A glimpse of the future of motoring was seen on Monday 19 May as the Biofore Concept Car was revealed to visitors at Digipolis. Whilst the next-generation car serves as a test bench for the use of renewable biomaterials, traditional materials such as stainless steel were also required in its construction.
“Several different types of temper-rolled stainless steel from Outokumpu were used to manufacture the car’s front sub frame. Our practical role mostly involved cooperation with the Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The sub frame was designed and constructed at Tornion Jaloterässtudio,” says Research Engineer Hannu-Pekka Heikkinen from Outokumpu.
Constructed by students, the concept car has already won over hearts in events such as the Geneva Motor Show. The aim of the Osaamista ajoneuvoteollisuuden kanssa – ConceptCar project is to promote the utilisation of material and fuel-related know-how in automotive applications and to improve the attractiveness of the field in the eyes of current and future students. On a concrete level, the project aims to showcase Finnish technological competence in the automotive industry and, in the process, attract young people to study in the field.
The project’s main sponsors are Tekes, Metropolia and UPM, and it spans the years 2011–2014. The project has been coordinated by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Outokumpu has had a significant role in the project since its beginning.
“The central characteristics of stainless steel include strength, malleability, energy-absorbing ability in impact situations, corrosion resistance and recyclability. Furthermore, as low-emission driving tends to result in higher motor temperatures, the best properties of stainless steel really rise to the fore,” says Heikkinen.
The focus of the project is on city driving, and the usability of city cars in particular. The project aims to develop a demonstration car that is suited to city traffic. The car should demonstrate environmental responsibility, and its technical solutions should provide realistic alternatives to the current systems by 2018.
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