ArcelorMittal’s Automotive Global R&D team created a new underbody platform for both fuel- and electric-powered LCVs. The underbody was chosen as it is typically similar across different models and used for up to 12 years. OEMs simply modify the upper structure to create passenger models or cargo versions with different volumes.
A recent-model baseline LCV was selected for the study of the fuel-powered LCV. The reference underbody mainly comprised high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels and had a total mass of 193 kg.
Using ultra high strength steels (UHSS) and advanced high strength steels (AHSS), ArcelorMittal’s engineers:
ArcelorMittal evaluated the performance of the redesigned underbody in several crash scenarios. Analysis of frontal, rear and lateral crash data showed the lightweight fuel-powered model performs as well as the baseline.
While UHSS and AHSS have been used in the new design, overall material costs are neutral as less steel is required. Industrial validation is expected to show that additional savings can be achieved from process improvements and use of laser welded blanks (LWBs).