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Working with Toyota's High Strength Steel, Ultra High Strength Steel

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 07:00
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Automobile manufacturing continues to advance when it comes to weight savings. The materials used are lighter and sturdier than ever before. It is common to find UHSS (Ultra High Strength Steel) where previous models used HSS (High Strength Steel). The use of UHSS continues to grow and so do expectations for quality.

For example, the new federal mandate of CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards requires that passenger vehicles achieve 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. And while manufacturers are exploring powertrain advances, they also know that lowering the weight of the vehicle will help them achieve the fuel efficiency requirement.

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Metallurgists have played a vital role in developing steels that are lighter and equally capable of controlling collision energy forces for occupant protection. Toyota has been increasing its use of Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) in many models. Now on the 2016 Prius and Tacoma, you will find UHSS rated as high as 1480 MPa also known in the industry as Advanced Ultra High Strength Steel (AUHSS).

For the 2016 Tacoma, the cabin is constructed of 440 MPa, 590 MPa, 980 MPa and 1480 MPa* steel (*Toyota’s first on this vehicle). The strength of the cabin reinforcements has tripled when compared to previous models. As you can imagine, the use of UHSS also requires special attention to repair and welding methods. When UHSS structural properties are lessened by deformation from a collision or improper sectioning and welding, the UHSS can no longer perform as it was designed, which could affect occupant safety in a subsequent collision.

This is why Toyota published CRIB (Collision Repair Information Bulletin) #175 titled: HSS & UHSS Cabin Reinforcement Repair & Replacement, which you can find at www.crrtraining.com. This bulletin addresses the safety concerns and standards associated with repair decisions that accompany damage to HSS and UHSS cabin reinforcements. Model-specific Collision Damage Repair Manuals provide the location and strength ratings for HSS and UHSS in the Structural Outline section.

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