Ford has announced it is using the same hot-forming techniques medieval blacksmiths used to make armour for knights to make the Ford Focus’ body 40% stronger.

Ford has released a video of its hot-forming process, whereby robots are used to shape and cut parts of the car using giant furnaces and 3000-degree C lasers. Ford said the technique is fundamentally the same as the one used in the middle ages to construct armour.

“We are building on techniques used to strengthen steel for thousands of years, incorporating modern materials and automation to speed and refine the hot-forming process,” said Dale Wishnousky, vice president, Manufacturing, Ford of Europe. “The resulting boron steel safety cell helps to make the all-new Focus one of our safest vehicles ever.”

Used to construct the body of the Focus, Ford said this hot-forming process and the liberal use of boron steel, the strongest steel used in automotive manufacturing, has improved by 40 percent the Focus’ capability to withstand head-on crashes.

Ford said, “Hot-formed steel pieces are subjected to temperatures of up to 930-degrees C; unloaded by robots into a hydraulic press that has a closing force up to 1150 tonnes; and then shaped and cooled in just three seconds. The boron steel is so strong by this point that a laser beam hotter than lava is used to precision-cut each piece into its final shape.


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