ArcelorMittal Belgium has been chosen as the pilot site for the development of Fortiform®. Fortiform® refers to a new generation of advanced high strength steel used for cold-stamping. Advanced high strength steel is stronger, enabling our automotive customers to produce thinner and thus lighter car parts.
The car of the future: Safer and more economical with ArcelorMittal Belgium’s steel!
The automotive industry is faced with the challenge to reduce its emissions of passenger vehicles to 95gr/CO2 per kilometer by 2020. In order to meet this quote, both the engines as well as the cars themselves need to become lighter. The weight of the body-in-white needs to be reduced with an average of 20% whilst it at the same time needs to offer a better protection in case of a collision.
Steel, the material of the future.
Steel producer ArcelorMittal is a long-term worldwide partner of car manufacturers and assists them in achieving their objectives (safety, weight reduction and CO2 emission). In 2014, ArcelorMittal launched Fortiform®, a new range of extremely strong steel with excellent formability properties. Car parts made with Fortiform® are up to 20% lighter, they are more economical and they are therefore better for the environment. Fortiform® can in addition absorb more energy in a collision which raises the safety of the driver and his/her passengers significantly.
The R&D for Fortiform® was conducted in Maizières-lès-Metz (France) and in East-Chicago (USA), the production will be executed at our factories at Ghent and Liège.
To enable us to produce the steel of the future, ArcelorMittal Belgium has undertaken a particularly ambitious programme spread over several years.
Investments in our departments
- Steel shop
In the steel shop, ArcelorMittal Belgium has installed an ultra-modern ladle furnace. This steel-refining unit gives Fortiform® its superior strength and formability properties and ensures a high hole expansion ratio, i.e. high resistance to edge cracking.
In the continuous casting line, where liquid steel is converted into slabs, the centre of the slab caster has been fully upgraded by equipping the casting segments with dynamic soft reduction capability. This will ensure superior internal homogeneity of the steel structure.
- Hot strip mill
Advanced high strength steels require the most powerful machines to roll the slabs into coils in the hot strip mill. The motorisation of the finishing mill has therefore already been upgraded with the most modern AC-drive technology. By doing so our engine power has gone from 60MW to 93MW.
Two finishing stands were build (F1 and F2) to increase our rolling forces from 3100 to 5000 tonnes, the finishing stands F3 and F4 were further improved. And finally, the systems controlling thickness, width, profile and flatness were renewed with the fastest digital state-of-the-art processors.
- Cold rolling mill
In the cold rolling mill, the pickling line welder has been modernised and the continuous annealing and processing line (CAPL) has been upgraded to cope with the higher strength of the Fortiform® grades.
ArcelorMittal Belgium is proud to produce Fortiform® steel for the ArcelorMittal-group. It shows that the sites in Ghent and Liège have a lot of assets at their disposal when it comes to transforming innovation into production. This as product innovation requires experience, knowledge, modern installations and a thorough process control.
Fortiform® is a highly technological product, truly the ‘haute cuisine’ of steel. With it ArcelorMittal Belgium makes a strong contribution to a greener car park, increasing its market value and ensuring a sustainable future.
More information on Fortiform® can be found on the ArcelorMittal automotive website.
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