The AluDrive newsletter informs you about the latest developments and studies about aluminium in cars and heavy duty vehicles
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Dear Reader,
Welcome to the May 2016 edition of AluDrive, the automotive and transport newsletter from the European Aluminium sponsored by Alcoa, Aleris, AMAG, Constellium, Hydro, Novelis, SAPA and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Full-aluminium E-car bodies get lighter than 200 kg

All cars need to lose weight to reduce emissions in safe, reliable ways. This applies to e-cars in particular, due to their heavy battery equipment. The interdisciplinary “Light E-Body” project has investigated several options to reduce car body weight from 314 kg for a conservative concept in full steel. The project agreed on a multi-material concept with a 248 kg body.

Going beyond, Hydro and fka developed a full-aluminium car body that meets the benchmark on safety and stiffness, while reducing the weight to just 199 kg.

Further potential lies in weight reduced aluminium doors, hoods and lids, saving another 37.5 kg – and additional, secondary weight reduction is not even considered. The concept developers highlight the similar performance in crash simulation of the full-aluminium concept and the multi-material concept. Additionally, the full-aluminium concept is well suited for large-scale production and comes at a reasonable cost as the supply is based on existing technology and plants.


Structurlite®, a new high-strength aluminum alloy for automotive applications

In close cooperation with automotive OEMs, Aleris has developed Structurlite® 400, a new high-strength aluminum alloy. This new alloy enables OEMs to replace high-strength steel in roof beams and door stile support structures with aluminum, thereby ensuring they meet the increasingly demanding weight-limit requirements of the future.

Decades of 7xxx alloy aircraft design and manufacturing experience have given the expertise to develop Structurlite® 400 for special high-strength automotive applications. It means that this new technology uses all the high-strength benefits of 7xxx alloys while overcoming the traditional forming limitations of the past.

The new alloy offers customers a step-change improvement in yield strength (>400MPa) versus 6xxx alloys, including: excellent welding properties, lower spring-back after forming, significantly improved cold workability and deep drawing of simple geometries.


“Extrusions for Automotive Crash Applications” - White paper at Extrusion Technology (ET)

In the context of automotive safety considerations, aluminium can be used successfully because of its superior energy absorption characteristics. Pound for pound, aluminium can absorb twice as much crash energy as steel
The aluminum group of Rio Tinto has performed significant testing and analysis that has led to the development of alloys that optimize the production of complex extruded shapes while insuring that they meet the mechanical properties and predictive and repeatable performance required for specific safety applications. In addition, research also leads to the conclusion that temper (heat treatment) selection was also critical to achieve the desired results.
The research and testing that was shared in the Rio Tinto technical white paper at Extrusion Technology in Chicago enhances the Industry’s understanding of the complexities of producing critical parts for modern vehicles that are designed to keep passengers safe.
Read more…

Aluminium Lightens New 2016 Cadillac CT6
Novelis leverages its global footprint to supply aluminium sheet for the new Cadillac CT6 body. The new mixed material vehicle construction featured in the Cadillac CT6 represents a first of its kind for General Motors (GM) in North America and China. It also will be offered in Europe, Korea, Japan, Israel and the Middle East.

The Cadillac CT6 features a body made of 62 percent aluminium. Through the use of aluminium and advanced joining techniques, Cadillac has achieved significant weight savings, making the full-size luxury sedan significantly lighter - when compared to a similar size vehicle using predominantly high-strength steel, the CT6 is approximately 100 kilos lighter.


New state-of-the-art University Technology Center at Brunel University London inaugurated
The Constellium University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University London is a dedicated center of excellence for the design, development and prototyping of aluminium alloys and automotive structural components.
Featuring industrial size aluminium casting and extrusion equipment in the first phase, the UTC will provide rapid prototyping capability that is expected to reduce development times by at least 50% for advanced aluminium alloys required for the continued lightweighting of automotive structural components.

Daimler Introduces New Four-Cylinder Aluminium Engine

German automaker Daimler AG announced the more lightweight, compact, economical, and powerful OM 654, the first all-aluminium four-cylinder diesel engine on Monday. The new engine would see its first use in the Mercedez-Benz E-Class E 220 d this spring.

Daimler says the new engines are more powerful and fuel efficient than its predecessors – the engine consumes 13% less fuel while making 18 kW more power. All this is done with a smaller displacement as well, displacing 2 liters instead of 2.15 liters. The aluminium construction also makes the engine 17% lighter, weighing in at 168.4 kg, down from the original weight of 202.8 kg.

The new engine is designed to meet Europe’s new emissions regulation regime, known as Real Driving Emissions (RDE), as well as the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). Both measures have been implemented to insure that standard and real-world emissions levels are as close to identical as possible.

Read more..

European Commission publishes study on truck lightweighting

Ricardo-AEA, was commissioned to provide technical support to work evaluating the potential of light-weighting as a means of improving heavy-duty vehicles' energy efficiency and overall CO2 emissions. The report, that can be downloaded below, shows that buses have the greatest long term (- 2050) potential for cost efficient lightweighting followed by construction trucks and urban trucks. This can be explained by the highly transient nature of the drive cycle for buses and urban trucks and by the large share of weight limited kilometers for construction trucks. 

The full report can be downloaded

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