light metal

The Evolution of Steel

Tata Steel's lab in the Netherlands. Source: ORCA van Loon Communications
Tata Steel's lab in the Netherlands.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Facing constant pressure from the auto industry, steelmakers are trying to remain competitive with new products and innovation.

  • Facts


    • Overcapacity, growing imports from Asia and stricter climate protection and energy conservation targets are making it hard for Europe’s steel mills.
    • Arcelor, ThyssenKrupp, Tata and other steelmakers are experimenting to make steel lighter and stronger.
    • Three-quarters of around 2,000 types of steel didn’t exist 20 years ago.
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On entering an austere industrial complex north of Paris, visitors immediately see three shiny silver car bodies: The new Renault Espace, VW’s Golf VII and a Volvo XC90.

The frames are adorned with an assortment of doors, bumpers and other parts. Everything is made from steel of various strengths and compositions.

The complex, which belongs to steelmaker Arcelor Mittal, is one of several working to ensure the future of the industry in Europe. Their motto: Harder, lighter, cheaper. Steel must evolve if it is to survive.

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