POSCO and Hyundai Steel have come up with different strategies and predictions about the future of the automotive steel sheet sector. POSCO is planning to work on steel materials harder and lighter than nonferrous metals whereas Hyundai Steel is going to focus on combinations incorporating aluminum, CFRP and so on.
At present, green car is one of the most important parts of POSCO’s future business portfolio and the company is continuing to develop high-strength metal products suitable for it. Specifically, its solutions are likely to be divided into drive motor, battery, and Giga Steel, a lightweight material it unveiled last year.
The steelmaker built an automotive steel sheet production plant in Gwangyang, South Korea last year. Dubbed No.7 CGL, the plant is dedicated to the production of Giga Steel products, which are characterized by being easily moldable and at least three times stronger than aluminum and, as such, suitable for contributing to vehicle weight reduction and strength enhancement. POSCO is going to produce ultra high strength steel sheets capable of withstanding a load of at least 100 kilograms per square millimeter for the first time in the world.
Last year, POSCO also worked with SsangYong Motor so that a steel material with a strength of around 1.5 GPa can be applied for the first time in the automobile industry to the latter’s G4 Rexton. POSCO is predicting that future electric cars will require a large amount of lightweight and high-strength steel materials and is planning to expand the development and supply of Giga Steel.
In the meantime, Hyundai Steel is concentrating on combinations between existing steel materials and new materials like aluminum and CFRP. In the automotive steel sheet industry, Hyundai Steel has boosted its competitiveness more quickly than many of the others in hot stamping and so on. In addition, its steel sheet supply volume has increased fast as the Hyundai Motor Group is its parent company.
Hyundai Steel has opted for the alternative materials to respond to demands for vehicle weight reduction. The company recently said that its CFRP R&D facilities built last year are capable of mass production in fact.