Toyota Prius is about to get a makeover. With the company employing the use of high-tensile steel in portions of the vehicle, the Prius is about to become a little lighter, a little stronger, and a lot more safe for people on the road.
Toyota is using high-tensile steel to fortify the areas of the car most in need of the reinforcement, such as the center pillar, the cross members, the roof rails, and the toe boards (used to protect from the engine compartment).
The 980MPa-class, cold-pressed material creates a much stronger surface and a more rigid frame. The low alloy steel has a yield strength range of 50 – 100,000 pounds per square inch, making the next generation Prius strong and yet 60kg lighter than the current, third-generation vehicle.
High-tensile steel is used in the construction of materials necessary of withstanding immense amounts of stretching and pulling without being broken. The high ductility and toughness without buckling or cracking are accomplished during the thermomechanical rolling process, in which the steel is rolled together under a tremendous amount of pressure at a lower temperature.
The name is the shortened term for Ultimate Tensile Strength, making HTS the Superman of the alloy world.
Toyota chose a 6000-series, press-formed alloy for use on the back door and bonnet, which is high in silicone. This gives the company an alloy that is less corrosive and still very lightweight.
Toyota’s framework is being bolstered with a 30% increase in laser screw welded spots. Essentially acting as a structural adhesive, these spots will be focused near the four corners of the vehicles door frame. The Toyota New Global Architecture, or TNGA employs a ring structure for the body of the vehicle.
These improvements, along with the light-weight materials, have improved the torso rigidity by roughly 60%, compared to the third generation. This vehicle is safer for passengers, making it a smart choice for a younger and greener generation.