DETROIT, August 1, 2011 – To demonstrate the manufacturing feasibility of lightweight sealed steel fuel tanks for plug-in hybrid and extended-range electric vehicles, the Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tanks (SASFT), in collaboration with the Auto/Steel Partnership and the United States Automotive Materials Partnership, announced its plans to develop a methodology for producing lightweight sealed steel fuel tanks with 30 to 40 percent mass reductions when compared with current–generation sealed steel tanks. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the project will show that manufacturing approaches can be used with thinner high-strength steel and advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) to reduce mass and meet performance requirements associated with sealed systems, including structural integrity, fatigue, corrosion, durability and crash integrity. “To provide a fuel tank in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that avoids vapor purging, but accommodates high internal pressure buildup, current generation tanks are made of thick steel walls that can add unnecessary mass,” Peter Mould, program manager for SASFT, said. “That’s why we will work to provide steel tanks with the same mechanical performance required for advanced hybrid vehicles that will have thinner walls, contributing directly to vehicle mass reduction and reduced fuel consumption.” The project will use advanced computer forming methodologies and will be performed in two overlapping phases using the sealed fuel tanks from two current plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as initial benchmarks. According to Mould, AHSS systems having good corrosion resistance to automotive fuels are ideal materials for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle tank applications. The lightweight sealed steel fuel tanks will provide high rigidity under high operating pressures that is lacking from competing plastic materials. The Strategic Alliance for Fuel Tanks (SASFT) is an international alliance of companies specializing in the various areas of fuel tank production possessing a common interest in the development, optimization and application of steel fuel tanks for automobiles. SASFT brings together the diverse business disciplines involved in designing, manufacturing and supplying steel fuel tanks in the automotive market. For more information on SASFT, please visit www.sasft.org.
Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tank Members:
• Aethra Sistemas Automotivos S.A. • AK Steel Corporation • Allgaier Automotive, GmbH • ArcelorMittal Dofasco • ArcelorMittal USA LLC • Dong Hee Industrial Co., Ltd. • Henkel Corporation • JFE Steel • Nippon Steel Corporation • Nisshin Steel• North American Stainless • Nucor Corporation • POSCO • Soutec • Severstal North America Inc. • Spectra Premium Industries • Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. • ThyssenKrupp Steel USA LLC • Unipart Eberspacher • United States Steel Corporation
Deanna LorinczSenior Director, CommunicationsSteel Market Development InstituteTel: 248.945.4763