14th April 2016
Constellium has announced the opening of the Constellium University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University London, a dedicated center of excellence for the design, development and prototyping of aluminium alloys and automotive structural components. Featuring industrial size aluminium casting and extrusion equipment in the first phase, the Constellium UTC will provide rapid prototyping capability that is expected to reduce development times by at least 50% for advanced aluminium alloys required for the continued lightweighting of automotive structural components.
The newly developed alloy and process technologies are expected to be transferred to Constellium’s extrusion and automotive structures plants worldwide, thereby closing the gap between fundamental R&D and series production.
“As the leading Tier 1 supplier of aluminium structural components to the global automotive market, and a leader in innovation in our industry, we are excited about the advantages Constellium’s University Technology Center will offer to automakers,” stated Paul Warton, President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit. “A one-of-a-kind center of excellence, the Constellium UTC will allow us to prototype alloys and components on full-scale equipment with unprecedented speed and time to market.”
In partnership with Brunel University London, Constellium will develop the scientists and engineers of the future through a fellowship program for PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. A dedicated team of 15 Constellium researchers, engineers and technicians will apply the latest breakthroughs in material science research to practical solutions for future vehicle programs.
With the new stronger alloy portfolio, Constellium is expected to design, develop and deliver lightweight, high-strength aluminium automotive structures and Crash Management Systems to help automakers improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions in order to meet more stringent regulations. These new developments, based on 6000-series alloys, will help improve recyclability through their compositional compatibility with presently used alloy grades.
Today also marks the opening of the “Advanced Metal Casting Centre” (AMCC), a research facility located on the Brunel University London campus, which is focused on developing lightweight, high-performance aluminium alloys for the automotive and rail industries. Managed by Brunel University London, Jaguar Land Rover and Constellium, the AMCC will be expanded next year with the addition of the “Advanced Metal Processing Centre” (AMPC) to include fabrication and testing of aluminium automotive structural components. The Constellium University Technology Center at Brunel is expected to provide a fully integrated rapid prototyping capability from alloy development to full component manufacture in a single location.
These developments aim at strengthening Constellium’s presence in the global automotive market both for advanced aluminium extruded and Body-in-White rolled products.