Constellium is leading a multi-million R&D initiative with the support of automakers and suppliers to develop lower carbon, lower cost aluminium extrusion alloys.
The consortium is sponsored by a £10 million (EUR 11.3 million) grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre. Constellium says the CirConAl (Circular and Constant Aluminium) project aims to maximise the use of post-consumer scrap in a new generation of high-strength alloys that emit less than two tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium produced. This is meant to realise an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emissions vehicles in the UK.
By designing, developing, prototyping and testing aluminium automotive components at scale, the project is expected to demonstrate that high-strength alloys with high recycled content can meet or exceed OEM requirements for strength, crushability, durability, and other performance criteria.
The partners plan to develop scrap sorting technologies to ensure that valuable metal is recycled into new automotive solutions rather than being downcycled, preserving its value and contributing to a circular economy.
Aluminium extrusions and components for the CirConAl project will be prototyped and tested at Constellium’s University Technology Centre at Brunel University in London. Its industrial scale casting and extrusion equipment allows for rapid prototyping, reducing development times by at least 50% for the advanced alloys required to lightweight automotive components.