McGill University professor shares innovative research on new generation steels at national conference
For the past year, Dr. Steven Yue, a professor at McGill University and Project Leader for the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, has led a team of researchers from universities across Canada investigating ways to modify the properties of new generation steels to create stronger, more formable materials.
In the quest for continuous improvement in vehicle materials and manufacturing processes, the new generations of steel hold great promise. These steels are designed to be stronger yet easier to construct into the increasingly complex shapes that comprise a vehicle's structure. Due to the increased strength, less steel is required to perform the same tasks, therefore making the car lighter. For the past year, Dr. Steven Yue, a professor at McGill University and Project Leader for the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, has led a team of researchers from universities across Canada investigating ways to modify the properties of these steels to create stronger, more formable materials. On September 28, 2002, Dr. Yue will present his team's findings to 200 university researchers and automotive industry and government representatives at the AUTO21 First Annual Scientific Conference in Toronto.
"Steel is the predominant material in automotive manufacturing because it has a good strength-to-weight ratio, and offers a predictable material at a low cost," says Dr. Yue. "Due to its internal properties, steel actually becomes stronger when it's bent because its atoms are slightly rearranged. The project's research investigates the Transformation Induced Plasticity (TRIP) steel and Twinning Induced Plasticity (TWIP) steel, both of which become a lot stronger when bent as their atoms become completely rearranged into a practically new material."
Researchers are working on improving the strength and formability of TWIP and TRIP steels, and also enhance other characteristics such as weldability and coatability. "The use of steel in vehicles fulfills more than one goal – it has to be good in many different areas. It's more than just strength, and we are investigating all of these things."
As part of the AUTO21 Network, Dr. Yue leads a team of researchers at the University of Ottawa, Queen's University, McGill University, University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia, along with researchers at Natural Resources Canada. A total of 28 innovative research projects compose the AUTO21 Network, which was created by the Government of Canada to help position the country as a global leader in auto-related research and development. Areas of study include health, safety and injury prevention, societal issues, materials and manufacturing, design processes, powertrains, fuels and emissions, and intelligent systems and sensors.
"AUTO21 projects reflect the vast range of scope the vehicle has on all areas of Canadian society," says Dr. Peter Frise, AUTO21 Program Leader. "The projects have the potential to affect these areas, leading to a better, safer environment for those who build vehicles and those who use them."
The AUTO21 Scientific Conference takes place from September 26 - 28, 2002 at the Wyndham Bristol Place hotel in Toronto (905 Dixon Road). Dr. Yue's presentation is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 28. The Conference is the first opportunity for Network researchers, and industry and government partners to gather to learn about initial research results and discuss future collaborative opportunities. In addition to project presentations such as Dr. Yue's, the conference also offers an industry speaker series featuring international experts, including Don Walker, President of Intier Automotive and Co-Chair of the newly formed Canadian Automotive Partnerships Council.
Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) are unique partnerships among universities, industry, government and non-governmental organizations aimed at turning Canadian research and entrepreneurial talent into economic and social benefits for all Canadians. An integral part of the federal government's Innovation Strategy, these nation-wide, multidisciplinary and multisectorial research partnerships connect excellent research with industrial know-how and strategic investment.
Three Canadian federal granting agencies - the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - and Industry Canada combine their efforts to support and oversee the NCE initiative.