Necessity is the mother of invention. This phrase, often attributed to the Greek philosopher, Plato, has a special resonance for ArcelorMittal Construction.
‘Newness’ is an insufficient definition of innovation. To be truly innovative, a need must be answered in a practical way, and the best way to answer a need is to start with the problem.
There are exceptions. Some great innovations were stumbled upon accidentally (penicillin, for one) and if there’s a lesson to be learned from that, it is to remain alert to the possibility of serendipitous opportunity.
But still, the vast majority of great innovation comes from necessity.
An inquisitive ear to the ground
In construction manufacturing, there is a constant need for improvement. New technologies, new materials, new knowledge – all of these enable a continual stream of products and methods that make things quicker, cheaper, stronger, greener – more suited to a specific purpose, whatever that may be.
R&D (Research and Development) at ArcelorMittal Construction focusses on various stimuli to maintain momentum:
Listening to our customers
Working closely with our customers is one of the key reasons we are able to continue delivering better building solutions. By liaising with the people who encounter tangible pain points in the field or at the drafting table (for example, through our Smart Support service), we are able to fully grasp the needs of the market.
Listening to the regulators - and the scientists
Regulations passed by governmental bodies help to drive innovation, too. Based on scientific advice, legislation on everything from fire safety to sustainability provides a base set of standards which ArcelorMittal Construction seeks to exceed. Our PRT- Hexacore® PIR insulating foam is one such example. With outstanding thermal efficiency and a fire performance of B-s1,d0 in cladding, PRT-Hexacore® is exactly the type of market-leading innovation that helps show the construction world what is possible.
Looking both inward and outward
Naturally, ArcelorMittal Construction constantly look inward, testing and analysing our own products to understand how they perform and giving consideration to how they might be improved. But looking outward with an open mind is also important. Maintaining an acute awareness of new products, ideas and breakthroughs in the marketplace – and indeed within the wider world of science and engineering – helps us to maintain a holistic understanding of construction and the many industries that operate around it.
Answering specific needs
Driven by the demands of our customers and the regulators, and armed with the technological understanding that comes from more than a century’s worth of expertise, ArcelorMittal Construction is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the market. Moreover, our diverse background and integrated supply chain means that we can tackle design challenges via a number of approaches, from steel manufacture, to coatings and beyond.
The need for high performance building envelope systems
Developed in response to the need for superior thermal efficiency, our iQ+ System boasts a foam formulation which outperforms most, if not all comparative products on the market. With a lambda value of just 0.018 W/m.K, panels insulated with iQ+ System significantly reduce heat loss from a finished building, thus saving money on heating bills and saving the planet from significant, unnecessary carbon emissions.
The high performance of the iQ+ System, coupled with our innovations to increase air tightness and reduce thermal bridging, means that a facility’s energy efficiency can be boosted by as much as 25% against comparable solutions.
This in turn means that panels can be reduced in thickness without compromising on performance, which makes them lighter and smaller - thus reducing emissions in both the manufacturing and transportation phases.
The need for stronger, lighter, better coatings
ZMevolution® is another of our innovations which reduces product weight. Produced on our own industrial lines, this steel is dipped in a molten bath of zinc, aluminium and magnesium which greatly improves durability compared to standard zinc coatings.
The patented ZMevolution® treatment process provides exceptional corrosion resistance to extend your building’s lifespan; it is highly flexible and workable, meaning that it can be formed in many profiles and shapes; it results in fewer emissions in production and transport, thanks to lower levels of zinc and reduced weight; and, with a smoother finish, it looks superior to standard galvanised steel.
The need for aesthetic freedom of design
As vital as characteristics like durability, lifespan and thermal performance are, ArcelorMittal Construction also places huge value in the aesthetic beauty of our built environment. With the largest product range on the market, and the widest selection of coatings, colours, and finishes, our innovations empower architects and specifiers to create buildings that look every bit as stunning when complete as they did when first conceived.
The combination of colours, shapes and profiles which can be used within a building envelope is close to infinite. And we are constantly exploring new possibilities to provide more options for even greater freedom.
Our Creneo range is a made-to-measure façade cladding with square waves set in a range of customisable, variable, depths and widths. This allows you to play with light, lines and texture on your building façade like never before.
The needs of the present, the needs of the future
Speed and efficiency have catapulted prefabrication into rapid growth, especially within dense urban areas where housing is needed ever quicker and cheaper.
D2B® - “Design to Build” - is our new prefab innovation combining high-efficiency panels with innovative mounting solutions. Light, simple to install, easy to replace and reuse, and delivering a guaranteed high-quality consistency of finish – the range boasts all the qualities that make prefab solutions so popular. Requiring less time to erect and less contractors on site, D2B® will prove especially beneficial in the world of post-COVID construction.
While DB2® serves an immediate need, many of our products are future-proofed to serve the needs of tomorrow. For example, another of our prefabricated solutions, Ondatherm® Deck, is a high-performance flat roof system readied to accommodate solar panels. Via our unique Ondafix® Solar solution, photovoltaic panels can be easily incorporated into your design at any time.
With legislation being introduced all over the world to drive down carbon emissions, solutions which help deliver sustainable energy are vital. Our involvement in the ground-breaking European Phoster programme has helped us develop an eco-designed steel roofing envelope which produces renewable solar power with fewer toxic elements and emissions during manufacturing, improved recyclability, and increased output efficiency during the use phase.
Let ArcelorMittal Construction innovate for you
Innovation is at the heart of our business. ArcelorMittal Construction exists to inspire smarter buildings for our future. And if our huge range of solutions does not meet your specific needs, let us know. Together, we can find a bespoke solution to almost any challenge.