Shape Corp. Participates in Public Debut of Highest Strength Cold-Rolled Sheet Steel

‘Stronger steels equate to reduced mass’ was the main message Shape engineers communicated to a few hundred attendees at the eleventh annual Great Designs in Steel conference.
Tom Johnson, product manager, and Brian Oxley, process development engineer/metallurgist, presented on and were part of the public debut of the significant advancements made in 1700MPa MartINsite® Advanced High Strength Steel. As the first supplier to receive a coil of the highest-strength as produced cold-rolled sheet steel globally available, and the first supplier to produce automotive components with the material, Johnson and Oxley spoke to the added value and reduced mass that this material brings to the automotive industry.

“Our presence at Great Designs in Steel allowed us to prove to the industry we have the tools to be mass competitive against alternative materials,” said Johnson. “We’re on the forefront of utilizing these materials with highly optimized geometries to provide lightweight bumper solutions. Our analyses are showing up to a 20 percent mass reduction when applying this new material over the industry standard of 1300MPa. Shape is also evaluating this material for other body structure applications as the need for mass savings goes well beyond bumper beams.”

ArcelorMittal, the supplier of MartINsite® steel, has processed the material in such a way that avoided additional equipment modifications and special processing in order to eliminate significant cost increases. In turn, Shape has worked in analyzing its roll forming processes to accommodate higher properties without adding significant costs.

“Flexibility has been the key to Shape’s continued success in roll forming,” said Oxley. “And we are applying this same principle to the processing of 1700 grade steel. Shape is able to use existing roll form lines and tooling to maintain our process flexibility that is central to Shape’s approval of this steel.”

Great Designs in Steel is a forum for engineering, design, technology, policy and academic leaders to share the latest trends and applications in automotive steel technologies.

Shape Corp. is a global leader in impact energy management systems that protect occupants, pedestrians and vehicles. Headquartered in Grand Haven, Mich., Shape Corp. is a full service supplier providing design, engineering, testing and manufacturing for plastic and metal solutions in North America, Europe and Asia. Shape is recognized as a pioneer in advanced custom roll forming and injection molding and applies this expertise to an array of industries including automotive, office furniture, health care, agriculture and more. Founded in 1974, Shape has more than 1,800 associates and four sister companies. For more information, visit Shape’s website at or contact the communications department at (616) 846-8700 or