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GM picks high-strength steel for Chevy Silverado pickup

Keywords: Tags  General Motors, Chevrolet Silverado, pickup truck, high-strength steel, frame, cab, Jeff Luke, aluminum mass reduction

CHICAGO — General Motors Co. engineers have incorporated high-strength steel (HSS) in the frame and cab structure of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup.

"We chose high-strength steel for the key structural elements of the 2014 Silverado, (which) reduces the weight of these components without sacrificing the toughness and durability customers count on," executive chief engineer Jeff Luke said in a statement.

Key elements of the frame—including the main rails and major cross members—will be made from HSS, while hydroforming will improve strength and reduce the mass of the front of the frame. HSS also is being incorporated into the A-pillars, B-pillars, roof rails and rocker panels, and ultra-high-strength steel will be used in areas of the rocker panels and underbody in anticipation of new crash tests.

In all, about two-thirds of the cab structure will be made from high-strength steel, Detroit-based GM said.

The 2014 Silverado 1500 will feature a roll-formed steel pickup box that is lighter, stronger and more durable than traditional stamped steel boxes, the automaker said.

Aluminum will be used in some areas to reduce mass. The blocks and cylinder heads of all three EcoTec3 engines will be made of cast aluminum, while four-wheel-drive crew-cab models will use forged aluminum upper-front control arms and cast aluminum lower control arms and steering knuckles for a reduction of 42 pounds. The hoods also will be aluminum, saving 17 pounds over a comparable steel panel, GM said.

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