ThyssenKrupp Steel and the second-biggest steel producer in Japan, JFE Steel Corporation have jointly developed a new multiphase steel for automotive applications.
The new ultra high-strength steel for automotive applications has a minimum strength of 780 megapascals (MPa), similar to that of the advanced ultra high-strength steels CP-W 800 from ThyssenKrupp Steel and NANO 780 from JFE. But with up to 40 percent higher elongation compared with conventional 780MPa high-strength steel steel it possesses significantly improved forming properties. First automotive components made of the new material confirm its advantages. The two companies have jointly filed a patent on the newly developed material, which is designated TP-N 68/78.
ThyssenKrupp Steel and JFE have been working together closely since 2002 under a cooperation agreement aimed at securing the global availability of high-performance steel materials for the automotive customers of both partners. Results so far include the definition of common specifications for high-strength automotive steels and the conclusion of a cross-licensing agreement for the steel grades CP (complex phase) from ThyssenKrupp Steel and NANO HITEN™ from JFE. Under the agreement, both companies can produce the other partner's material.
The high strength and good formability of the newly developed 780MPa high-strength steel are attributable to a bainitic-ferritic microstructure with embedded retained austenite in combination with nanometer-sized precipitations. During forming, the austenite content is transformed into hard martensite, which means that the steel only reaches its final strength during fabrication to the finished part. To achieve these specific properties, the materials developers at ThyssenKrupp Steel and JFE developed a new alloying concept and also employed new temperature control methods during hot rolling and cooling.
The newly developed steel is available as hot-rolled coil, on request also coated. Typical applications include crash-relevant automotive body structural parts. Further joint developments for such high-strength steels will be following.