John Catterall, executive director, Auto Steel Partnership, talks about his role and his presentation at the Global Automotive Lightweight Manufacturing Summit 2018, taking place from 21–22 February 2018 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

 What are you expecting to learn from the 2018 event?

I am hoping to learn the current technologies for manufacturing lightweight body structures and the emerging technologies available today. In addition, I’m interested in learning more about the materials/manufacturing techniques/design solutions being used for low and high-volume vehicle implementation.

You will be chairing day two of the 2018 event focusing on the manufacturing processes of vehicle components, what are the important issues you wish to see addressed?

It is good to see there will be two presentations on improving the efficiency of high-strength steel hot stamping which is critical to the safety performance of vehicles. As the steady trend toward mixed material body structures continue with steel still being the largest percentage of the mix, the topics address galvanic corrosion issues, joining of mixed materials and differences in thermal coefficient of expansion which are all critical to the industry moving forward.

In your opinion, how important is the use of steel for the future of lightweight vehicle manufacturing?

With the current fuel economy regulations, steel will continue to be a very important material for lightweighting. From its high strength to ease of conversion into components using current forming and joining technologies, steel will continue to lead cost effective solutions that can be produced in high volumes. With the introduction of future generation of steels the potential for additional weight savings will be enabled. 

This story is reprinted from material from the Global Automotive Lightweight Manufacturing Summit, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.