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Impressive! ArcelorMittal adds new super strong beams to its XCarb® recycled and renewably produced range

26 June 2024

Like a tree with its roots, trunk and branches, beams are the main elements of the steel frame used for a construction project. And trees are continuously growing and adapting themselves to their environment. Sections are just doing the same. Over the years, buildings are becoming higher, architectural plans are more sophisticated and, in the meantime, the urbanisation is pushing further the limits of habitable areas while the climate itself is changing, getting hotter, colder, wetter… And to satisfy all these new market challenges, we need to continuously innovate for our structural sections portfolio. Our latest, impressive record is two new super wide flange shapes up to 1488kg/m (1000 lbs/ft), in XCarb® recycled and renewably produced.

This great achievement comes from ArcelorMittal’s Differdange plant, where it was made possible by a specific device installed at the end of the rolling line there – the Quenched and Self Tempering process (QST) – which allows the production of thick Jumbo sections in high strength steel. Although used to producing heavy sections, the set-up of this QST device still had to be adapted for these new dimensions. The first rolling of new heavy jumbo beams has been carried out in 2023, then the jumbo beams were tested for quality approval, and were ready for their global unveiling at the end of March 2024 at the NASSC Steel Conference in San Antonio, USA.

From left to right (front): Samuel Epifanio, Forman Grey Mill, Yannick Hutzel, Head of Grey Mill, Valérie Rinaldi, Product Development & Quality test Lab, and Olivier Vassart, CEO Steligence; from left to right (back): Vincent Haupert, Engineer Finishing Department Grey Mill, and Pierre Cezard, Process Engineer Grey Mill.

13% more load bearing capacity

Rolling super wide flange shapes up to 1488kg/m means a remarkable size and weight increase of 13% on top of our own previous record size and weight, which means as well up to 13% more load bearing capacity, allowing for new heights using single elements. This simplifies greatly the process of designing and fabricating a column, since it allows to create stronger columns without the traditional need of reinforcements using additional plates, saving in fabrication costs and embodied carbon of the solution.

85% embodied carbon savings

The main application of the new sizes will be mainly in high-rise buildings for columns and piling in heavy infrastructure works, in markets all around the world like North America, Southeast Asia or Middle East. For this type of applications, there is today no solution on the market able to come close to the ratio between load capacity vs. compactness and embodied carbon that our Jumbo sections provide, and this is a clear competitive advantage.

The larger are the developments, naturally the bigger are the concerns on the carbon footprint of the buildings. XCarb® plays here thus a crucial role, allowing savings up to 85% compared with similar performance solutions. XCarb® recycled and renewably produced allows savings in embodied carbon, up to 85% compared with similar performance solutions. The environmental KPIs of the new sections – including low carbon emissions footprint – are certified by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) based on the life cycle analysis (LCA) of the production unit. 

XCarb® recycled and renewably sections have been available for the American market since the launch of XCarb® in Europe. However, since then, in July 2022, a new regulation for steel supply chain was implemented in the US, and we delivered the new EPD for XCarb® recycled and renewably produced sections fully satisfying the new regulation.

The giant with outstanding weldability properties

The new jumbos have been developed to satisfy the requirements of the ASTM A913 product standard (up to Grade 65 quality).  Thanks to the QST accelerated cooling treatment, these new products are expected to demonstrate excellent weldability properties under a very low preheat level. This point will be assessed through an exhaustive campaign of weldability tests. As for previously developed heavy products, the weldability investigation will start with laboratory-scale weldability tests aiming at identifying the appropriate welding parameters. Once this is done, a complete joint penetration butt-welding test will be carried out using these parameters to validate the good weldability behaviour of the section under conditions that are representative of its typical application.

At the rolling mill, accurate control of the thermomechanical process as well as QST parameters were done, ensuring thus surface, dimensional and internal quality control, approved by ultrasonic testing. Equipment of our finishing and fabrication shops allows further preparation of these beams for a specific project.

The strongest hot rolled beams ever

The two new beams, 926 lbs/ft (first picture) and 1000 lbs/ft (second picture), after being rolled at the Differdange mill.

Size: 926 lbs/ft and 1000 lbs/ft (up to 1488kg/m). They are the strongest hot rolled beams ever produced in Luxembourg and worldwide.

Quality: these extra strong beams are available in standard and high strength steel.

Circularity: they are made from 100% recycled steel and will be recycled again at the end of their usage, making them part of the circular economy.

Environmental footprint in CO2eq: it is one of the lowest on the market thanks to the use of scrap and renewable electricity, which are the characteristics of the XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel.

#Together towards net zero!

The new beams in XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel have been rolled in ArcelorMittal Differdange, using 100% scrap and 100% renewably produced electricity coming from solar and wind sources. This significantly reduces the impact of the steel beams and therefore helps to reduce the impact of the project in which they are used.

More information

What our customers say about XCarb®
ArcelorMittal Luxembourg


Copyright pictures: FOCALIZE, Differdange