Hydro has developed a new aluminium conductor sheet, which can mark a step change material for many electrotechnical applications.
This solution, Hydec 6xxx, matches high conductivity with high strength, from a lean process – promising unmatched efficiency in lead time, carbon footprint and product performance.
The high-strength conductor Hydec 6xxx also offers excellent properties for deep-drawing. “High-strength 6xxx alloys are well established in extruded aluminium products for electrics and electrotechnics,” says Martin Lentz from Hydro’s R&D in Bonn. “Now we transfer these benefits also into flat-rolled aluminium, thanks to a novel process chain based on our lean, continuous strip casting. Thereby, we may enable a lot more light-weight, single-part solutions for various components in electrotechnical equipment,” he continues.
The concept already is customer-tested. It enables energy-efficient production of electrical conductors that outperform standard 6101B in the ratio of strength and conductivity. Potential applications may include busbars, collector plates, connectors or cell cans.
Direct strip casting significantly shortens the elaborated process chain from sheet ingot casting and homogenization over hot rolling and cold coil rolling to heat treatment of separate strip. With its long-term experience in direct strip casting, Hydro’s rolling mill in Karmøy, Norway, is prepared to build up industrial volume production of Hydec 6xxx, in close collaboration with customers to meet their most specific demands.
With highly conductive Hydec materials, Hydro has been an international leader in aluminium strip for electrotechnical applications, transformer windings notably.