Gestamp’s design for front lower control arm lead to a 7-year collaborative effort with SSAB, resulting in new 1000 MPa complex phase steel. This effort demonstrates the power of early design-stage and ongoing collaboration, combined with SSAB’s capacity to deliver multiple steel grade iterations to solve challenging lightweighting requirements.
In 2014, Gestamp started to develop a new front lower control arm for the Toyota Yaris in Europe. It soon became clear the steel grade required to develop this part did not yet exist. This was when Gestamp approached SSAB.
Dr. Mehdi Asadi, Manager Materials Engineering, Gestamp Chassis Germany, added, “We embarked on the challenging, seven-year journey to develop a new high-strength steel grade that would become Docol 1000CP.”
The new complex phase grade not only had to be stronger — for lightweighting via a thinner gauge — it also had to deliver local formability, fatigue resistance and durability for the critically important control arm.
Gestamp worked closely with SSAB on everything from material composition to characterization and, finally, homologation of the complex phase steel for use on the front lower control arm (FLCA).
“We were able to try a huge number of different compositions thanks to SSAB’s flexibility and quick turnaround when it came to the prototype materials,” explained Carlota Arenillas, Innovation Project Manager, Gestamp Chassis Spain.
“This new material (Docol 1000CP) has enabled us to deliver a front lower control arm that is significantly lighter than its predecessor,” noted Gestamp’s Asadi.