European value-added aluminium firm Constellium revealed yesterday a new partnership with Groupe Renault, ESI Group, Institut de Soudure (Welding Institute), and the University of Lorraine to develop lightweight, recyclable and cost-efficient aluminium solutions for the automotive market.
The ~€7 million undertaking, dubbed Project ISA3, intends to develop closed-loop aluminium recycling, which will increase the pace of adoption of aluminium over traditional steel.
Jack Clark, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Excellence and Chief Technical Officer, said the project is likely to provide several benefits beyond the aluminium sector.
“We are very excited about Project ISA3 and the opportunity to further demonstrate Constellium’s commitment to providing sustainable solutions to its automotive customers. We believe this project will advance aluminium’s position in the automotive market as manufacturers seek to reduce carbon emissions and expand their electric vehicle offerings. This partnership with a strategic customer allows us to explore solutions that can apply to a wide range of vehicles and deliver both environmental and economic benefits. Further, working with our partners on end-of-life recycling is an exciting opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of the entire automotive aluminium supply chain.”
“We need to reduce the cost per kilogram saved on automotive parts, especially aluminium parts,” explained Patrice Belliard, Expert, Flat Products at Groupe Renault. “The ISA3 project aims to reduce the price per kilogram by half on aluminium doors. This is essential to continue to lightweight vehicles by using aluminium in the future.”
Pierre Culière, Pre-Certification & Validation Outcome Director, ESI Group, said the project will also speed the production of aluminium automotive parts.
“To enable faster and more accurate development, the ISA3 project will rely on ESI Group’s solutions and team of experts. Thanks to our ‘Pre-certification & Validation’ and ‘Smart Manufacturing’ solutions, we will help to develop and validate the design and manufacturing of the aluminium doors without the need for physical prototypes.”
Constellium, based in Amsterdam, was founded 1855 as Henri Merle et Compagnie and subsequently renamed Pechiney in 1950. Pechiney was purchased by Alcan in 2003, which was purchased by Rio Tinto in 2007. In 2011 Rio Tinto sold Alcan Engineered Products to Apollo Management (51%) and FSI (10%). Constellium produces rolled and extruded aluminium products from various alloys, bringing in €5.9 billion of revenue in 2019.