New R&D initiative for automotive aluminium solutions

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Constellium is leading a new R&D initiative for the development of automotive aluminium solutions.

Partners in the R&D initiative (called Project ISA3*) for lightweight, recyclable and cost-efficient aluminium solutions for the automotive market are Groupe Renault, ESI Group, Institut de Soudure (Welding Institute), and the University of Lorraine. The project aims to promote lightweight vehicles by accelerating automakers’ transition from steel to aluminium. The €7m project will focus on alloys and solutions that enable closed loop recycling.

Project ISA3 will focus on the design and development of aluminium automotive doors that would be 15% lighter than current average aluminium solutions, more efficient to produce, and recyclable at all stages of its life cycle. The project is scheduled to run through 2023 and is partially funded by Bpifrance (Banque publique d’investissement).

Comments from project partners of the automotive aluminium initiative

“We believe this project will advance aluminium’s position in the automotive market as manufacturers seek to reduce carbon emissions and expand their electric vehicle offerings,” says Jack Clark, senior vice-president, Manufacturing Excellence and chief technician, at Constellium. He continues: “This partnership with a strategic customer allows us to explore solutions that can apply to a wide range of vehicles and deliver both environmental and economic benefits. Further, working with our partners on end-of-life recycling is an exciting opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of the entire automotive aluminium supply chain.”

Patrice Belliard, expert for Flat Products at Groupe Renault, added: “We need to reduce the cost per kilogram saved on automotive parts, especially aluminium parts. The ISA3 project aims to reduce the price per kilogram by half on aluminium doors. This is essential to continue to lightweight vehicles by using aluminium in the future.”

Pierre Culière, Pre-Certification & Validation Outcome director, ESI Group, commented: “To enable faster and more accurate development, the ISA3 project will rely on ESI Group’s solutions and team of experts. Thanks to our ‘Pre-certification & Validation’ and ‘Smart Manufacturing’ solutions, we will help to develop and validate the design and manufacturing of the aluminium doors without the need for physical prototypes.”

 * Intégration de Solutions Aluminium pour Alléger les Automobiles (Integration of Aluminium Solutions to Lightweight Automotive vehicles)

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