Niobium Alloyed High Strength Steels for Automotive Applications

Document Type: Research Paper


Niobium Products Company GmbH, Steinstrasse 28, 40210 Düsseldorf, Germany


Modern vehicle bodies make intensive use of high strength steel grades to meet the contradicting demand of lighter weight and simultaneously better mechanical performance. For many steel grades microalloying by niobium is the key to achieve their characteristic property profile. In HSLA steels niobium enhances the strength primarily by grain refinement. In interstitial free high strength steels niobium serves as a stabilizing element. Some modern multiphase steels rely on niobium to achieve additional strength via grain refinement and precipitation hardening. Microstructural control constitutes a powerful means to further optimize properties relevant to automotive processing such as cutting and forming. The role of niobium microalloying in that respect will be outlined. 


[1] W. Müschenborn, L. Meyer: Thyssen Tech. Ber., 1 (1974), 22.

[2] W. Bleck, W. Müschenborn and L. Meyer: Steel Research 59, 344.

[3] W. Haensch and C. Klinkenberg, Proc. 2nd Int. Conf. On Thermomechanical Rolling, Liège (2004), 115.

[4] N. Balliger and T. Gladman: Metal Science, March (1981), 95.

[5] C. Lancillotto and F. Pickering: Metal Science, Vol. 16, (1982), 371.

[6] O. Maid, W. Dahl, C. Straßburger, W. Müschenborn: Stahl u. Eisen Nr. 8 (1988), 355.

[7] K. Olsson: Processing, Microstructure and Properties of HSLA Steels, TMS (1988), 331.

[8] J. S. Rege, T. Inazumi, T. Urabe, G. Smith, B. Zuidema, S. Denner, Proc. of the 44st Mechanical Working and Steel Processing Conf., (2002), 391.

[9] T. Heller, A. Nuss: Proc. 2nd Int. Conf. On Thermomechanical Rolling, Liège (2004), 85.

[10] T. Heller, I. Heckelmann, T. Gerber and T. W. Schaumann, in Recent Advances of Niobium Containing Materials in Europe, ed. K. Hulka, C. Klinkenberg and H. Mohrbacher, Verlag Stahleisen, Düsseldorf (2005), 21.

[11] H. Guyon and U. Heidtmann: Symp. Proc. Process. State-of-the-Art Multi-Phase Steels, Automotive Circle International,Berlin(2004), 27.

[12] O. Matsumura, Y. Sakuma and H. Takechi, ISIJ Int., 32 (1992), 1014.

[13] K. Hulka, W. Bleck, and K. Papamantelos: Proc. of the 41st Mechanical Working and Steel Processing Conference, (1999), 67.

 [14] C. Kaucke, Diploma thesis on the texture of steel sheet, ThyssenKrupp Stahl and FH Dortmund (1999).

[15] M. Takahashi:NipponSteel Technical Report, 88 (2003), 2.

[16] A. Pichler, Th. Hebesberger, S. Traint, E. Tragl, T. Kurz, C. Krempaszky, P. Tsipouridis and E. Werner, in: Niobium Microalloyed Sheet Steels for Automotive Applications, TMS (2006).

[17] A. Najafi-Zadeh, S. Yue and J. J. Jonas, ISIJ Intern. 32 (1992), 213.

[18] L. Meyer, W. Bleck andW. Müschenborn, Physical Metallurgy of IF Steels, ISIJ, (1994), 203.

[19] L. Storojeva, C. Escher, R. Bode and K. Hulka: Proc. of IF Steels 2003, IJSI (2003), 294.

[20] C. Escher, V.BrandenburgandI.Heckelmann, in: Niobium Microalloyed Sheet Steels for Automotive Applications, TMS (2006).

[21] T. Urabe Y. Ono, H. Matsuda, A. Yoshitake and Y. Hosoya: Proc. of IF Steels 2003, IJSI (2003), 170.