The AluDrive newsletter informs you about the latest developments and studies about aluminium in cars
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Dear Reader,

Welcome to the December 2014 edition of AluDrive, the automotive newsletter from the European Aluminium Association sponsored by Alcoa, Aleris, AMAG, Constellium, Hydro, Novelis, Sapa and Rio Tinto Alcan.

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European Aluminium Award for Daimler
Daimler and their Mercedes Benz brand won a European Aluminium Award on Production Techniques, Tools & Machinery for making their process chain fit for highly formable aluminium sheet. The process chain can be adopted in existing press shop lines with no impact on the current production time. As the formability of standard aluminium sheet material (e.g. AA 5182) was optimized, the traditional steel design can be substituted 1:1 by aluminium parts, without changing the geometry. So this solution opened another door for aluminium and now helps Daimler build lighter doors. The award winning part is an inner door segment in the new Mercedes Benz S-Class Coupé.
For this application Hydro supplies Daimler with laser-cut sheet from the new cutting facility of its partner ALS in Dormagen.

More information on this European Aluminium Award can be found here!
The European Aluminium Association just released a video"Essential Aluminium"

Watch this new video on how aluminium contributes to a sustainable society
MIT teams up with aluminium industry to improve design of automotive structural components
Constellium has joined the Industrial Fracture Consortium established by Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The consortium will engage in research to develop and improve modeling and mathematical simulations software designed to predict the behaviors of the structural components during forming and crash, which are amongst the most important performance evaluation criteria in automotive engineering. The consortium has secured funding through 2016. Other consortium members include leading automotive, aerospace, energy production and steel industries, and scientific computation software suppliers. The work will be conducted at the Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory of MIT in collaboration with Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides (LMS) at Ecole Polytechnique (France).

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Breakthrough in Lightweight Body Construction
With AMAG TopForm® UHS, AMAG developed an ultra high strength sheet for warm forming of lightweight automotive components. In close cooperation with leading automotive manufacturers and innovative tier-1 suppliers, an optimized lightweight construction material for aerospace applications is now being used in cars. The new BMW i8 is one application where it is used for the side impact beam. It combines low weight, strength, extremely high energy absorption capacity, excellent formability, and recyclability.

For more information click here!
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class lightweight concept based on global aluminium supply
Early 2014, Daimler started the production of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class in Bremen, Germany. Aiming to supply all its significant markets directly, the model is for the first time produced at four locations worldwide – Tuscaloosa (Alabama, USA), East London (South Africa), Bremen (Germany) and Beijing* (China). Last summer, Beijing became the fourth site in less than six months to start production.
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The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class counts on an intelligent and innovative lightweight concept based on aluminium.  The new C-class has now also received the "Best of Best" award in the Automotive Brand Contest 2014. The car is based on a significantly increased use of aluminium sheet in the body structure compared to its predecessor (from below 10 percent to almost 50 percent). With a total of 125 kg aluminum sheet, the total weight of the vehicle drops by about 100 kilograms. Hence, Mercedes-Benz’s highest-volume series sets new standards in the field of lightweight construction in the premium middle class segment. The use of Aluminium in the New Mercedes-Benz C-class has also reduced the number of parts in the body. As an example, the front damper strut has gone from five steel pieces to one aluminium piece, reducing the assembly cost of the vehicle.
More info:

From the supply side, the aluminium industry is supporting Daimler globally.
Below are a few examples of this global supply:
  • Aleris is expanding supply chain and technical support possibilities to supply European quality Auto Body Sheet supporting Daimlers' global activities, specifically C-Class launch in South Africa.
  • Constellium sheet solutions have been selected for the hood, the deck lid and the rear doors. In addition Constellium is supplying aluminium crash relevant applications
  • Hydro is shipping aluminium car body sheet for doors and motor hoods. It is used at Daimler production sites in Bremen/Germany and South Africa.
  • Novelis is delivering high quality automotive aluminium sheet for all hang-on parts including the roof and various structural parts from Europe and North America.
* Beijing produces the long wheel base version, presently not based on aluminium
Copyright © 2014 European Aluminium, All rights reserved.

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