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Amstrong® advanced high strength steels help customers meet new CO2 emission requirements

In February 2024, the European Council and Parliament reached an agreement on new CO2 emission standards for heavy duty vehicles. As well as covering trucks and urban buses, the standards will also target trailers. With new CO2 emission targets set for 2030, trailer manufacturers have little time to adapt their trailer designs. In a recent online webinar titled ‘Lightening the Load’, experts from ArcelorMittal Europe outlined how advanced high strength steels (AHSS) such as Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra can play a pivotal role in helping OEMs to meet these new European CO2 emission standards.

The European Council and Parliament have reached an agreement on new emission standards for trucks and trailers which will begin to be implemented from 2030 

“Heavy-duty vehicles have a significant role to play in the fight against climate change,” notes Jan de Moor, Marketing Manager for Heavy Machinery at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “While trucks and trailers represent just four percent of the vehicles on the road in Europe, they are responsible for 25-percent of CO2 emissions from all transport modes and six percent of overall emissions.”1

Weight reductions enhance payload capacity

AHSS steels such as Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra from ArcelorMittal Europe are already helping OEMs to reduce the weight of their vehicles and trailers and associated CO2 emissions. The additional strength of the AHSS grades enables customers to use less steel, reducing the weight of the overall structure while maintaining its technical performance. This enhances the payload capacity of trailers and thus has a positive impact on the global CO2 emissions of transported goods.

“In the future, zero-emission trucks powered by heavyweight fuel cells or electric batteries will become common,” notes Jan de Moor. “This trend will result in a high payload penalty due to range limitations and maximum weight allowances on the road. That is why the reduction in total weight of the truck-trailer combination becomes an essential part of CO2 emission reduction solutions.”

Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra can already help OEMs create innovate high strength steel frameworks for trailers which offer significant weight savings over commodity steel grades. John Vande Voorde, Senior Research Engineer for ArcelorMittal Global R&D, explains: “To maximise the benefits of our AHSS, we can help the customers adopt our products into their current models, modify existing structures, or develop entirely new designs. In some cases we collaborate with customers to re-engineer specific components or assemblies to ensure the structural performance of the trailer meets technical specifications.”

Design validation tools available

The new designs can be validated by ArcelorMittal Global R&D notes John Vande Voorde: “We can carry out finite element method (FEM) calculations with different load scenarios to ensure the designs are sound. ArcelorMittal Global R&D can also help customers with the last steps in the development process: prototyping and validation. We use an in-house load simulator that is full of sensors and which can accommodate semi-trailer sub-assemblies or key elements such as beams. Five weeks in our simulator corresponds to up to three years of use and half-a-million kilometres of driving.”

Low carbon versions of Amstrong® already available

Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra are available with XCarb® green steel certificates which OEMs can use to reduce their Scope 3 emissions. Many of ArcelorMittal’s AHSS are also available as XCarb® recycled and renewably produced grades. “The XCarb® recycled and renewably produced grades have a significantly lower carbon footprint – up to 70-percent lower than the same grade produced via the blast furnace,” says Jan de Moor. “This is a major saving for OEMs.”

“A key advantage of ArcelorMittal’s offer is our wide range of products, solutions, and support,” says John Vande Voorde. “To help customers obtain the most out of our offer, ArcelorMittal Global R&D has developed generic steel solutions for trailers and tippers. The solutions can be used as the basis for co-engineering projects with our customers and help them to develop new products quickly and efficiently. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the European transport industry.”

AHSS reduce fuel consumption during use and enhance the payload capacity of trailers 

A key advantage of ArcelorMittal’s offer for trailer OEMs is our wide range of products, solutions, and support

ArcelorMittal Global R&D has developed generic steel solutions for trailers and tippers which can form the basis of co-engineering projects with customers

About Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra

ArcelorMittal’s Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra grades are produced at our mills in Dunkirk and Fos-sur-Mer (France), Bremen (Germany), and Krakow (Poland). All mills offer integrated cutting services for steel sheets. Bremen and Krakow also have integrated steel service centres which can provide full processing.

Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra have good weldability and are compatible with Class A galvanisation solutions for corrosion protection. 

Trailers can be redesigned to take full advantage of the properties of Amstrong® AHSS grades 

Digital tools

Our Amstrong® Calculator can help to identify the emission savings you can achieve by using a high strength steel to reduce the weight of your application. Contact us to benefit from this tool. 

And you can use ArcelorMittal’s Steel Advisor to help you choose the right Amstrong® grade for each application.

1 Source: Vehicle Energy Consumption calculation TOol - VECTO - European Commission (