Issue: Oct 2006


American Iron and Steel Institute's Wheels Task Force Establishes Design Project with the College fo



by Rob White

Through the teamwork of the American Iron and Steel Institute's (AISI) Wheels Task Force and the senior transportation design students from the College for Creative Studies (CCS), unique steel-intensive wheel designs are being created that just may affect tomorrow's vehicle production.

On September 12, 2006, AISI's Wheels Task Force/CCS student design project kicked off as a challenge to CCS transportation design students to develop a new generation of 18-20 inch highly styled steel wheels. This project is integrated into the normal CCS curriculum and presents the student designers with a rare opportunity to influence the growing styled wheel market in the automotive industry.

Partnering with top wheel suppliers, OEMs and steel companies for a five- week intensive course project, CCS students will gain exceptional real-world experience by working with the same technology and background information typically only available to OEM wheel designers.

Students will study successful technical developments in steel wheels, such as the Hayes Lemmerz Flex Wheel and the ArvinMeritor SuperSpoke wheel, along with the permanent trim and removable trim products that have enabled the release of high vent area steel wheel designs on several makes and models. The CCS wheels project will highlight the significant gains that steel wheels can deliver to automakers through styling, higher profit margins, lower warranty costs, competitive weight and ruggedness.

Unveiling of the new styled steel wheel design is slated for October 11, 2006.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 32 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 125 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.

The Automotive Applications Committee (AAC) is a subcommittee of the Market Development Committee of AISI and focuses on advancing the use of steel in the highly competitive automotive market. With offices and staff located in Detroit, cooperation between the automobile and steel industries has been key to its success. This industry cooperation resulted in the formation of the Auto/Steel Partnership, a consortium of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation and the member companies of the AAC. For more news or information, view the American Iron and Steel Institute / Automotive Applications Committee's website at http://www.autosteel.org/ .

Automotive Applications Committee / Wheels Task Force Member Companies:
* Accuride Corporation
* AK Steel Corporation
* ArvinMeritor Wheels Division
* DaimlerChrysler Corporation
* Dofasco Inc.
* Ford Motor Company
* General Motors Corporation
* Hayes Lemmerz International
* Hess Engineering, Inc.
* Lacks Wheel Trim Systems
* McKechnie Vehicle Components
* Mittal Steel USA
* Nucor Corporation
* PPG Industries Inc.
* Severstal North America Inc.
* United States Steel Corporation

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