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Development trends

The Automotive Worldwide catalogue reflects the major trends in new product development being pursued by the  ArcelorMittal group in response to the needs of its automotive sector customers:

  • Proposals for reducing vehicle weight 
  • Cost reductions 
  • Environmental protection

As world leader, ArcelorMittal is called upon to take the lead in innovation, focusing on breakthrough technologies that will, in some cases, prove indispensable in the future.

Reduction of vehicle weight

We are constantly extending our range of very high strength steels suitable for structural parts. We have, for example, added several grades in the 800 to1200 MPa tensile strength range. These products-hot and cold rolled, coated and uncoated Dual Phase, Complex Phase and martensitic steels-provide many different combinations of weight reduction capacity and formability.

To meet the need for weight reduction in closures, our catalogue now includes a Dual Phase FF 280 DP Extragal® adapted to the requirements for visible parts.

Other metallurgical concepts are being studied by our R&D team in our ongoing endeavour to further expand our product range.

Cost reduction

ArcelorMittal offers high-performance solutions with proven capacity for reducing certain process costs. For example, the new surface treatments for zinc coatings-NIT and L-Treatment-improve the robustness of the drawing process. Because of their surface properties, the frequency of equipment cleaning operations (which are crucial, especially for skin parts) can often be reduced.

Ultragal® offers new guarantees with respect to waviness and hence to paint appearance in the galvanized range for visible parts. It offers opportunities for synergies with new shorter-and thus more cost-effective-painting processes.

Environmental protection

ArcelorMittal strives to help protect the environment.  For example, Chrome VI has been removed from the group's automotive catalogue. Chromating on a metallic coating has been replaced by E-passivation and surface treatments in the weldable thin organic coatings range are now entirely chromium-free.

Breakthrough technology

The increasingly competitive and global automotive market calls for the development of top-performance products. The quest for combinations of different properties and the need for savings will increasingly require simultaneous product and process development. ArcelorMittal devotes significant resources to the search for breakthrough technologies. A typical example is the emergence of vacuum PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition). New prospects for breakthrough product development have opened up as a result of this technology, which exists in other industries but has never before been applied in a continuous steelmaking process.

The first of these products will probably be the ZEMg coating, obtained by vacuum deposition. The ZEMg PVD coating's capacity for corrosion protection and its surface quality recommend it for many automotive industry applications, for both visible and non-visible parts.

 

These ZEMg PVD coatings have been specially developed to increase corrosion protection in hollow parts and abutments of adjoining parts. They can help reduce the need for additional protective measures such as wax and mastics. They can also improve protection in hollow areas taht are difficult to protect by cataphoresis and can considerably reduce design costs. The main applications are closures, body sides, underbodies, shock absorbers and all hollow beams in vehicles. These products are aimed at meeting the needs of car body manufacturers with respect to reducting the cost of anti-corrosion guarantees.

Surface appearance of ZEMg PVD coating (Scanning electron micrograph)

Cross-sectional view of ZEMg PVD coating

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