New forming method of aluminum can cut chassis weight in half in cars of the future
AP&T is cooperating with Raufoss Technology, Hydro Aluminium and the SINTEF research institute to develop a new method for forming of aluminum sheet. The method will enable passenger cars to be manufactured with a significantly lower weight than today, which will enable greatly reduced fuel consumption and environmental impact.
Dr Christian Koroschetz, Director Technology Development, sees great potential in the new method.
"The goal is for chassis parts that are currently made of steel or die-cast aluminum to be manufactured from aluminum sheet in a PressFormHardening process, resulting in significantly lower weight. The project's calculations show that chassis weight could be cut in half if the new method were to be fully applied in new cars."
For this to become reality, however, a cost-efficient production process is needed that guarantees all of the parts obtain the desired properties. Strength and stability must not be jeopardized. The project members are planning to have completed a production line for test manufacturing within four years. Extensive development of materials, forming techniques and processes remains to be completed before then.
Amongst other things, AP&T will share its knowledge within tool and process design. The company will also be responsible for producing a full-scale production line for manufacturing test parts. One of SINTEF's metallurgists is now working on site at AP&T in Ulricehamn, Sweden as part of the cooperation initiative.
"With his specialist expertise in aluminum, Knut Erik Snilsberg completes our R&D team very well," says Christian Koroschetz.