Our global research and development teams constantly look to push the boundaries of what is possible with steel. Central to the work they do is the evolution and improvement of our steelmaking processes and the continuous development of our products in-line with market trends and customer expectations.
Often, these two aspects work hand in hand. The launch of our Jet Vapor Deposition (JVD) line in Belgium – a world-first for the steel industry – perfectly emphasises how sophisticated product development is most effective when it’s process-led. Its inauguration in 2017 marked the culmination of eight years scientific investigation and research by our R&D teams, in collaboration with the CRM Group.
Steel products regularly have metallic coatings applied to improve their durability and corrosion-resistance. Prior to the launch of the line, hot dip galvanising and electro-galvanising had been the most advanced methods of applying metallic coatings to steel products. Now, ArcelorMittal’s JVD technology, which coats moving strips of steel in a vacuum chamber by vaporizing zinc onto the steel at high speed, has taken steel coating to the next level.
The JVD process ensures an exceptionally uniform coating, thereby enhancing the surface quality of the steel and guaranteeing excellent coating adhesion, irrespective of the steel grade. It is also a highly flexible process thanks to its ability to produce different coating thicknesses and to coat a variety of substrates regardless of their chemical composition. The process also results in a lower environmental footprint; when assessed on a life-cycle basis it was found to have the lowest global warming potential of any industrial steel coating process.