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Automobiles are growing heavier in order to meet demands for safety (e.g., crash safety and pedestrian protection), drivability, comfort, and increased interior space. To preserve the environment, cars must fulfil increasingly severe exhaust emission rules, including CO2 and NOX emissions. Various steps are being made to minimize fuel usage, including the development of new power trains that use hybrid systems or sophisticated diesel engines. Above all, reducing vehicle weight is recognized as one of the most efficient methods of lowering fuel usage.
One of the primary benefits of aluminum is its availability in a wide range of semi-finished forms, including shape castings, extrusions, and sheet, all of which are ideal for mass production and unique solutions. Parts that are compact and highly integrated fulfil the high demands for excellent performance, quality, and cost-effective manufacturability. Aluminum is competing fiercely with other materials, such as new steels that have lately been created, claiming back the light weight potential through greater strength alloys appropriate for decreasing wall thickness. Other materials that compete are magnesium, titanium, and glass or carbon fiber reinforced polymers.
Aluminum sheets are utilized for numerous automobile elements other than panels and structural sections to save weight. Heat insulators and gasoline tank protectors are two examples of products that insulate heat, noise, and protect bodies from dirt. Exhaust manifold coverings in engine compartments are also provided. These parts are made from general-purpose aluminum alloys in the 1000 or 3000 family. The alloys not only serve to reduce weight but are also cost competitive with plated steel sheets, supporting the use of aluminum alloys to replace steel.
The European automobile sector is recognized across the world for being technologically sophisticated and extremely inventive. Because of growing economic and political pressure to minimize fuel consumption and CO2-emissions, efforts for automobile lightweight construction have grown substantially, and particular solutions based on the use of modified or newly developed aluminum alloys have been offered. The average quantity of aluminum used in passenger vehicles has more than quadrupled in the previous decade, and based on new design concepts, advancement will continue to follow this trend in the future years. Parallel to this, the European aluminum sector has created and released a plethora of novel light-weight solutions based on proven and enhanced aluminum alloys, as well as optimized aluminum-oriented automobile design.
The growth of automobile manufacturing sectors in developing economies such as China and India is propelling the automotive AHSS industry. The availability of low-cost manual and engineering innovation, a focus on fuel economy and sustainability, and growing vehicle production levels drive the Automotive AHSS industry. As an internationally competitive automobile manufacturing hub, the area also drives the Automotive AHSS industry.
The Global Automotive Aluminum Market can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
To satisfy the growing demands, new alloys and processing changes have been launched in recent years. If stiffness requirements are fulfilled, higher strength alloys may allow for a decrease in outer panel thickness without sacrificing dent resistance. As paint-bake temperatures fall, so does the requirement for a considerably stronger age hardening reaction. However, for some sections, formability is still a serious issue. As a result, sheet producers have lately created specific alloy variants with enhanced formability or strength, which have been agreed upon as standards by the automobile industry.
Al – Mg – Mn Alloys is one of the latest and most used innovation in the automotive aluminum requirements within the industry. Due to their unique high-strain-hardening, AlMgMn alloys exhibit an optimal mix of formability and strength obtained via the mechanism of solid solution and deformation-hardening. Small additions of various alloying elements and/or changed processing methods, such as stretcher strain free (“SSF”) sheet, avoiding Luders-lines, have resulted in further improvements in characteristics required for specific applications (e.g. surface appearance, corrosion resistance, thermal stability).
The new “Multi-material designs” concept comprises of a suitable application of any accessible material, with the basic notion of using the “best” material for each purpose, which means aluminum applications alongside high and ultra-high strength steels, magnesium, and plastics or composites. Another key objective is to develop a cost-effective light-weight design. Suitable technologies were evaluated and developed by scaling up the most promising and improving existing aluminum and magnesium sheet and warm forming technologies, HPDC for complex structural part forming technologies, aluminum steel TWB’s for crash-beams, joining and assembling for multi-material high-performance structures, and so on.
The automotive industry is utilizing cutting-edge materials manufacturing technology to achieve its overarching goals of reducing vehicle mass to improve fuel economy, improving occupant safety and crash survivability, and increasing vehicle longevity through improved fatigue resistance and corrosion control. One critical step in the manufacture of AHSS is the fast heating of the steel to the high temperatures necessary to produce the austenitic phase transition. Induction heating looks to be a useful alternative to the traditional radiant tube technologies in these applications, owing to its compactness, low thermal inertia, and excellent dependability.
AMG is one of the leader in multi-dimensional production of aluminum based products within the market. It has started producing speciality alloys based on aluminum which are focused on specific usage within the castings of automotive With the use of master alloys containing special addition agents, many unique characteristics can be imparted to aluminum alloys. The use of strontium to “modify” the structure of aluminum silicon alloys to improve soundness and mechanical properties is a very effective and widely accepted practice. Aluminium strontium master alloys provide convenient, stable, and effective sources of strontium. Master alloys containing beryllium are added to aluminum magnesium melts at low levels to reduce magnesium losses. Small beryllium additions also improve surface quality of DC cast ingot and impart improved mechanical properties to premium quality aluminum castings.
Constellium NV is part of the latest aluminum technology for the automotive and other structural applications within the global market. The Securalex® product line from Constellium is a collection of high-tech crash alloys with regulated energy absorption for passenger protection in the event of a collision. We are actively working on expanding the Securalex® product line with stronger variants. Securalex® is a crash-crushable alloy, and Securalex® P5/P6 is ductile with a steady strength value for increased pedestrian safety. Securalex® HS and Securalex® UHS are stronger versions of Securalex® that allow for even more downgauging of crash components while maintaining the same crash performance.
The advanced product of Formalex® by Constellium has been developed in terms of composition and processing conditions to provide the greatest possible press formability while retaining high corrosion resistance. It produces considerable gains in stamping performance as well as lab-oratory formability tests as a result of its improved work hardening. In comparison to high formable mild steel, Formalex® Plus is a game-changing lightweighting option for body-in-white. Formalex® Remote allows for remote laser welding of complicated parts using a single alloy solution. It aids in the reduction of manufacturing cycle times for OEMs.
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