Unique Roof Structure System by Vari-Form Saves Weight on the 2016 Nissan Titan

10th August 2016

Hydroforming specialists, Vari-Form has announced it has developed a high strength, lightweight roof system for the second generation Nissan Titan pickup truck.

“The roof rail system is an excellent example of our Hydroform-Intensive Body Structures (HIBS) strategy,” said Terry Nardone, Vari-Form director of sales and marketing. “It’s essential to ensuring cab integrity and occupant protection, and our hydroforming expertise helped Nissan meet their targets for roof strength and crash performance.”

Designing this part around a single hydroformed component helped Vari-Form to commonize a diverse selection of roof rail configurations into a single concept that works well for all variants of the Titan model.

Mr. Nardone went on to explain that “The efficiency of our approach also reduces part count by over 20 parts per truck. In previous designs, those separate pieces had to be welded together to form the rail. Integration of features like flanges and piercings into the die allows production of the hydroformed tube as a single part. The resulting vehicle mass savings of 15.9 kg (35 lbs) are particularly significant because we can reduce weight while retaining the proven strength of steel.”

Noting that this is the first use of high-strength, variable-gage steel tubing in a roof rail application, Mr. Nardone indicated that Vari-Form R&D engineers adjusted the design to hold tolerances in the part coming out of the die.