Two New Stainless Steel Vehicles
The myriad qualities of stainless steel, including its strength, cost-effectiveness, resistance to corrosion and relatively light weight, make the material ideal for numerous uses in the automotive and transportation industries. In the previous edition of the BS Stainless blog, we reported that Tesla's long-awaited stainless steel Cybertruck will soon be going into mass production: here we reveal details of two very different stainless steel vehicles that are also in the news at the moment.
The Stilride1 Scooter
The Stilride1 scooter, designed and developed by Swedish start-up company Stilride, is now in production and the first deliveries are expected in the spring of 2024. Whereas traditional scoots are constructed with a tubular metal frame and covered with plastic body panels, the Stilride1 is made from a single sheet of duplex stainless steel which has been folded using a unique process called 'Lightfold'.
Developed by joint-founder of Stilride Tue Beijer, the Lightfold process involves the use of lasers to heat desired fold lines in the metal. Duplex stainless steel, a combination of austenitic and ferritic stainless steel, has an incredibly high tensile strength which has traditionally made it difficult and expensive to fold; the new Lightfold process negates these difficulties and makes the whole process faster, cheaper and more accurate.
The production method dramatically increases sustainability in numerous ways. Less material is wasted and production can take place in smaller regional factories, cutting down on transportation requirements for both raw materials and the finished products themselves. As duplex stainless steel is so strongly resistant to corrosion, there is no need for paint or plastic panels. In addition, the material is 100% recyclable.
Weighing in at just 130kg, which includes the weight of the lithium-ion battery, the Stilride1 stainless steel scooter can reach a top speed of 62mph and has a range of around 75 miles per four-hour charge. The expected retail cost of the vehicle currently stands at just under £13,300.
LNG Dual-Fuel Chemical Tanker Launched
Japanese shipyard Fukuoka Shipbuilding recently launched a new chemical tanker, which was built for the Fairfield Chemical Carriers (FCC) shipping company, based in the USA. Named 'Fairchem Pioneer', the vessel is FCC's first LNG chemical tanker built from stainless steel to run using dual-fuel technology.
Fairchem Pioneer is the first of two stainless steel chemical tankers ordered by the FCC from Fukuoka Shipbuilding. Each vessel, which weighs 26,300 dwt, will reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide by as much as 25% when compared to standard marine fuels.