Texas’ Austin AI and aluminium producer Norsk Hydro announced a partnership to develop technology for sorting automotive aluminium alloys. The technology to be developed may lead to greater efficiency in automotive recycling.
AAI uses laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to sort aluminium alloys. The firm says that their methods are superior to other such applications of LIBS technology, and that testing has borne this out.
“We are optimistic and hope this will close the loop with automotive fabricator scrap and end-of-life vehicle scrap for new car body sheet, substantially saving energy, resources and process effort – another push for sustainable lightweighting with aluminium,” said Hydro’s Executive Vice President Kjetil Ebbesberg. “Thus, it is a next step on the way to make Hydro a preferred partner for car makers and a carbon neutral company by 2020.”
AAI says it will install a pilot-scale sorting facility in Hydro’s research and development center in Bonn, Germany and, with the assistance of Hydro’s staff of scientists, plans to advance the system’s processes and features. According to the firm, the goal is to develop a more effective sorting system that will deliver high-quality results.
“By developing robust processes, based on LIBS technology, Hydro can accommodate the needs of our automotive industry customers for converting their production scrap today – and help to master future challenges in end-of-life recycling for cars, with more aluminium in them,” said the head of Hydro’s research and development center in Bonn Klaus Vieregge.