ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, has announced that it intends to invest US$15 million on upgrading its production lines at the Vega do Sul flat steel rolling mill in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.
The objective behind the upgrade is to equip the plant with the capability to produce Usibor, a press-hardened boron steel with an aluminium silicon coating, mainly used by the automotive industry.
According to ArcelorMittal, Usibor enables car manufacturers to make lighter, safer and more environmentally friendly vehicles at an affordable cost. The company further claims that its Usibor product has a strength of 1,500 MPa after hot stamping and says that it is 'one of the most resistant steels used in automotive applications'.
The product is used for the production of structural parts including A-pillars, B-pillars, rear bumpers, various types of rails, and the tunnel floor.
Since 2012, Usibor has been imported into Brazil from ArcelorMittal production facilities in Europe. It will be produced at Vega do Sul in Q2 of 2015.
ArcelorMittal's Tubarao plant at Espirito Santo in Brazil will continue to manufacture hot rolled coil while the, patented aluminium-silicum coating will be applied at Vega do Sul.
The investment at Vega do Sul reinforces ArcelorMittal's commitment to the automotive industry and to Brazil where the company works closely with car makers.