Pioneering products for sustainable lifestyles

Posted on 18.05.15 by

ArcelorMittal

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Steel plays a significant role in supporting more sustainable lifestyles for the seven billion people in the world. The fabric of our modern world, steel is everywhere, and as the world’s largest steel and mining company, we see it as our responsibility to continually innovate our products. Here – in the second post in our sustainability series – we take a look at how ArcelorMittal works with its customers to develop new steels, production processes and business models.

By Alan Knight, general manager, corporate responsibility, ArcelorMittal

CR Blog outcome 2a

Over the years, people’s attitudes towards sustainability have changed. Today, manufacturers and suppliers alike have to look beyond cost, quality, and suitability when choosing materials.

They now need to consider the product’s environmental impact throughout its entire lifecycle – which makes weight, recyclability and lifespan key factors in their decision.

This puts steel at an advantage, and our research and development teams across our 12 global laboratories are working hard to ensure we maintain this advantage.

When we published our sustainability report last month we launched our 10 new sustainable development outcomes, which outline what we need to achieve in order for our steel to be recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable materials. Our second sustainable development outcome – products that accelerate more sustainable lifestyles – looks to address this responsibility and help us measure the sustainability value of our products over their lifecycle.

In 2014, our R&D division worked on 23 programmes aimed at developing sustainable products for the automotive, construction, metal processing, appliances and electrical steels markets. Last year, we also launched 20 new products that directly contribute to sustainability – 13 of which are engineered for the automotive market, for which the pressure is on to meet increasingly challenging carbon emission reduction targets.

Collaboration is vital in helping vehicle manufacturers to meet these targets. At ArcelorMittal, we work closely with our automotive customers to develop advanced and ultra-high strength steels that reduce vehicle weight, increasing fuel efficiency, without ever compromising on safety, style or affordability.

Many of our ground-breaking innovations are the result of our close, long-standing partnerships with automotive customers. Because, by understanding and meeting their individual needs, we create viable new products for the benefit of the wider market.

Peugeot2aOne such example of a successful partnership was the development of the Peugeot 308 – named ‘Car of the Year’ at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014 – a great example of collaboration in action.

The Geneva Motor Show judging panel was impressed with the efficient design of the new car – one based weight-reduction to reduce fuel emissions. The vehicle featured advanced high strength steels (AHSS) – developed in our research laboratories – including Usibor® 1500, dual phase steels, hot rolled ferrite-bainite steels, and laser welded blanks using AHSS.

The vehicle’s body-in-white and closures were highly developed compared to the car’s previous generation, and used more AHSS than before – 8 percent compared to 30 percent – which, combined with enhanced assembly processes, meant Peugeot was able to make significant weight savings without compromising safety.

At the heart of our R&D around lightweighting steels is S-in motion®, a range of lightweight high-strength steel solutions, launched in 2010 for C-segment vehicles, which have helped our customers make weight reductions of up to 20 percent.

For example, a C-segment car using the lightest solutions from the S-in motion® range could reduce its carbon emissions by up to 6.23g per kilometre, ultimately helping our customers meet their weight reduction targets and so comply with emissions regulations.

This is just one of the many examples of how the steel we produce directly accelerates more sustainable lifestyles.

Want to know more?

> Read about the road ahead in ArcelorMittal’s 2014 sustainability report
> Learn more about our sustainability outcome on products that accelerate more  sustainable lifestyles
> Catch-up on other blogs in this series: Steel: the sustainability challenge and Safe, healthy, quality lives for our people and neighbours

Image credit: DaveOnFlickr