Dakar Rally car benefits from ArcelorMittal’s metal Additive Manufacturing

February 14, 2023

The partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nebrija University enabled a 20% weight reduction via additive manufacturing of the part connecting the side box to the bargeboard (Courtesy ArcelorMittal)
The partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nebrija University enabled a 20% weight reduction via AM of the part connecting the side box to the bargeboard (Courtesy ArcelorMittal)

In a partnership with ArcelorMittal, headquartered in Luxembourg, students from Nebrija University, Hoyo de Manzanares, Spain, worked with the Sodicars race team to bring metal Additive Manufacturing its T1-class car for the 2023 Dakar Rally. The collaboration focused on the components supporting the vehicle’s side box and, leveraging AM, the part connecting the side box with the bargeboard achieved a 20% weight reduction.

The design process took into account the points where the component is fastened to the vehicle, the aerodynamic requirements and the simulation of forces it is exposed to in order to optimise the design space. The joint work of the various R&D teams made it possible to produce the final additively manufactured parts within three weeks after receiving the case study.

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The 800 g component, created by engineers specialising in design, computational analysis and manufacturing processes, was additively manufactured at the facilities of ArcelorMittal’s R&D&I Centre in Avilés using Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) technology. To produce the component, the team used a 17-4PH steel alloy, which was subsequently heat-treated.

“Our participation in this project constitutes a new challenge within the framework of our Partnership Programme,” stated Pedro Prendes, Head of Process R&D, ArcelorMittal. “It is an exciting project in which we will be able to see yet another 3D printed steel part deployed in the extremely harsh conditions of the Dakar Rally, which is in itself a real challenge.”

The additively manufactured component in situ (Courtesy ArcelorMittal)
The additively manufactured component in situ (Courtesy ArcelorMittal)

ArcelorMittal operates a technological innovation centre focused on the development of cutting-edge technologies, including Additive Manufacturing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and green energy. Nebrija University integrates AI and generative modelling techniques to further develop products manufactured by ArcelorMittal.

The partnership between the two parties began some years ago, with the development of an additively manufactured motorbike frame, which demonstrated that steel could offer a lighter solution than aluminium (a 25% weight reduction was achieved in this structural part). From there, the partnership’s long-term objective has been introducing an ever-increasing range of additively manufactured components in the automotive sector and consolidating this technology.

“Additive Manufacturing will continue to play a major role in the future of mobility,” added Nicolás de Abajo, Head of ArcelorMittal Research Centres. “Steel will continue to reinvent itself in order to adapt to a changing context in which new compositions, technology and digitalisation will create opportunities for new developments.”



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The partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nebrija University enabled a 20% weight reduction via AM of the part connecting the side box to the bargeboard (Courtesy ArcelorMittal)

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • What happens when you take the powder out of AM? Charting the rise of wire-based DED with WAAM3D
  • Smart sensor-integrated parts by AM: A look at a novel possibility with industrial applications
  • Tailored materials for AM: How a 'powder kit' can achieve greater material diversity with fewer resources in PBF-LB
  • QuesTek's ICMD: Faster, cheaper, and better alloy development for Additive Manufacturing
  • NanoAL: Alloy development on an open parameter PBF-LB machine, from installation through to Rapid Alloy Screening
  • Using the Six Sigma method to optimise metal powder spreading in PBF-LB
  • Insights from R&D to part production: How CT analysis can advance metal Binder Jetting
  • Corrosion and wear resistence of materials processed by beam-based AM technologies

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