Alongside energy-efficient drives, lightweight materials are a key to reducing environmental impact and increasing resource efficiency in mobility. For structural components, high-strength wrought aluminum alloys can make an important contribution. However, one must not only consider the potential for CO2 reduction in vehicle operation. Sustainability in the manufacture of the components is becoming increasingly important. By using recycled aluminum, up to 95% of emissions can be saved compared with the use of primary material. This results in a large CO2 savings potential for corresponding structural components in the automobile.
With this goal of establishing an optimized process chain, in particular for high-strength automotive structural parts using recycled aluminum, renowned companies from the entire supply chain and the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) have joined forces and launched the “Green-Al-Light” project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The focus is on the increased use of end-of-life scrap from the automotive sector, taking a holistic view of all process steps and their interactions.
First, end-of-life scrap is to be separated as purely as possible by means of a state-of-the-art sorting technology based on laser-induced plasma spectroscopy at cleansort GmbH and Clean-Lasersysteme GmbH. Adapted alloys from TRIMET Aluminium SE and casting and forging technologies from Otto Fuchs KG are used to develop overall CO2-optimized and cost-efficient manufacturing processes – and finally the manufactured components are validated and used by the vehicle manufacturer Audi AG. FAU characterizes the different variants of secondary alloys in terms of the mechanical properties and microstructures that can be achieved. Matplus GmbH then uses the results obtained in this way in an “alloy cockpit” to model the material properties and provides the digitized exchange and evaluation platform.
More information about the joint project can be found on www.green-al-light.de
Contact: PD Dr. Heinz Werner Höppel