ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | March 2019

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Testing the limits of steel

Daimler becomes one of the first carmakers to start Ductibor® 1000 approval process

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Ductibor® 1000 is one of the latest products in ArcelorMittal’s range of press hardenable steels (PHS) for hot stamping. Daimler, a global manufacturer of prestige vehicles, became one of the first carmakers to initiate an approval process for this extraordinary material. Depending on the results of that testing, Ductibor® 1000 may be used to form parts of a new Daimler vehicle.

A generic Daimler body-in-white showing parts which could potentially be formed from Ductibor® 1000

Jean-Luc Thirion, Automotive portfolio leader, ArcelorMittal Global R&D

Ductibor® 1000 offers carmakers a unique combination of high strength and good local crash ductility. In terms of mechanical properties, it’s a good fit between Usibor® 1500 and Ductibor® 500 and can be used in the same production processes.

Compared to AHSS for cold stamping, Ductibor® 1000 offers better formability and geometric accuracy, a feature of the hot stamping process explains Jean-Luc Thirion: “That enables carmakers to create parts which are not possible with cold stamped AHSS above 800 MPa. There is also less springback.”

Optimising lightweighting opportunities

For many OEMs, weight saving potential is a critical assessment criterion when assessing new materials. The high strength of Ductibor® 1000 allows Daimler to minimise the thickness of parts, ensuring the part is significantly lighter. “Ductibor® 1000 can also be a substitute for cold forming steels (such as micro-alloyed steels or DP grades) to optimise lightweighting opportunities,” notes Jean-Luc Thirion.

Daimler is assessing Ductibor® 1000 for parts which demand crash robustness at spot welds such as the B-pillar. But it is also suitable for parts which require high levels of local formability such as longitudinal and cross members.

Trapezoidal shaped ‘Omega’ sample of Ductibor® 1000 used for crash and bending tests on a deformed product

Two-years of trials and feedback

“Several years before Ductibor® 1000 was commercialised, ArcelorMittal started working with Daimler and other carmakers, explains Jérôme Favero, ArcelorMittal’s resident engineer at Daimler. “They were provided with samples of Ductibor® 1000 and encouraged to do basic testing on the material.” As well as helping carmakers to become familiar with the material, the tests helped ArcelorMittal to fine-tune the product and proved that the mechanical concept behind Ductibor® 1000 had advantages.

Jérôme Favero,
ArcelorMittal’s resident engineer at Daimler

Since Ductibor® 1000 was released at the end of 2017, Daimler has been researching applications for this remarkable material. With the long model development cycles in the industry, it could still be a few years before production vehicles are using the new grade. But thanks to its unique combination of high strength and ductility, and the lightweighting opportunities it offers, there are likely to be some Daimler vehicles using Ductibor® 1000 on our roads.

About Daimler AG

Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. The Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. In 2017, the Group sold around 3.3 million vehicles and employed a workforce of more than 289,300 people. Revenue totalled €164.3 billion and EBIT amounted to €14.7 billion.

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