A worldwide consortium of 32 steel producers recently presented a challenge to develop a lightweight steel body structure for cars, and commissioned Porsche Engineering Services to design such a body incorporating current standards of structural rigidity, crashworthiness, and ability to be manufactured. This article presents some results of this ultra light steel auto body (ULSAB) programme. The design was defined by noting and targeting various characteristics of nine existing car models. The design method was based on computer models, and simulated crash tests showed that the design met its criteria with a significant margin. The design highlights were: (1) a hydroformed side roof rail; (2) integration of rear shock tower; (3) structural bonding; (4) an unusual design for the cowl to A-pillar joint; (5) integration of front area and shock tower into the skirt; (6) tailor-welded blanks; and (7) use of special steels for about 67% of the ULSAB's structure. The ULSAB was designed to provide protection against corrosion, dent resistance, and customer acceptability. The ULSAB weighs 205kg and has 169 parts, compared with about 270kg weight and 195 parts for existing designs. Its conceptual phase has now been completed, and will be followed by a feasibility stage to verify the concept by detailed design.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Institution of Mechanical Engineers

    1 Birdcage Walk
    London SW1H 9JJ,   England 
  • Authors:
    • ASHLEY, C
  • Publication Date: 1995-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 28-9,32
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 20
    • Issue Number: 6
    • Publisher: Institution of Mechanical Engineers
    • ISSN: 0307-6490

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00720792
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: May 24 1996 12:00AM