AISI Hosts Great Designs in Steel Virtual Event

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) welcomed more than 1400 registrants from around the world to the 19th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) symposium. 2021 marked the symposium’s first virtual event.

AWS Publications | August 16, 2021 | Tech and Industries
Welding Digest ►  AISI Hosts Great Designs in Steel Virtual Event

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) welcomed more than 1400 registrants from around the world to the 19th annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) symposium. 2021 marked the symposium’s first virtual event.

 

Multitrack Program Showcase Various Presentations

The showcase seminar brought together automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), university representatives, steel companies, and suppliers to see the newest offerings in automotive and steel technology and give attendees the opportunity to network with industry experts. The session format included live moderators, prerecorded presentations, and a Q&A.

This year’s all-day, multitrack program included 27 technical presentations. Track 1 featured OEM body structure presentations as well as topics surrounding electric and connected vehicles, design, and fracture prediction. Track 2 presentation topics highlighted spot-welding advanced high-strength steels (AHSSs), liquid metal embrittlement (LME), springback, laser joining, repairability, and more. Track 3 covered battery and occupant protection, cold forming, bumper design, tailor-welded hot stamping, laser heat treatment, and additional topics. Attendees were able to bounce between tracks to see presentations on multiple subjects.

 

Keynote Speeches Deliver Excitement and Changes

The event kicked off with a welcome session, which included the Award of Excellence and keynote speeches. John Catterall, vice president of the AISI automotive program, greeted attendees and announced Ford Motor Co. as the winner of the Automotive Excellence Award for its AHSS innovations in the 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga. Michael Kozak, global body structure manager at Ford, accepted the award for his GDIS 2019 presentation titled “The All New 2020 Ford Escape and Kuga.”

“Automotive Excellence Award winners use AHSS in applications to provide the best value for consumers while also improving vehicle performance and sustainability,” Catterall said. “Steel is driving innovation, and Michael and the Ford team are a great example of the capability of these next-generation steel grades.”

The industry overview keynote speech was delivered by John McElroy, host of Autoline. McElroy named his automotive keynote presentation “The Most Exciting Time in the Auto Industry — Gulp.”

“We’re going through unprecedented change, and the future is exciting and wondrous. But I also added a ‘Gulp’ at the end of the title because we’re going to go through a transition that’s going to be disruptive and painful,” McElroy said. “. . . The auto industry is undergoing the greatest transition in its history, and steel can help them blaze the path forward.”

He was followed by Gregory Ludkovsky, vice president/CEO of Global Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, who delivered a steel keynote address titled “Steel Company of the Future.”

“The steel industry has undergone phenomenal transformation changes, and it’s distinctly different from what it used to be in the past and, like automotive, is evolving to become ‘iPhone on steel.’ So do steel companies become a high-tech company, which happens to produce steel? If you believe that already has happened, we need to think twice because the best and exciting is yet to come,” Ludkovsky said.

Fig. 1-1Like the automotive industry, the steel industry is undergoing a transformation that is distinctly different from what it used to be in the past.

 

Presentations Highlight New Manufacturing Processes

Speakers offered a broad range of topics that focused on automotive design, AHSSs, and manufacturing technologies. Track 1 presentations showcased product highlights, structural development, and manufacturing features for a variety of 2021 new vehicles, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E (Ford Motor Co.), Chevrolet Trailblazer (General Motors [GM]), Cadillac Escalade (GM), Acura TLX (Honda), and more. The session was moderated by Catterall.

Mike Davenport, executive director of the Auto/Steel Partnership (A/SP), moderated the Track 2 forum. The session commenced with the presentation “Investigation of Resistance Spot-Welding for 3rd Gen AHSS: Welding Quality and Performance” by Hassan Ghassemi-Armaki, lead research engineer at ArcelorMittal Global R&D, and Kevin Tang, welding engineer at GM, on behalf of A/SP. Ghassemi-Armaki touched upon the different resistance spot-welding factors the joining team is investigating, including LME and how it’s affecting the substrate (both industry and third-generation grades) and coating/gauge. They’re also looking at welding parameters, industrial conditions, and the effect of LME on the application.

Track 3 consisted of presentations showcasing advancements in technology, including “Development of a Tailor Welded Hot Stamped Side Frame” by Michael Worswick, professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. Worswick gave background information on the hot-stamped steels on the 2016 Honda. He continued with the development of a baseline front-end module that led to the design of a tailor-welded, hot-stamped side-frame member. He also detailed the manufacturing, fabrication, and testing of hot-stamped crush tips. The Track 3 moderator was Hesham Ezzat, senior technical consultant with the AISI automotive program.

 

Conclusion

GDIS attendees were also able to tour virtual exhibits and chat with executives, engineers, automotive designers, peers, and sponsors. To close the event, AISI representatives thanked all of the speakers; automotive investors; gold, silver, and bronze sponsors; and media partners.

 

This article was written by Roline Pascal (education editor) for the American Welding Society.