Fernando: High Strength Steel, the Optimal Solution for Automotive Industry Development Towards Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality Goals

Source: Automobile Industry

 

 

VAMA CEO Fernando

 

With the plan for achieving “carbon peaking and carbon neutrality” goals initiated, the landscape of the automotive industry has changed drastically, and new energy vehicles (NEVs) have gradually become the inevitable development trend of the automotive industry in China and even in the world. In recent years, more and more carmakers are seen releasing plans to phase out the sales of their traditional internal combustion engine models and replace them with more aggressive electrification strategies. It is foreseeable that due to limits set on fuel consumption, hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be the development direction of the transformation and upgrading of the automotive industry in the next three years.

 

Ranking the world’s first for 7 consecutive years, China’s NEV production and sales have seen rapid growth, but the primary factor restricting large-scale use of NEVs is still the mileage. With the upgrading of EV technology, energy density of the battery system is continuously increasing. In view of the unique safety and lightweight requirements of EVs, reducing body weight and improving crash safety have become the key focus of automakers, and in this context, high strength steel has emerged with great potential for electric vehicles.

 

As the world’s leading automotive steel and lightweight technology solutions provider, Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive Steel Co., Ltd (VAMA) has been constantly optimizing the layout in the Chinese market, introducing ArcelorMittal’s high-quality automotive steel products and technology to China, and bringing innovative steel solutions to China’s automotive industry. In response to steel consumption needs of the NEV market, VAMA, as a leader in the industry, has introduced systematic solutions including S-in motion® BEV SUV lightweight technology and S-in motion® steel battery pack. These solutions, which provide similar lightweight effect to that of aluminum body and battery pack, can also meet thermal diffusion requirements and provide better protection against intrusion, thus significantly improving safety performance. Besides, they are much less demanding in terms of cost and the manufacturing process and produce far less carbon than aluminum products, so they will be the focus of our promotion in the next few years.

 

We have customized solutions for different market segments and car models. For example, we have applied some very high strength materials, including PHS, the third-generation UHSS and high strength corrosion resistant steel with excellent surface quality to car body structure and steel battery pack to meet the special motor and battery requirements etc. of BEVs, and well respond to various extreme crash conditions. How to optimize the material layout to achieve energy absorption while keeping the interior of the battery pack from intrusion, these are the highlights of our NEV design. In the past few years, PHS has been applied in large proportions to car body. VAMA’s latest second-generation aluminum-silicon coated PHS Usibor®2000 and Ductibor®1000 have achieved further weight reduction by 15% on the basis of the previous generation products, benefiting the whole NEV industry.

 

2021 was an extraordinary year. China’s automotive market is moving forward through ups and downs. Despite the fact that we were faced with an extremely complicated market situation full of unpredictable changes, China is still the world’s largest single automotive market and the world’s most dynamic automotive market. VAMA, as part of the supply chain of China’s automotive industry, also realized a number of milestones the year, achieving the highest level of automotive volume. 2022 will be a year filled with expectations. China’s automotive market ended a three-year decline or may start a new round of growth. As VAMA’s Phase II Project is about to be put into production, VAMA’s product portfolio will be further expanded, and we will have more and more competence to co-engineer with Chinese automakers to create safer, lighter and greener vehicles.