NEW LINEAR AND NON-LINEAR TAILORED BLANKS - A NEW CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO THEIR MANUFACTURING PROCESSIn the past years the number of tailored blanks has been continuously rising in Europe, United States and Japan. From its initial beginning in 1979 at Volvo Sweden, the tailored blank applications include now rails, columns, door inner panels, wheel houses, floors, rocker panels, cross beams, shelf panels, hood reinforcements and body side rings.They all have one common feature: straight respectively linear welds. In the automotive industry the new buzz word is «non-linear welds». The reasons for non-linear welds are such as improved stampability by moving the weld seam away from the critical areas lighter tailored blanks by using only thicker gage material only where absolutely needed and inserting pockets of thicker gage sheet metal in order to valuate the impact of non-linear welds. Detailed investigation on tailored blanks in production and in planning/design stage are made on a world wide basis.The conclusion of the investigation was that tailored blanks should be differentiated according to their production method or process, such valuation can give not only indications to the degree of severeness of production requirements but also subsequently the costs involved to manufacture tailored blanks with non-linear weld seam configuration.