Impact Story

Makers of Safe Travels
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Why is it that more and more people walk away from car accidents year-over-year?

The answer: Tailor Welded Blanks

Made from sheets of steel of different thicknesses, strengths, and coatings that are joined together by laser welding, tailor welded blanks were developed as a solution to some of the many issues the automotive industry has faced over time, including how to reduce the weight of a car while increasing its strength.
Our Impact

Enhancing Vehicle Safety & Fuel Efficiency

The real impact of tailor welded blanks is in the safety and fuel efficiency they provide for drivers around the world.

• They optimize crash performance through the use of high-strength materials that absorb impact.

• They make vehicle body structures up to 15 percent lighter, which results in a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption because the lighter the car, the less energy consumed.

In addition, they’ve formed a place in the hearts and minds of the employees who manufacture them every day as something to be proud of.

Mark Eisenmenger, VP of Engineering and Product Development, TWB

Driving home, there’s a rear-end accident every day. When I observe the vehicle that got rear-ended or that did the rear-ending, I can look at it and tell whether the occupant is safe based on the accordion of the car. In many cases, the occupant is safe because of a tailor welded blank.

About TWB Company

Delivering Expanded Technology through Partnership

The technology for tailor welded blanks was first created in the mid-80s by ThyssenKrupp Steel AG. In an effort to bring the technology to North America, ThyssenKrupp and Worthington formed TWB Company in 1992 as a joint venture company. Today, BAOSteel is the minority joint venture partner with Worthington. As a result, the first North American application of tailor welded blanks was in 1994 on the Cadillac DeVille, a breakthrough at the time in the automotive industry that would soon be adopted industry wide.


Optimizing the production process and end results

Before tailor welded blanks, automotive parts were stamped one by one based on the different thicknesses and material compositions of each part. These stamped parts were then welded together to create a complete piece. Tailor welded blanks improve this process and reduce production costs by laser welding different materials with different thicknesses into a single blank before stamping, which can then be stamped in one complete part. The part—for example, a front rail—is then welded into place on the vehicle with the thinner and weaker area at the front and the thicker and stronger part at the rear end of the rail. Therefore, in the case of a collision, the front of the rail will collapse before the center or rear section does, reducing the impact of the collision and preventing injury to the passengers inside.


Pioneered Friction Stir Welding process for aluminum tailored blanks

To continue to push the limits of what’s possible, TWB further innovated to pioneer the friction stir welding process for North America’s first dedicated aluminum tailor welded blank line. Using aluminum, this process can create a car door inner panel that is 62 percent lighter and 25 percent cheaper than other manufacturing methods while maintaining the speed, scale, quality, and consistency required by the auto industry.*

*Source: Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

To Worthington, a solution is nothing without its impact.

Today, approximately 90 percent of vehicles are made with at least one or two tailor welded blanks by nearly all major car manufacturers.

They advance manufacturing processes to save weight, reduce cost, improve material utilization, and consolidate parts. They’ve created a legacy of protection for people behind the wheel. And they’ve contributed to fuel efficiency to forge a better economy.


Making Drivers Safer for 30 Years

So here’s to 30 years of making vehicles more secure, and the decades more we will invest in innovation to propel this and other technologies even further to continue to ensure the safety of drivers worldwide.