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  • iCARe®

    Steel for electrical mobility

iCARe®: Powering the future of mobility

The iCARe® portfolio of electrical steels has been created by ArcelorMittal to help carmakers develop innovative mobility solutions for a more sustainable world.

ArcelorMittal unveiled the iCARe® range at the Coil Winding, Insulation and Electrical Manufacturing Exhibition (CWIEME), held in Berlin during June 2012. As part of our strategy for the electric vehicle (EV) sector, ArcelorMittal has also invested over €90 million in our existing St-Chély d’Apcher production facility in France. The investment includes a new continuous annealing line which will enable ArcelorMittal to increase capacity and introduce breakthrough technologies for EVs.

The new range of iCARe® electrical steels, together with the improvements at St-Chély d’Apcher, will help carmakers to deliver lower CO2-equivalent emissions and reduce the fuel consumption of hybrid vehicles. They will help automotive designers to increase the range of pure electric vehicles and lower the total cost of electrifi cation. iCARe® steels also promise to deliver increased power density from electric motors, helping to reduce the size and weight of low-emission vehicles through enhanced energy-efficiency.

‘As the leading supplier of steel to the global automotive industry, ArcelorMittal already enjoys enviable heritage and expertise in this space,’ commented Greg Ludkovsky, ArcelorMittal’s Vice President – Global Research and Development (R&D). ‘The launch of the iCARe® portfolio refl ects not only the global shift towards more energy-efficient vehicle technologies, but also the benefi ts delivered by our R&D-driven approach to innovation. In 2011 alone, we invested €250 million in researching and developing new steel products, solutions and processes to support a low-carbon world, demonstrating the sustainable advantages available through product innovation.’

Three distinct iCARe® grades

The iCARe® portfolio includes three grades of electrical steel. They are designed to meet specifi c challenges presented by the shift towards electrical mobility. The grades are:

iCARe® Save: offers very low electrical losses which maximises the use of current coming from the battery, enabling EVs to drive further on a single charge.

iCARe® Torque: ensures the highest levels of mechanical power output from electric motors, generating improved acceleration and a more dynamic driving experience.

iCARe® Speed: is a very high-strength electrical steel which is ideal for the manufacture of highspeed rotors. This type of rotor allows carmakers to reduce the weight of the motor even further.

Coatings and support available

ArcelorMittal also offers coatings for the iCARe® range, designed to further enhance and customise the behaviour of each of the iCARe® steel grades. The coatings provide interlaminar insulation and improve the punchability of the electrical steels. They are suitable for fully processed grades for hybrid and electric traction machines and compressors.

A suite of iCARe® advanced services offer further technical support for automotive customers. These include:

  • Modelling: ArcelorMittal provides customers with the help they need to choose the most suitable steels and to design the electrical machine. This assistance utilises both our advanced R&D know-how and the high-tech equipment available in our research centres. These modelling services enable design engineers to reduce the number of prototypes needed before pre-series and series production can begin.
  • Prototyping: A minimal amount of prototyping is still needed to prove the machine’s performance. ArcelorMittal can offer small quantities of sheets for first stage Epstein and tensile testing, and for the next stage of laser cutting. In the industrial validation phase, ArcelorMittal can provide small slit coils for punching and machine assembly development.
  • Material processing: The production of prototype or series machines can involve production processes that have the potential to degrade the properties of the fully processed steels we have supplied. Advanced R&D support is available to help customers quantify the impact of material handling processes on the magnetic performance of the machine’s lamination stack.

Improvements at St-Chély d’Apcher

The new continuous annealing line which is being built at our St-Chély d’Apcher mill will ensure that ArcelorMittal remains a leader in the development and production of non-oriented electrical steels. The line will enable ArcelorMittal to produce top level electrical steel grades with the highest levels of effi ciency and which demonstrate increased permeability, reduced loss levels, and improved high frequency behaviour. Our goal is to be able to respond quickly to the demands of emerging and highly technical products and of our existing electrical steel clients.

The new continuous annealing line will replace an existing line and increase production capacity and quality. It has a modular design which will enable ArcelorMittal to meet future demands for product development and capacity.

ArcelorMittal is already the foremost supplier of steels to the global automotive industry. The new iCARe® offering and improvements at St-Chély d’Apcher will ensure that we retain this position as our automotive customers start to develop and build the electrical and hybrid mobility solutions of the future.

Source: Update client magazine - November 2012