-manufacture, the tooling method and finally the design of the part.

Using ASAME software it is possible to quickly and safely check that a designer has used the right combination of steel grade and design. ASAME measures the distribution of tension in pressed parts and the data input is computed by powerful software which provides information about the influence of the tool, production method and design of the raw material.
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