ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | September 2018

6 / 7

Precision blanks

New process reduces costs and increases flexibility

Scroll down to read article

ArcelorMittal’s Tailored Blanks division has introduced a new process which dramatically reduces the need for 3D laser cutting after stamping while maintaining the tight tolerances automotive customers require. The process also removes the need for blanking dies which brings design flexibility and reduces investment and process costs significantly.

LWBs combine different grades and thicknesses to create parts which ensure the right steel is in the right place for strength and ductility

The global automotive sector is increasingly embracing LWB (Laser Welded Blanks) technology to create high strength, low weight parts. When combined with hot stamping, LWBs ensure the right steel is in the right place for safety and strength. But once a part is hot stamped, it is no longer possible to use mechanical cutting to obtain the precise geometries required. To avoid this limitation, the part is typically trimmed using a three-dimensional (3D) laser. However, this is significantly more expensive than mechanical cutting.

Fewer processing steps, tighter tolerances

Tailored Blanks’ new technology delivers the tight tolerances automakers need, without using dies or 3D laser cutting. This reduces both processing and investment costs at the same time.

The new process eliminates the blanking step at Tailored Blanks and the need for 3D laser cutting by the OEM

One of the most significant advantages of the new process is the tight tolerances that can be achieved as Rodolfo Ito, chief marketing officer for Tailored Blanks Europe explains: “Using dies we can achieve tolerances of ±2 mm, while Tailored Blanks can achieve ±0.2 mm with our new process. This adds value for OEMs and reduces the total cost of ownership for end customers.”

Using Tailored Blanks’ new process, the geometry of the final part is very accurate

Eliminating dies reduces costs for OEMs

With the new process, there is no need for dies or hard tooling. This brings two advantages for OEMs: there is no need to invest in blanking dies and they have the flexibility to change the blank geometry without having to re-invest in dies. “Removing the need for dies enables manufacturers to change their part design easily,” notes Rodolfo Ito.

Rodolfo Ito

Niko Van Der Borght

Tailored Blanks’ new process is already available for ArcelorMittal’s premier hot stamping grades Usibor® 1500 and Ductibor® 500. “It has been hugely popular with OEMs and the first lines to use the new technology are already filling quickly,” says Niko Van Der Borght, Director of Programs and Projects at Tailored Blanks. “Our next step is to refine the process so we can take advantage of our new Usibor® 2000 and Ductibor® 1000 grades which were released in 2017.”

The following table shows the in-use properties of Usibor® 1500 and Ductibor® 500.

Usibor® 1500 Ductibor® 500
Tensile strength (MPa): 1400 – 1600 550 – 700
Yield strength (MPa): 1000 – 1200 370 – 470
Elongation (%): ≥ 6 ≥ 16

To read the full article,
Click here

All articles