IIT Bombay in partnership with International Zinc Association unveiled a first of its kind survey report Safety First Risk of Rust to highlight the impact of weather conditions on the safety of passenger car vehicles. Launched in the city, the study provides insights about safety hazards like deteriorating structural stability and strength caused by faster rusting of car bodies in coastal regions like Chennai due to unpredictable and humid weather conditions. It also further emphasized on the need for increased adoption of galvanized steel in automotive industry, especially in coastal areas, to increase the durability of cars.
With Indians spending nearly 12 hours more of their time behind wheels on an average every day, there is a higher risk of life. While safety standards for automotive industry in India is defined by Airbags, seat belts and ABS, the study further states the importance of protecting steel against corrosion as the forth safety pillar. With nearly 50% of the vehicle structure made of steel the study further emphasizes on the need for supplying only galvanized steel to the automobile industry for the safety of people against rust and corrosion.
Spearheaded by Prof Anand Khanna, Former Professor, Department of Metallurgy Engineering, IIT Bombay with a team of two PhD students, the study was conducted in the month of March 2018. Based on a series of parameters, this closed car survey studied nearly 500 cars across brands to understand the extent of corrosion imperfection categories like blisters, surface rust and perforation on the external panels/body parts. A key highlight of the study is that the surveyed cars were chosen based on the average Indian family usage (typically below Rs. 10 Lakhs) across hatchback and sedan segments.
One of the key findings that emerged from the study states that number of vehicles exhibiting certain imperfection, increased with the age of the vehicle. Of the surveyed cars manufactured between the time frame of 2008 to 2016 most statistical significance for the corrosion of vehicles 5 to10 years old. It is also quite evident that the number of blisters and surface rust were more predominant than perforation.
The survey also states that out of the four major parts inspected, rocker panel exhibited the highest damage in terms of number of imperfections, blistering and surface rust. This can be attributed to its closeness to the ground and henceforth effects of road debris, stagnant water and such.