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Wheels Task Force of the Steel Market Development Institute launches project to develop lightweight steel wheel

The Steel Market Development Institute’s (SMDI) Wheels Task Force will begin a project to develop a lightweight high-strength steel wheel, with a cost-effective design and manufacturing process.

This project is a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of steel wheels, including the ability to help lightweight a vehicle beyond its structure. Steel has made progress in recent years in the automotive wheels market. With the advantage of the new lightweight high-strength steels, we hope to develop a steel wheel that automakers and consumers will find even more competitive in terms of weight, cost and design, which we anticipate will further increase the market share of steel wheels.

—Jackie Stachowski, technical service metallurgist, for Nucor Corporation and chair of the Wheels Task Force

The Wheels Task Force—which comprises executives in the steel, automotive and wheel markets—will explore opportunities to significantly reduce weight and cost when compared to traditional steel and cast aluminum designs. According to Stachowski, this project will provide the lightest weight steel wheel structure design that will be complemented with state-of-the-art styling. Project results are expected to be announced in the fall.

SMDI’s Steel Wheel Task Force Members include:

  • Accuride Corporation
  • AK Steel Corporation
  • ArcelorMittal Dofasco
  • ArcelorMittal USA LLC
  • Chrysler Group LLC
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors Company
  • Hayes Lemmerz International
  • Hess Industries, Inc.
  • Lacks Wheel Trim Systems
  • Maxion-Fumagalli Wheels
  • Nucor Corporation
  • PPG Industries Inc.
  • Severstal North America Inc.
  • Topy America, Inc.
  • ThyssenKrupp Steel USA LLC
  • United States Steel Corporation



A lot of people for a simple task.


It takes a lot of people to overcome the bias toward not worry about the weight and worrying about cutting $.50 out of the cost of each wheel.


Couldn't carbon-fiber work for something like this? It would be a thicker mold than what is created for carhoods, but, still, couldn't it work?
Or is there a cost factor involved that would make it prohibitive?


I hope it is not a list of actual people but companies which will lend expertise - corrosion - fatigue - run-into-curb-resistance - paintability - value ($1 or $3 per pound) - track, road or highway testing and offer to buy x million per year if they are worth it.

I think they know more about $ per pound saved than anyone on GCC.

Yes, I suspect the cost plus damage resistance etc are impediments carbon-fiber.


Using improved Flash Bainite Steel could reduce wheel weight by up to 35% with little extra cost.

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