Hot forming key to more sustainable automotive production

KIRCHHOFF Automotive shows that hot forming does not increase the CO2 footprint of a component, but reduces it.

Nowadays, the CO2 footprint in the automotive industry is a key issue. Hot forming has sometimes been seen as a CO2 driver due to the energy used. A new study by KIRCHHOFF Automotive, the specialist for safety-relevant body parts, shows the opposite: innovative manufacturing processes such as hot forming can even play a decisive role in reducing emissions.

Technology Development Specialist Markus Loecker provides valuable insights into the advantages of hot forming: "With hot forming, you can work with thinner materials, which leads directly to a reduction in the overall weight of the vehicle. This weight saving plays a role in reducing CO2 emissions when driving a vehicle with a combustion engine. At the same time, it helps to reduce the energy requirements of an electrically powered vehicle."

However, the reduction in material compared to the use of cold-formed steels is most important. This is because the biggest influence on the CO2 footprint of a component lies in the amount of material used. While the processing technology itself also leads to emissions by heating the steel, reducing the amount of material used is an effective way of lowering the carbon footprint. "Hot forming allows us to achieve more with less material. This is particularly important as the automotive industry is constantly looking for ways to minimize its environmental impact," adds Markus Loecker.

This is why we use hot forming for safety-relevant body parts such as crash management systems and A and B pillars in order to use thinner material while maintaining or even improving performance. This technology produces particularly hard and resistant steel parts that are especially effective in crash situations and therefore play a decisive role in the passive safety of vehicles. Hot forming thus leads to greater safety and, at the same time, a reduction in CO2 emissions, thereby also supporting the company's sustainability efforts.

Markus Loecker truly believes in the importance of hot forming for the future of the automotive industry: "Contrary to what one might think at first glance, hot forming is a key element in sustainable automotive engineering. It helps us to reduce our environmental impact by using and processing materials more intelligently."

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