ArcelorMittal develops two steel solutions to reduce weight

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel and mining company, has created two sets of steel solutions to reduce the average weight of pick-ups, following on from the award-winning launch of its S-in motion catalogue for standard, C-segment cars. ArcelorMittal has refined and extended these innovations to help meet the specific challenges facing the North American light truck market.

The first set uses currently available advanced high strength steels and press-hardenable steel grades such as Usibor 1500 and Ductibor 500 and can reduce weight by up to 174 kg (384 lbs) or 23% of the combined weight of a pick-up’s cab, box, frame and closures, compared with a modern (2014) baseline vehicle.

Reducing the average weight of pick-ups by this amount saves more than 14 grams of CO2-equivalent emissions per kilometer, helping pick-up trucks meet regulatory standards in the EU and US. The second uses emerging grades which are in the final stages of development.

ArcelorMittal says that S-in motion Steel PickUp meets OEMs’ acceptance criteria and has been validated for all major automotive standards, including crash safety and stiffness requirements.

The new steel solutions include advanced steel grades developed by ArcelorMittal’s research and development (R&D) teams in Maizières-lès-Metz and Montataire, France and East Chicago, Indiana.

Pick-up trucks represent a significant part of the NAFTA region’s light vehicle market. According to IHS, more than 2.6 million body-on-frame light pick-up trucks will be produced in the NAFTA region this year.

The launch follows significant investment by ArcelorMittal in automotive research and development, which accounts for 33% of the total global budget of US$270 million.

The original S-in motion includes multiple solutions for 63 parts of a typical C-segment vehicle and offers weight savings of up to 22% for a car chassis, and a 6.23 g drop in CO2 emissions per kilometer, in a car using the lightest S-in motion solutions. The S-in motion solutions use a range of:

  • Press hardened steels (PHS) amounting to 25% of the BIW and crash management system (CMS);
  • Advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for around 29% of the BIW and CMS;
  • Stainless steel (typically 17.7C-1.4310 for the A-pillar lower outer); and
  • Long products such as forged SOLAMB1100 for the steering knuckle.

On 23 September 2014, Ivan Viaux, Research Engineer at ArcelorMittal Global R&D, will explain at the Aachen Body Engineering Days 2014 conference how ArcelorMittal steels can help carmakers to reduce the weight of their plugged-in hybrid electrical vehicles (PHEV) without additional cost through the PHEV S-in motion project.

The PHEV S-in motion project’s main objective is to identify the challenges to convert one internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle to an PHEV and study the relevancy of weight savings potential of advanced high strength steel (AHSS) on PHEV vehicle architecture. Ivan Viaux will highlight how AHSS combined with innovative body-in-white design and relevant process approaches can help to achieve weight savings without cost penalty despite heavier powertrains.

Over the past decade, advanced high strength steels have become the fastest growing material for light vehicle construction. ArcelorMittal Europe’s shipments of these steels have doubled in the last five years, to account for one quarter of ArcelorMittal Europe’s total automotive steel shipments. For the NAFTA region, ArcelorMittal’s order book for advanced high strength steels (including press hardenable steels) is expected to rise from 20% of total automotive steel orders today to 35% in 2019.

ArcelorMittal is continuously working on new steel grades in order to meet manufacturers’ needs for the automotive industry. At any one time, up to 80 new grades are under development, with researchers working with OEMs many years in advance in order to develop ever-more efficient, safer and lighter vehicles for the future.