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Nissan Plans Big Shift to Advanced High-Strength Steel


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Nissan Motor Co. says that by 2017, advanced high-tensile-strength steel will account for as much as 25% of its new-model parts by weight.

Like other carmakers, Nissan has been moving to stronger structural steels, which reduce vehicle weight and thus contribute to better fuel efficiency. The company's goal is to cut the average weight of next-generation vehicles by 15%.

Nissan says it will use a range of high-strength steels, including an ultra-high-strength version it co-developed with Sumitomo Metal and Kobe Steel. The new steel combines high formability with a tensile strength of 1.2 gigapascals, about 10 times that of conventional steel.

The new material can be formed into complex shapes a major challenge as material strength increases on existing production lines with only minor modifications, according to the company.

Nissan will debut the 1.2 GPa steel this summer when the 2014 Infiniti Q50 sport sedan debuts in North America.

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