For the automotive industry, using AHSS frees vehicle designers to create concepts optimized for beauty, safety and improved fuel economy, factors that can often be at odds with each other. AHSS grades are lighter and stronger than other stampable steels, and their continued development, including 3rd generation AHSS, challenge the limits of formability and ductility. In return, we are pushing the limits of our steelmaking technology, which includes being the only North American mill to connect an electric arc furnace (EAF) with a Rührstahl – Herraeus (RH) degasser. Along with our other advanced equipment, our RH degasser allows us to reach the chemistries and properties AHSS demands today, and far into the future.
Nowhere do we live our mission of innovation more than in our approach to Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS). It’s what our Flex Mill® was built to do: produce steel grades in a mini-mill environment that previously were only available from an integrated mill. It takes a certain mindset, a certain willingness to step away from the known and be the first.
True innovation is rebellious, after all.
Time for a Transformation
Not since Henry Ford revolutionized mass production with the assembly line has the automotive industry been on the brink of such transformation. With electric vehicles (EV) and autonomous vehicles emerging from development and wide acceptance now only a few years – not decades – away, today is a great time to be the steel company that is partnering in that transformation.
Big River is the only steel manufacturer that is a member of the Center for Collision Safety and Analysis (CCSA) at George Mason University. The engineers and research scientists at CCSA use computational analysis to help vehicle manufacturers improve the safety performance of materials, including AHSS, used in their designs. Big River is proud to participate in this research to ensure that steel, with all its predictive properties, remains the material of choice as vehicle designs evolve like never before.