Grede Holdings LLC, a leading producer of cast iron components for automotive applications, is developing lightweight chassis, powertrain and drivetrain components – including safety-critical systems – for several major automakers using a patented ductile iron alloy called SiboDur®.
SiboDur® is an ultra-high-strength ductile iron with a unique chemistry and process, which is providing customers strong value for achieving light weight, cost competitive solutions. As a result, parts made from the innovative alloy compete favorably with aluminum in terms of weight reduction, and offer exceptional value in durability and performance, as well as integration for part complexity reduction.
“SiboDur® enables us to provide our automotive customers with cost-effective, lightweight solutions, while maintaining high structural performance and durability,” said Jeff Nichols, director of business development. “It also enables excellent product design optimization capabilities given the higher mechanical properties versus competing materials that are cost prohibitive.”
Five different SiboDur® alloys are available, each offering select chemistries that can improve fatigue strength and functional design optimizations to match the requirements of specific applications. For example, SiboDur®’s Ultimate Tensile Strength ranges from 450 to 800 MPa, with elongation percentage ratios of six to 23 percent. “This range of mechanical properties allows us to be very creative with our design solutions and ultimately offer our customers a strong value proposition,” noted Nichols.
To further maximize SiboDur®’s capabilities, Grede is utilizing sophisticated topology and finite element analysis to create precise casting geometry to match the individual load case and stress strain vectors exactly where it is needed, to then effectively reduce mass and improve fatigue strength for customers.
Automakers worldwide are using, developing and testing SiboDur® in a variety of components for current and future vehicle programs. These include safety-critical parts with high stress and torque requirements, such as steering knuckles, axles, control arms, hubs, brake rotors, engine mounts, crankshafts and suspension links.
SiboDur® was developed by Swiss-based Georg Fischer Automotive AG. Grede has an exclusive license to produce the alloy in North America. In addition to the automotive industry, Grede also plans to supply SiboDur®-based castings for light- and heavy-duty trucks, and industrial applications. Grede is actively launching new production and prototype SiboDur® business at both its Reedsburg, Wis., and St. Cloud, Minn., facilities.
“We’re very excited about the benefits we can offer our customers,” Nichols said. “SiboDur® is a highly competitive alternative to aluminum with significant cost and design advantages.”
“SiboDur® is a registered trademark of Georg Fischer Automotive AG”