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'3DQ' Heat-&-Quench Manufacturing Gives Acura NSX Better Rear Visibility

United States
Japan's Sumitomo Metals Group made the pillars using Three-Dimensional Hot Bending and Quench Processing (3DQ), a process in which the steel tubes are heated, shaped in three dimensions by a robotic arm, then drenched by water jets. This gives the steel a tensile strength of 1,500 megapascals and allows for a relatively thin cross-section. The 3DQ part is also coated with a material designed to prevent galvanic corrosion.

The A-pillars and roof rails are all one continuous piece of metal, giving the necessary roof strength to keep the car within acceptable crush safety parameters, but also improving forward visibility. The pillar structure has been reduced by 1 inch compared to what would be possible with a conventional construction process, leaving it at 1.65 x 1.42 in. (42 x 36 mm) in width and 36 percent less obstruction than the original NSX.

It's also the first automotive application of ablation casting, in which ablation-cast aluminum frame nodes are used to make ultra-rigid mounting points for the suspension and improve collision performance in key crash zones.

The rest of the body has been built with lightweight materials too, including a carbon fiber floor, thin sheet aluminum, and a light-weight sheet molding compound used for exterior details. The NXS supercar has been used to premiere tech before – it was also the first all-aluminum exotic car.