The Research & Development and Scientific Services division of Tata Steel Limited at Jamshedpur, set up in 1937 as the ‘Research and Control Laboratory’, is unique in India. It supports the Tubes SBU by developing new products and processes to create a competitive advantage, better environmental performance and enhanced sustainability.

Product Development

The Product Research Group is presently involved with developing high strength steel grades for tubes application. The main driving force in this case is lower cost, which can be passed onto our customers. In the past, boron added steel grade has been developed in order to take care of hardenability issues, particularly for tackling the issues related to deterioration of mechanical properties after welding. Soon, development of boron added steel composition for side impact bar will be initiated. The main aim in this case is to develop a steel composition with less strength, which will be formed to produce the tube.Subsequently, heat treated induction heating will be performed to achieve very high strength.

Forming and EVI Support

Tata Steel has both experimental and computational facilities to support our automotive customers. Experimental facilities are present to characterize the tube material properties. The available computational tools are ABAQUS, PAMTUBE, HYPERWORKS, LS-Dyna, Uni-Graphics for modeling and simulation of the various processes like tube bending and hydroforming, etc. With the help of finite element simulation we can predict the defects and reduce material rejection, if any, while processing the tubes at the shop floor.

Tube hydroforming is an advanced manufacturing process, useful for mass production, which offers several advantages over stamping and welding, like part consolidation, elimination of secondary operations, etc. Tata Steel works with the automotive design team at the early stage of vehicle design and suggests hydroforming solutions to take full advantage of the hydroforming process. Apart from this, we understand the present challenge of weight reduction in automotive tube components and hence provide support to our customers to choose the most optimized solution of tube materials for their requirement.