Stainless steel for buses and coaches

The global bus and coach industry is in a period of profound change. Download our new article to learn how stainless steels help solve some of the key design challenges in bus frames, including how to achieve over 1,000 kg weight savings while remaining cost-competitive. See below.
Webinar series

Listen to our webinars!

Outokumpu mobility webinar series shares insights to our stainless steels and how they create new opportunities and value in vehicle engineering for future mobility. Five webinars were completed in 2021. Stay tuned for future webinars in 2022!

See the recordings

Framing the future with stainless steel

Outokumpu stainless steels help designers to create buses and coaches with reduced weight, less maintenance, longer lifetime, improved CO2 footprint and increased safety for passengers. From frame structures and sidewalls to battery housings and electric engines for state-of-the-art electric buses, our stainless steels have the features to enable all this. We offer a variety of grades in plate and sheet, coil, strip and precision strip. Our stainless steels for bus manufacturing include the latest purpose-designed fully austenitic ultra-high strength stainless steels, as well as lean duplex and ferritic grades to meet the specific needs of our customers.

Applications and benefits of stainless steel for buses


  • Sidewalls
  • Frame structures
  • Seat structures
  • Battery housings
  • Electric engines
  • Crash safety relevant components
  • Trim elements, small parts and accessories


  • Reduced weight
  • Less maintenance
  • Longer vehicle lifetime
  • Lower lifecycle cost
  • Better heat resistance
  • Improved COfootprint
  • Increased safety for passengers

Seven reasons to put stainless steel in the frame for buses

The bus frame provides the structural backbone of a bus. This is where high strength stainless steels offer exciting possibilities to create safer and lighter buses while remaining cost competitive. This article describes how stainless steels help designers of next generation buses solve the key challenges regarding light weight, passenger safety, sustainability and cost. The article includes the latest third-party simulation test results, which show a potential of over 1,000 kg weight reduction in a bus frame when using ultra-high strength stainless steel.

Download the article

Interested? Fill in the form to access the material

Why choose stainless steel?

It's strong and lightweight

High-strength stainless steel grades developed by Outokumpu provide outstanding yield strength and energy absorption characteristics. This helps design lighter and smaller structures that still meet rigorous safety standards.

High strength of stainless steels make it possible to reduce the weight e.g. in tubular frame bus structures. Test programs have shown, that by replacing S355 grade carbon steel with duplex and ferritic stainless steels in a standard coach body, it is possible to reduce the all-up weight by around 500 kg. Outokumpu's fully austenitic nickel-free Forta H-Series offers even greater weight-saving potential with over 1,000 kg. For more information and details, please download the article "Seven reasons to put stainless steel in the frame for buses".

It's cost-efficient

There is a perception that stainless steel is an expensive material to use in comparison with traditional carbon steel. That is why it is currently used in only a small percentage of buses. The reality is that making the switch to stainless steel allows designers to create safer and lighter buses while staying cost-competitive and there is very significant potential for it to be used much more widely.

When selecting a material for a bus structure, it is important to go beyond its initial purchase cost and to consider the wider implications on the total cost throughout the life of the bus. A switch to stainless steel could reduce the total life-cycle cost of a bus frame by 12% according to an analysis by International Stainless Steel Forum, see Figure 1.

Bus frame LCC analysis by ISSF

Figure. 1. A switch to stainless steel could reduce the total LCC of a bus frame by 12% (ISSF, webinar 2021).

It's sustainable

Stainless steel is the ultimate sustainable material. It is produced using a high level of scrap. As one example, Outokumpu uses over 85% scrap; the highest proportion of recycled content on the market. And at the end of its life, stainless steel is 100% recyclable.

The high durability and corrosion resistance of stainless steel means it has a much longer lifetime than carbon steel and requires much less maintenance. Furthermore, using high-strength stainless steel can reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, helping to lower energy consumption and emission levels.



How stainless steels help us to achieve carbon neutral mobility


How stainless steels help to shape the future of the automotive industry


How to select materials for the next-generation lightweight bus


Stainless steel stacks up for fuel cell bipolar plates


How to design safer and lighter busses while staying cost competitive


How to master the challenges of e-mobility with stainless steel

Technical article

Forta H-Series - Build stronger and lighter vehicle structures with stainless steel

Technical article

Safe electric vehicle battery housings using high-performance stainless steels

Technical article

Introducing the TWIP strengthening mechanism

Recommended products

Hot rolled coil, strip and plate
Cold rolled coil, strip and sheet