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Greener Steel

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These guys are looking at a piece of outer-body grade sheet steel with a zinc-magnesium (ZM) coating that is said by its developer, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe (thyssenkrupp-steel-europe.com), to be beneficial from both product and process standpoints, and provide an environmental benefit to boot by conserving resources. Compared to conventional corrosion- protection coatings, the ZM can be reduced by about a third, or, they calculate, about a 4.4-lb zinc savings per midsize car. As regards process: the surface is harder, so there is less die abrasion in standing. In addition to which, because the coating is thinner, welding is easier. The material is offered in two types, ZM EcoProtect, which is said to be comparable in surface finish to hot-dipped galvanized parts, and ZM PrimeProtect, which has a better finish, which means better paint finishes can be realized. The materials were developed by researchers at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe facilities in Duisburg and Dortmund,Germany.