24th September 2014
The world’s largest steel and mining company, ArcelorMittal, 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. These innovations have now been refined and extended 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 174kg (384lbs) 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 kilometre, ensuring pick-up trucks meet regulatory standards in the EU and US. The second uses emerging grades which are in the final stages of development.
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 6.23g drop in CO2 emissions per kilometre, in a car using the lightest S-in motion solutions.
Emissions reduction regulations in the EU and USA are driving auto manufacturers to develop lighter, more fuel efficient vehicles. In the EU, OEMs have to lower average emissions to 95g CO2 per kilometre by 2020. Policy makers in the US have mandated that cars and light trucks average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, compared with around 28 miles per gallon today. ArcelorMittal’s steel solutions, combined with power train developments, help auto makers reach these new targets for all types of vehicle, including pick-ups.
S-in motion Steel PickUp meets OEMs’ acceptance criteria and has been validated for all major automotive standards, including crash safety and stiffness requirements.
Greg Ludkovsky, vice president of global research and development, said: “With these latest developments, combined with power train developments, we are now able to help the automotive segment achieve the required weight reductions to meet new fuel emission standards in all types of vehicles. This is a very exciting development and again shows the enormous innovation potential of steel. Steel is the most cost-effective material for vehicle applications, as well as being the most environmentally friendly.”
The innovative 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, USA. They provide further evidence that steel is the most sustainable, versatile and affordable material to help automotive manufacturers achieve weight reduction targets on time – without compromising strength and safety.
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$270m. A team of more than 560 researchers currently work on R&D for the automotive industry, in dedicated centres in East Chicago, USA, Hamilton, Canada, and Maizières-lès-Metz, Montataire and Gandrange in France.
Over the past decade, advanced high strength steels have become the fastest growing material for light vehicle construction. For example, 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.