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ArcelorMittal’s Usibor® contributes to top safety award for OEM

ArcelorMittal’s high strength steels are playing a key role in helping top auto manufacturers achieve the highest safety ratings for their vehicles. The news that the redesigned Volvo XC90 has qualified for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest safety award, TOP SAFETY PICK+, was in part achieved due to the increased use of new advanced high strength, press hardenable steels.

Volvo recently announced that their new SUV, the Volvo XC90, earned good ratings in all five of the IIHS’s crashworthiness tests. Several components of the vehicle were manufactured with a more extensive use of hot stamped press hardened steel grades, such as Usibor®-AS, which is the strongest type of steel presently used in the industry. In fact, 40% of the Volvo XC90 uses press hardened steel – the highest level in any vehicle on the road today. ArcelorMittal was the first steelmaker to deliver a coated press hardened steel, Usibor® 1500-AS with an aluminium-silicon coating.

Commenting Philippe Aubron, chief marketing officer, ArcelorMittal Automotive Europe, said “we are extremely proud of our ongoing collaborative relationships with our customers and focus our attention on working with them to achieve their targets. The importance of continual research and development in the area of press hardened steels cannot be underestimated and we intend to deliver the requirements our auto customers are demanding.”

Usibor® is an important product in ArcelorMittal’s portfolio of automotive steel solutions. Usibor®, often used in anti-intrusion and safety cage components, contributes to significant weight savings for the final component, compared to standard high yield strength steel. The very high mechanical strength of the component makes it possible to achieve weight savings of 30% compared to conventional cold forming grades without any compromise on safety performance.

ArcelorMittal works with car manufacturers, such as Volvo, to optimise the material used in the production process. Steel is the material of choice for car makers as it offers the best balance in terms of cost, weight saving, environmental footprint and most importantly safety.

The company recently announced a €9 million investment at its Sagunto plant, in Spain, which will enable the plant to produce Usibor®, becoming ArcelorMittal’s fourth European plant to produce the product and the second to produce large-width Usibor®.

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