For several 2020 models, including the Ford Escape and Explorer, Ford is using ultra-high-strength steel tubes and what the automaker says is an industry-first production process. The “3D Roll and Sweep” process costs less than hydroforming and is more than twice as strong.

The new process roll-forms the material into a tube and then bends it into the hockey-sticklike shape of the roof rail. According to Ford, the resulting material is stronger than the steel used to make railroad tracks, construction cranes and military tanks.

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