ArcelorMittal innovation helps shave 250 lbs. off Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica features a "five-piece hot-stamped, laser-welded door ring and b-pillar" from ArcelorMittal.

ArcelorMittal developed a breakthrough innovation using advanced high-strength steel that cut 19 lbs. off the Chrysler Pacifica, and helped reduced its overall weight by 250 lbs.

The steelmaker, one of Northwest Indiana’s largest employers, made the “world’s first five-piece hot-stamped, laser-welded door ring and b-pillar,” which is used in the 2017 Utility Vehicle of the Year. The new Chrysler Pacifica is billed as the lightest minivan on the road.

“ArcelorMittal is constantly in a state of technological revolution," ArcelorMittal North America and global automotive Chief Marketing Officer Brad Davey said.

"We are developing new, advanced high-strength steels and solutions for automotive at a record pace. Steel’s strength has multiplied by almost 10 times over the past 20 years, from 270 to 1,700 megapascals tensile strength. The advancements we’ve made enable carmakers to create safer, more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles than ever before.”

ArcelorMittal researchers spent 36 months working on the door ring and b-pillar, which required 2,000 engineering hours and 300 design iterations. It combines the Usibor and Ductibor high-strength steel grades for the first time in North America.

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“The objective was to provide ultra high strength and crash energy-absorption exactly where both attributes were needed while also delivering weight reduction,” Davey said.

The piece fuses the door ring a b-pillar, and has impervious seams since five parts are welded together before the hot stamping process.

“ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks is proud to provide a bridge between the steel itself and the solutions our customers need,” ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Americas President Todd Baker said.

“We know the consumer is looking for three important must-haves in their vehicle — safety, fuel economy and affordability. The outcome of this collaboration — the five-piece door ring and b-pillar — contributes to all three of those areas.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.