June 19, 2014, Chicago – This award recognized ArcelorMittal’s laser ablation process and its role in introducing the industry’s first single-piece, hot-stamped, laser-welded door ring found in the 2014 Acura MDX. Laser ablation is a process applied to ArcelorMittal’s patented Usibor® steel and it serves as a brand new concept for the North American steel industry.
ArcelorMittal and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks worked closely with Honda and Magna’s Cosma International, a tier-one hot stamper, to develop the door ring. The door ring enhances the safety performance of the MDX to meet today’s stringent roof crush and side impact standards, as well as the demanding new small overlap front crash test. In addition to enhanced safety, the MDX achieved weight reduction and performance targets, without adding additional cost to the consumer.
“Our global scale and internal collaboration gave us the edge in developing this innovation,” said Jack Anderson, global account manager for Honda at ArcelorMittal, who accepted the award on behalf of ArcelorMittal and its Tailored Blanks division.
“The unmatched technical capabilities of ArcelorMittal Global R&D and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas and Europe – coupled with the reach of our North American sales and marketing teams – positioned us as an unparalleled partner with Honda and Magna's Cosma,” he said. “ArcelorMittal is proud to serve as an industry leader – not only as a material provider to automakers, but as a solutions provider.”
Using Honda’s design, this three-year innovation was accomplished through the application of ArcelorMittal’s Usibor® 1500, a patented aluminum silicon coated steel product with an ultimate tensile strength of 1500 MPa, and our laser welded blank (LWB) technology. The door ring requires the innovative ablation process, or blank edge preparation process, prior to laser welding the multiple sheets of steel together to create one piece of steel to be stamped. The ablation prevents the aluminum from polluting the laser weld, thereby guarantying uniform strength across the weld after hot-stamping.
Lighter, faster, stronger
The ultimate result after hot-stamping is a lighter, stronger door ring, which serves as a critical component of the MDX body structure and replaces the conventional multi-piece spot weld design. The vehicle’s performance in the new offset frontal crash test – where a car strikes an object with only 25 percent of the vehicle – was textbook. The area of impact collapsed as it should, stopping at the door ring, which allowed the door to easily open and close, and the passenger to safely exit.
“The door ring creates an industry standard that global automakers can easily adopt. Globally, ArcelorMittal is currently supplying or launching ablated Usibor® or Ductibor® solutions for seven major automakers, demonstrating that the ablation process is a key component of ArcelorMittal’s automotive growth strategy,” said Todd Baker, president, ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas.
It is expected that the North American automotive customers alone will adopt more than four million, hot-stamped, laser-welded blanks during the next two years. In Europe too, various carmakers are studying the door ring for their next models.