* NanoSteel designs new class of steel
* GM says "nano-structured" steel could be "game-changer"
Aug 6 General Motors Co is investing in a
company that has designed a new type of lightweight,
high-strength steel that could help the automaker significantly
improve the fuel economy of its future cars and trucks.
GM said on Monday that its venture-capital arm, General
Motors Ventures, has invested an undisclosed amount in NanoSteel
The 10-year-old, privately held steel company, based in
Providence, Rhode Island, has developed a new type of steel
alloy that is designed to be thinner and higher in strength than
more conventional steel, without compromising structural
The so-called "nano-structured" steel could be used in place
of aluminum and other more exotic materials that automakers have
considered, but which might be more costly to manufacture.
GM's chief technology officer Jon Lauckner, who is head of
global research and development and president of GM Ventures,
said NanoSteel's technology is "a potential game-changer" in the
auto industry's ongoing battle to reduce vehicle weight and fuel
NanoSteel said GM's investment, part of a Series C round of
venture funding, would enable it to "accelerate the final phases
of development" of its new steel.