On October 25, the prize-giving ceremony of the China SAE S&T Award 2023 was held in Beijing. The project titled Full Strength Series of High Toughness Aluminum-silicon Coated Hot-stamping Steel Technology and Application led by Professor Yi Hongliang from NEU won the first prize of the “Technological Invention Award”.
Aluminum-silicon coated hot-stamping steel is an effective means to achieve automotive lightweight, with a global consumption of 4-5 million tons and a domestic consumption of 0.8-1 million tons in 2022. Since 1999, as this material and related laser welding technology have been monopolized by foreign companies, automobile companies worldwide have to pay additional procurement costs of up to thousands of yuan per ton, and there is a huge supply chain risk. In addition, the original technology has such pain points in industrialization as low toughness and risk of delayed cracking. Since 2017, the project team has carried out a series of basic research and technological innovation, and developed a full-strength series of new high-toughness aluminum-silicon coated hot-stamping steel with independent intellectual property rights. They have successfully broken through the bottleneck of aluminum-silicon coated hot-stamping steel materials and laser welding technology, thus destroying the foreign technology monopoly.
The team has successively applied for 35 invention patents in China, the USA, the EU, Japan and South Korea for this technology. It has passed the material certification of most domestic self-owned brand automobile companies including GWM, FAW and Dongfeng, as well as the material certification of such foreign automobile brands as GM and PSA, becoming the first product in the world to pass the GM high-bending toughness aluminum-silicon coated grade (GMW14400). So far, the cumulative production of this technical product has exceeded 60,000 tons, and the authorized iron and steel enterprises have added 490 million yuan in sales and 90 million yuan in new benefits. It has been applied to more than 230,000 vehicles of the GWM, Dongfeng, FAW, Chery and other automobile enterprises, reducing the cost of tonnage steel by 20%-30% and the accumulative cost by 240 million yuan since 2022 for these enterprises. The technology was rated by the China Society of Automotive Engineering (China SAE) as the "International leading Level" scientific and technological achievement, and selected by the World Metal Herald as the "Top 10 Technical Highlights of the World Steel Industry in 2022". It has made positive contributions to China's automotive lightweight technology.
This technology is another representative achievement of NEU in the collaborative innovation in industry-university-research cooperation. EASYFORMING (Suzhou) Material Technology Co., LTD., a technology enterprise incubated by NEU, is responsible for carrying out technology R&D and industrialization promotion, and uniting with upstream and downstream enterprises in the automotive steel industry chain for collaborative innovation and facilitating the development of the whole industry chain from atom to car body. To participate in innovation and application, this technology has been used to collaborate with the whole industry chain of automotive steel, including: iron and steel enterprises of Pangang Group Xichang Steel Vanadium Co., Ltd., Magang Holding Co., Ltd., TAGAL, and Angang Steel Company Limited; hot-stamping parts enterprises of Exquisite Automotive Systems Co., Ltd., Baoding Xushui Welding Co., Ltd., Dongshi (Wuhan) Industrial Co., Ltd., and Lingyun Geens Technology Co., Ltd.; and automobile enterprises of GWM，Dongfeng, and FAW.