Amsterdam’s Constellium N.V. announced the opening of the Constellium University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University London today. The Constellium University Technology Center is, according to the firm, “a dedicated center of excellence for the design, development and prototyping of aluminium alloys and automotive structural components.”
The Center will feature industrial size aluminium casting and extrusion equipment as well as possessing rapid prototyping capability that the firm expects will cut development time in half for innovations like aluminium alloys used in automobile lightweighting.
Constellium says that, in conjunction with Brunel University London, the firm will develop the next generation of scientists and engineers via Ph.D. and post-doc fellowships.
“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,” explained the President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit Paul Warton. “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.”
The firm expects to design, develop and deliver lightweight, high-strength aluminium automotive structures and Crash Management Systems intended to help automakers improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions that will, in turn, meet more stringent emissions regulations. The planned developments, which will be based on 6000-series alloys, are expected to help improve recyclability through their compositional compatibility with alloy grades used at present.
Additionally, the “Advanced Metal Casting Centre” (AMCC) opened today on the Brunel University London campus. Managed by the university, Jaguar Land Rover, and Constellium, AMCC is focused on developing lightweight, high-performance aluminium alloys for the automotive and rail industries. The Center will be expanded next year with the addition of the Advanced Metal Processing Centre (AMPC), which will conduct fabrication and testing of aluminium automotive structural components. The Constellium UTC at Brunel is planned to provide fully-integrated rapid prototyping capabilities from alloy development to full component manufacture in one location.