Trailtech is a showcase of steel solutions for the chassis of freight trailers which has been developed by ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. Using an optimised combination of high and ultra high strength steels from the Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra ranges, Trailtech has shown that the weight of typical existing chassis can be reduced by a quarter without affecting performance. The projected mass saving reduces fuel use and can save up to 4,000 kilograms of CO2 annually for every trailer. With the transport sector making a significant contribution to emissions in the European Union (EU), Trailtech could have a major impact on helping the region to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal.
A road trailer must withstand a huge amount of wear and tear over its lifetime. Loading and unloading operations, combined with the effects of rough roads, chemicals such as de-icing salts, and exhaust gases, quickly take their toll.
ArcelorMittal’s generic Trailtech solution makes extensive use of Amstrong® 500MC and Amstrong® Ultra 700MC – high-end steel grades which can withstand fatigue – even with the heavy use trailers receive.
The use of these grades enables the weight of the Trailtech solution to be reduced by 25 percent compared to the reference trailer. ArcelorMittal Global R&D estimates that this would cut fuel use by between 595 and 1,360 litres of fuel annually. The reduction in fuel use decreases costs and could cut Scope 1 emissions by between 1,760 and 4,030 kg a year. The weight reduction can also be used to increase the payload capacity of the trailer. However, this will affect the emissions savings that can be achieved.
The reference chassis (left) utilises structural grades such as S355, deploying AHSS such as Amstrong Ultra 700MC reduces the weight of the chassis by a quarter
Additional cost and emission savings are possible due to the significant reduction in steel required. ArcelorMittal estimates that material costs would be reduced significantly. This would lead to a cut in Scope 3 emissions of around 25 percent from reduced material production.
Further Scope 1 emission reductions are possible. The higher strength of ArcelorMittal’s Amstrong® Ultra grades mean that higher stresses can be allowed. And the high strength of the steels allows manufacturers to create longer beams which run the full length of the chassis. Together these advantages significantly reduce the number of welds required which has a positive impact on emissions – and welding costs.
New initiatives such as XCarb™ green steel certificates from ArcelorMittal Europe can also help manufacturers reduce their Scope 3 emissions. When a customer buys steel and an accompanying XCarb™ certificate, they effectively ‘own’ the CO2 saving the certificate represents. The manufacturer can report the saving as a reduction in their Scope 3 emissions.
The new Trailtech design has been assessed against standards defined by TÜV Rheinland – a leading testing and certification body based in Germany. Simulations included adding a distributed load (weighing 21 tonnes) to the trailer while it was resting on its feet. Other simulations examined the behaviour of the Trailtech solution with a 24-tonne concentrated load while it was lying on a tractor and during cornering. In all cases, the Trailtech solution met or exceeded the generic requirements.
ArcelorMittal regularly works with manufacturers to co-engineer new trailer designs using our inhouse expertise, decades of experience, and industry leading tools. During the co-engineering process we can compare designs and perform an initial feasibility study to identify the best options. Together with the customer’s engineering and production teams, we use virtual tools and our structural engineering experience to assess the production feasibility of the design. These tools are also used to predict how the design will behave in use. This allows us to identify the best grade for each application. In some cases that might be very high strength steels such as Amstrong® Ultra 960MCL.
Once the design is completed, ArcelorMittal can offer trial material and/or prototypes so the manufacturer can verify the design. ArcelorMittal can also perform aerodynamic simulations to minimise wind resistance and reduce fuel use. ArcelorMittal’s support continues through to serial production.
All Amstrong® advanced high strength steels offer high yield and tensile strength, excellent formability, toughness at low temperatures, and fatigue resistance. ArcelorMittal offers the broadest dimensional feasibility and thicknesses up to 20 mm. Amstrong® Ultra grades additionally offer ultra high yield strengths ranging from 650 up to 1100 MPa.
Amstrong® and Amstrong® Ultra have good weldability and are compatible with Class A galvanisation solutions for corrosion protection. For example, Amstrong® Ultra 700MC can be Class A galvanised on thicknesses up to 12 mm. ArcelorMittal is currently testing Class A galvanisation on thicknesses above 12 mm.
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.
The mills are located close to many trailer manufacturers which helps to reduce emissions from transporting the steel. Many of the mills also have access to the sea which can further reduce transport emissions.
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.
ArcelorMittal Global R&D
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