Standard: AA AIRAM


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This Aluminum Industry Roadmap for the Automotive Market: Enabling Technologies and Challenges for Body Structures and Closures is the third document to be produced by the aluminum industry to plan its future course in technology-driven markets. In 1996, under the leadership of The Aluminum Association, the industry published Partnerships for the Future, which set forth its long-term vision of how to maintain and build the competitive position of the U.S. aluminum industry. In May 1997, the industry published the Aluminum Industry Technology Roadmap, which presented the industry's technology strategy for achieving the goals it has set for itself for the year 2020 related to energy efficiency, environmental production, productivity, and competitiveness in the marketplace. Many of the research needs identified in this "generic" roadmap directly or indirectly impact the use of aluminum in the automotive market. These include proposed efforts to

▪ develop processes and technologies to reduce the cost of ingot;

▪ improve understanding of the relationship of aluminum alloy composition and processing and its effect on microstructure and properties;

▪ develop improved casting processes (including continuous casting) to produce low-cost, defect-free sheet;

▪ establish alloy and testing commonization, i.e., reduce the number of alloy variants and test practices; and

▪ develop advanced methods for integrating product design and the material and processing selection.

Figure 1-1 summarizes some of the goals from the Aluminum Industry Technology Roadmap that will allow the aluminum industry to offer the automotive industry a cost-effective product. The aluminum industry's goals to reduce the energy intensity of producing primary aluminum, decrease emissions, enhance recycling, and improve metal quality are particularly important to the automobile industry because they could lead to significant reductions in the cost of aluminum for automotive applications.

This present roadmap, The Aluminum Industry Roadmap for the Automotive Market, focuses on the specific actions that the aluminum industry needs to take to enhance the cost-effectiveness of using aluminum in automotive applications, and has been structured to support the automotive industry's own efforts. The goal of the research identified here is to increase the efficiency with which aluminum is used and to reduce the cost of the processes to convert it from an ingot/sheet/extrusion product into a serviceable part or an integral component of the vehicle. Essentially every R&D effort proposed contributes directly or indirectly to lowering the cost of using aluminum in automobiles.

The technical topics addressed in the Aluminum Industry Roadmap for the Automotive Market reflect the entire automotive manufacturing process, from the production of semi-finished aluminum shapes through the assembly process to the recycling of automotive aluminum scrap. The specific areas that need to be considered when making an aluminum-intensive vehicle include the product forms (sheet, extrusion, and castings); the secondary processes that are used for the product forms; and the methods for putting the various product forms together (joining and assembly). The crashworthiness of aluminum-intensive vehicles is also covered, as is the use of aluminum metal matrix composites. Research that focuses on improving the production of primary aluminum, which is germane to the goal of reducing the cost of aluminum components, has been addressed adequately in Section XI of the Aluminum Industry Technology Roadmap.

The PNGV program's Technical Roadmap includes a list of key technical projects on the automotive industry's critical path to developing "new generation" vehicles. These projects are organized according to various technical topics such as feedstock, casting, forming, joining, and recycling. All of these topics will also be covered in the Aluminum Industry Roadmap for the Automotive Market, or were addressed in the more generic Aluminum Industry Technology Roadmap. Figure 1-2 indicates the program needs of the PNGV effort and where related information may be found in the aluminum industry roadmaps. The research that is recommended in the Aluminum Industry Roadmap for the Automotive Market is intended to focus on a midterm time frame (of 3 to 6 years) to maximize the opportunity to help the automotive industry reach the goals of the PNGV program set for 2004.

Organization: The Aluminum Association Inc.
Document Number: aa airam
Publish Date: 1999-05-01
Page Count: 76
Change Type: STCH
Available Languages: EN
DOD Adopted: NO
ANSI Approved: NO
Most Recent Revision: YES
Current Version: NO
Status: Inactive

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