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IABC Detroit: presenting lightweight steel solutions for PickUp Trucks

More than 300 of the world’s leading automotive engineers and researchers, automotive suppliers and industry executives gathered at Ford Motor Company’s Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan for the 33rd annual International Auto Body Congress (IABC) on October 29-30.

Hosted by non-profit Global Automotive Management Council, IABC provides a forum to exchange advances in automotive body technology and management systems and address key topics concerning OEMs and manufacturers of exterior and interior automotive components, stamping, sheet metal and tool and die machinery.

Sponsors and speakers

ArcelorMittal and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks both served as exhibit sponsors of the 2014 event and provided speakers on important topics impacting the automotive industry, most significantly around the theme of vehicle lightweighting.

Steel Lightweight Solutions for PickUp Trucks

ArcelorMittal Global R&D’s Tom Wormald, principal project manager – steel solutions, led the session titled “Mass reduction for steel pickup structures,” which further defined our S-in motion Steel PickUp, a project that helps automotive manufacturers meet fuel economy targets for pick-ups. The S-in motion Steel PickUp follows the award-winning launch of the S-in motion catalogue for standard, C-segment cars, which includes multiple solutions for 63 parts of a typical C-segment vehicle and offers weight savings of up to 22 percent for a car chassis, and a 6.23g drop in CO2 emissions per kilometer.

Using currently available advanced high strength steels and press-hardenable steel grades such as Usibor® 1500 and Ductibor® 500, the S-in motion Steel PickUp reduces weight by up to 174kg (384lbs), or 23 percent of the combined weight of a pick-up’s cab, box, frame and closures, compared with a 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 both the United States and European Union. A second set of solutions, which includes emerging grades, is in the final stages of development.

“The S-in motion Steel Pickup results show that the necessary mass reduction is indeed feasible using steel,” said Wormald. “It’s exciting to present such a concrete example of how that might look to the automotive community, as well as showcasing all the hard work performed by ArcelorMittal to make this solution both feasible and cost-effective.”

The award-winning door ring with Laser Welded Blanks

Shawn Devaraj, a project engineer with ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, spoke on the latest lightweight hot-stamped, laser-welded door ring concepts for improved crash worthiness and lightweighting, highlighting the success of the industry’s first hot-stamped, laser-welded door ring found in the 2014 Acura MDX. He presented a study converting a conventional multipart body side reinforcement design to various door ring designs and reviewed the many benefits and performance improvements with the door ring designs.

“Our door ring solutions provide automakers with significant weight reduction and high material utilization rates at a minimal cost increase, while enhancing the safety, performance and ease of assembly” said Devaraj to the IABC attendees.

Committed to the NAFTA automotive industry

ArcelorMittal’s participation in IABC complements the company’s North American automotive communications strategy, serving as one of many examples of how we showcase our global leadership in automotive lightweighting steel solutions.

“IABC provides us with a unique opportunity to engage with key automotive decision makers, the folks who decide what materials will be part of future vehicle platforms, said Michael Lizak, global technology coordinator, automotive, ArcelorMittal. “We have the ability to hear directly from the OEMs about new requirements of the auto industry and the types of material and properties they want to obtain, and speak directly to them about the steel solutions available or in development that will meet the needs of future vehicles.”