INFINITI’s new QX50 (earlier post) represents the first automotive use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 MPa high-tensile steel. The high-tensile material can be molded into unprecedented shapes, saving weight and representing a torsional rigidity improvement of 23% over the current QX50.
This segment-leading rigidity allows the car to resist flex and vibrations, while reducing the noise transmitted to the cabin.
Varying strengths of steel are used in sections of the car for different reasons. For example, the SHF 980 MPa steel is used around the crashable zones at the front and rear of the car, to better absorb energy in the event of a collision, as well as weight-bearing sections around the engine bay and other key structural parts of the car, such as the B-pillar.
The 1.2 GPa steel reinforces the cabin for greater occupant protection. High tensile steel is used throughout the rest of the bodyshell.
In addition to reducing flex and body vibrations, the high rigidity body provides a stable base for the QX50’s front and rear suspension systems, steering and brakes to perform optimally and provide the driver with greater control.