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On the same wavelength

Ensuring an almost mirror finish for exposed automotive parts with a best-in-class paint aspect

ArcelorMittal can offer OEMs a range of steel coatings which improve the appearance, corrosion resistance, and processing performance of its steels. In the automotive sector, ArcelorMittal’s coatings are used by leading brands to optimise the appearance of their vehicles. The low waviness properties of Ultragal® ensures that the vehicle part has an almost mirror finish after stamping. This makes it ideal for large vehicle parts such as the bonnets, roofs, and body panels of premium models.

Ultragal® is a pure-zinc coating which was first introduced more than 15 years ago. ArcelorMittal controls the processing parameters of the coating to optimise the aspect of the final part. The aspect is influenced by the roughness, waviness, and form of the steel surface.

“When carmakers want to achieve a mirror finish, waviness is the most important characteristic,” notes Alain Besseyrias, manager of technical marketing for automotive at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “We need low waviness to achieve the best visual appearance for the part. This helps to reflect light and create the highly polished finish associated with premium brands.”

Alain Besseyrias, manager of technical marketing for automotive at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

 

Trial leads to widespread adoption of Ultragal®

ŠKODA AUTO was closely involved in the early industrial trials of Ultragal® notes Ing. Lubomír Roleček, Manager of Skoda’s Technical Service Press Shop and Body Shop:

“ŠKODA first achieved success with Ultragal® on the fender of our Octavia model and went into serial production in 2009. Following this initial positive experience, ŠKODA AUTO decided to utilise Ultragal® on outer hood panels – a highly demanding application. The aesthetics and excellent mirror finish of Ultragal® have now been applied to our Superb, Octavia, and Kodiaq models. As you will see from the images in this article, the use of Ultragal® has real benefits when it comes to the final painted appearance of these parts.”

Lubomír Roleček, Manager of Skoda’s Technical Service Press Shop and Body Shop

 

 

The ideal level of waviness can be measured – and guaranteed. “The automotive industry has recently created a new norm to measure waviness,” says Cécile Pesci, coating products development manager at ArcelorMittal Global R&D. “Known as the VDA norm, it measures a small spectrum of the reflected light. For the optimum mirror finish we are aiming for a value of Wsa1-5 at 5-percent elongation. ArcelorMittal can guarantee that Ultragal® can meet this standard.”

The new VDA norm replaces the Wa0.8 standard which was originally developed by ArcelorMittal and widely adopted by the automotive industry. Under the Wa0.8 standard, the coating should have a waviness of 0.42 µm after stamping with 3.5-percent elongation. This is equivalent to the new VDA Wsa1-5 norm. Note: Wsa1-5 is the arithmetic mean of the absolute ordinate values within wavelength range between 1 mm and 5 mm, based on standard SEP1941 describing Wsa(1-5) measurement.

 

Ultragal® available worldwide

“Attractive aesthetics and a best-in-class paint finish are key requirements for our automotive customers,” says Paul Brettnacher, CMO for Automotive at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “As a pioneer and leader in the production of hot dip galvanised steels with controlled waviness, ArcelorMittal is adopting the VDA Wsa1-5 norm to better serve our customers. With our range of coatings for automotive, ArcelorMittal is making a key contribution to addressing the current challenges faced by paint shops. Our sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions lead to a reduced carbon footprint, and our advanced coatings answer customer requirements for better surface characteristics.”

Paul Brettnacher, CMO for Automotive at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

 

 

 

Coating solutions for cold stamped steels

In addition to Ultragal®, ArcelorMittal offers a complete range of hot dip galvanised coatings which are suitable for automotive applications manufactured using cold stamped steels. These include:

  • Extragal®: The high level of corrosion protection offered by Extragal® makes it suitable for use on both exposed and non-exposed parts. The coating results in a high level of surface quality which enables OEMs to achieve an excellent finish on exposed parts.
    Although Extragal® does not come with a waviness guarantee, ArcelorMittal aims to achieve a level of 0.40 at 5-percent elongation according to the Wsa1-5 standard. Around 95-percent of the Extragal® ArcelorMittal produces is at this level.
  • Zagnelis® Surface offers a level of corrosion protection that exceeds traditional zinc-based coatings. It is also compatible with OEM processes such as drawing and welding.
    Zagnelis® Surface has a lower friction coefficient than traditional zinc coatings. It is compatible with the VDA239-100 standard and suitable for use on both exposed and non-exposed parts.

 

ArcelorMittal’s premium hot dipped galvanised coatings for cold stamped steels

Coating (symbol)

Composition

Benefits

Applications

Ultragal® (Z)

Zn

Wsa1-5/Wa0.8 guaranteed

Exposed parts

Extragal® (Z)

Zn

Corrosion protection

Exposed and unexposed parts

Zagnelis® Surface

Zn-Al-Mg

  • Better corrosion protection than galvanised (GI)
  • Lower friction coefficient and lower zinc abrasion during stamping

All coated parts

ArcelorMittal’s range of coatings for various car parts

 

ArcelorMittal can deliver Ultragal® to carmakers from various lines in Europe, and North and South America. Worldwide deliveries are also available on request.

More info about our automotive coatings offer
  • Copyright Skoda

    ŠKODA AUTO uses Ultragal® on outer hood panels such as the Skoda Octavia

  • Copyright Skoda

    Ultragal® has real benefits when it comes to the final painted appearance of Skoda vehicles

  • Copyright Skoda

    The use of Ultragal® has been extended to other models including the Skoda Kodiaq

  • Copyright Skoda

    Waviness helps to reflect light and create the highly polished finish of the Skoda Superb

  • Copyright ArcelorMittal

    To optimise the aspect of the final part, ArcelorMittal controls the roughness, waviness and form of the coating. 

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