Partnership

ArcelorMittal Honda Magna

WatCar ManufacturingWatCAR Manufacturing comprises seven research groups with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class research expertise in advanced materials, forming, joining, computational modeling, performance testing, and cutting-edge production methods to promote lightweighting and production efficiency without compromising safety. These seven research groups collectively form the most comprehensive academic research and development facility in North America for vehicle lightweighting.

  • This industry partnership represents a vertically-integrated supply chain comprising a materials supplier, parts supplier and automotive assembler, all of whom operate major manufacturing plants in Ontario.
  • The AMC-Waterloo “Forming and Crash Lab” is the largest university research lab in North America addressing both manufacturing and crashworthiness.

Challenge

  • The front structure of a car is engineered to crumple during a head-on collision to dissipate energy and protect occupants.
  • Current steel strength levels in the front crumple zone are limited to 800 MPa to avoid failure of the structure.

Solution

  • Major collaborative research effort was undertaken to develop a full-scale prototype using ArcelorMittal’s new Ductibor® 1000-AS alloy.
  • Extensive material testing and computer simulation by Waterloo researchers was used to design a new front structure to safely absorb crash energy.
  • A full-scale demonstrator structure was fabricated using material supplied by ArcelorMittal, tooling fabricated by Magna, with assembly of the structure by Honda. The hot stamped components were fabricated at Waterloo.
  • The 1000 MPa demonstrator structure – an industry first – was successfully tested using Waterloo’s crash test facility
Students install prototype
Students install prototype crush tip prior to crash testing using the Waterloo impact sled

Impact

  • This technology represents a first prototype front side frame fabricated and tested using steel with 1000 MPa strength.
  • Component weight reductions of over 20% contribute to (i) meeting fuel consumption and emission targets and (ii) enabling EVs by offsetting battery weight.
  • ArcelorMittal is upgrading their lines to fabricate this hot stamped alloy in Hamilton. Magna manufactures hot stamped parts at several plants in the province and Honda assembles these components in Alliston, Ontario.