An impressive array of presenters has been announced for the first Advanced Aluminium Engineering for the Automotive Industry conference.
This conference, produced by the Aluminium Federation will highlight technical excellence and forthcoming developments in automotive sector.
The two-day conference is being held on 21 and 22 November 2017, at the Millennium Point complex in central Birmingham. Opening the conference is Professor David Bailey of Aston University, a well-known media commentator on the automotive industry. David will speak on Reshoring and other opportunities for the UK automotive industry – covering the impact of ‘Brexit’ along the way.
Day one continues with a look at alloy development by Constellium’s Martin Jarrett and Geoff Scamans of Innoval. Recycling is fundamental to the UK aluminium industry, and speakers from Novelis, Milver Metals and others will highlight recent efficiency advances in recycling for automotive applications.
Aluminium’s relatively low weight means that it has always played a key role in aircraft production, and Mike Bond of Aeromet will consider the potential for the application of aerospace casting techniques in the automotive field.
There has traditionally been a clear separation between forging and casting. But could squeeze casting offer the best of all worlds? Peter Radcliffe of CastAlum will be addressing this important question in the casting session. The forging session, which concludes day one, will be framed by AFRC’s John McBain outlining the principles of advanced aluminium forging. This will be followed by real-life experiences of working with aluminium, from Stokes Forging, AHT and SDF Automotive.
Day two begins with an examination of forming automotive aluminium sheeting. Of particular interest will be presentations on superforming 7XXX series alloy and the Heat Quench Forming (HFQ) process, by Superform and Impression Technologies respectively. Ensuring the durability of aluminium products is important in many applications, especially in the harsh environments in which motor vehicles operate.
Speakers in this session will cover developments in pre-treatment, including anodising, and Alan Cooper of Westmoreland will highlight the benefits and techniques available for the lifetime testing of components.
In the United States, Ford and General Motors have followed different paths regarding aluminium, but both now use significant quantities – Ford with its F-150 range and GM with the multi-metal Cadillac CT6. Rio Tinto Automotive’s Jim Dickson will provide a transatlantic perspective. These vehicles feature established uses of aluminium extrusions, but Sapa’s Jonas Buhr will preview some new applications, such as in electric vehicles.
With the advent of the ‘multi-material’ car, interest in techniques for joining aluminium to itself, to steel and to other materials, including plastics, is greater than ever. The final session of the Conference covers joining techniques – especially bonding and welding – with presentations on laser, thermal and pulse welding, new welding-friendly alloys, plus a look at the challenges of bonding aluminium.
“This conference will showcase the best of the new in automotive aluminium, with a lot of material that hasn’t been presented before,” says ALFED technical manager Jan Lukaszewski. “The conference is also a great networking opportunity for engineering professionals, especially as we will have an optional conference dinner in Birmingham on 21 November.
“While Advanced Aluminium Engineering for the Automotive Industry is organised by the Aluminium Federation, everyone, including non-members and international executives is welcome to attend this pioneering event.”