SALEMA will set up four pilots by adapting existing industrial facilities. To validate the novel low critical raw material aluminium alloys, the existing facilities of the industrial transformation partners will be adapted to the requirements of the newly developed alloys. The adaptation of the equipment will be equivalent to the usual implementation procedure of a new aluminium grade, involving no foreseeable major modifications of the setup. Read more about the four pilots and demonstrators below!
Overall 5 case studies will be used to assess the performance of the new SALEMA alloys in the most relevant processing routes for the automotive industry. These demonstrators have been selected to cover a wide range of potential applications of the newly developed alloys and investigated the most common and future promising transforming processes to speed up market up-taking.
High-Pressure Die Casting (HPDC)
In this manufacturing technique, molten aluminium is poured into a mould under high pressure. After the metal has solidified, the mould is opened and the car part released.
To validate the developed alloys, the SALEMA partners will produce shock towers and Frontal Frame by high-pressure die casting
It’s a structural component of the car, responsible for stability, driving comfort and safety in case of a crash. It connects the shock absorber with the front body and disperses all forces taken up by the shock absorber. Shock towers are commonly formed using sheet metal fabrication techniques.
The frontal of the car is commonly composed of several parts assembled, some of them thick gravity casting parts or parts made of steel. There is a huge potential in weight reduction by redesigning and adapting this component to be produced by combining High Pressure Die Casting and extrusion processes. SALEMA will explore this possibility by designing and producing a new demonstrator component based on these two processing technologies with the newly developed alloys. After its successful validation, it can be used for the development of variants to be introduced in new vehicles design.
The stamping process reshapes aluminium sheets using moulds. Placed in between the parts of the mould the metal is compressed by either hydraulic or mechanical presses. The difference in cold and hot stamping lies in the temperature applied during the deformation process.
Hot and cold stamping will be employed to manufacture parts of the Body in White parts and B-pillar.
Body in white
Body in White describes the fully assembled car body before painting and installation of the engine, electronics, glass, seats, etc. There is a strong interest in the automotive industry for new lightweight materials which meet the safety, performance, and mass production requirements of the Body in White.
To test the SALEMA alloys for these criteria, CRF will produce a Body in White component of commercial geometry for example the car door using Cold Stamping.
The B-pillar is typically a closed metal structure welded from the car’s floor pan at the bottom to the roof panel at the top. It is a critical component of the car’s safety cage – the rigid compartment that surrounds and protects the passengers. In the event of a side impact or rollover, the B-Pillar needs to dissipate the power.
To test the formability and performance of the SALEMA alloys, GESTAMP will produce the foot of a B-pillar using Hot Stamping.
During extrusion, the aluminium alloy heated to several hundred degrees is pushed into a mould with an opening. As the soft but solid metal is forced through that opening, it assumes the opening’s profile.
The partners will shape the SALEMA alloys into a battery box and components for a novel frontal-frame using extrusion.
The battery is the heart and the most expensive component of an electric car. It is thus housed in metal boxes designed to make this core element crash-proof.
ASAS will manufacture a battery box housing in collaboration with the MARBEL project with extrusion.