ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | December 2017

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Engineering the future

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) material strategy
puts Fortiform® in the spotlight

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FCA uses ArcelorMittal’s latest Fortiform® grades to achieve the company’s lightweighting targets while enhancing safety for vehicle users. In this wide-ranging interview with eUpdate, Fabio D’Aiuto, Manager of the Metals Department in FCA’s Group Materials Labs outlines the company’s material strategy and his belief in the future of steel in automotive.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia from FCA has two parts in Fortiform® 1050. Could you tell us why FCA chose this new grade and whether it contributed to the vehicle’s success in the 2016 EuroCarBody award?

Fabio D’Aiuto: FCA works with our best suppliers to develop new materials which can help us achieve our lightweighting targets. Fortiform® is interesting for us because it is a new material which offers high performance, particularly in formability. We need difficult shapes and Fortiform® 1050 allowed us to achieve that, and at a lower cost than other materials. One part of the EuroCarBody evaluation relates to design and materials, so it’s clear that Fortiform® 1050 contributed to the vehicle receiving the award.

We are very interested in the Fortiform® 980 and 1180 grades ArcelorMittal is developing. We are considering using these new grades in future models.

Fabio D’Aiuto, Manager of the Metals Department in FCA’s Group Materials Labs

Alfa-Romeo Giulia floor with frontal and central seat cross members in Fortiform® 1050

Alfa-Romeo Giulia body structure

Alfa-Romeo Giulia

Why is steel such an important material for carmakers such as FCA?

Fabio D’Aiuto: At FCA we’re aiming for low CO2 emissions, low fuel consumption, excellent car performance, and a high level of sustainability. Today, the material that provides the best compromise between cost, performance, and sustainability is steel.

How does Fortiform® fit into your production process and production lines?

Fabio D’Aiuto: Cold forming is associated with good formability. And good formability is something carmakers are always looking for in a steel. Since we started using Fortiform®, we have never had a production or assembly issue. With ArcelorMittal’s help and the right dies, we have managed to create complex parts which can be used on a normal production line, without any special requirements.

How would you rate AHSS such as Fortiform® against non-steel alternatives with respect to lightweighting, cost-efficiency, and sustainability?

Fabio D’Aiuto: All three points are very important. Light weight is important for fuel consumption and emissions, and for sustainability. Steel is the best choice as it allows us to achieve the same characteristics as other materials, but at a lower environmental cost. And it is recyclable, without any significant change in performance and this reduces its environmental impact further. Cost efficiency just completes the picture because the strength of steel is very high compared with the cost.

Click here to read the full interview with Fabio D’Aiuto

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