As more automakers turn to aluminum to reduce the weight of their vehicles, Novelis, one of the world’s largest suppliers of aluminum sheet, has announced the development of the Advanz 7000-series of high-strength alloys designed for safety-critical auto components.
According to Novelis, 7000-series products are two to three times stronger than currently-used automotive aluminum, and can be used for components such as bumpers and door intrusion beams.
7000-series aluminum alloys have been used in aerospace applications for decades, said Duane Bendzinski, Novelis Global Director of Technology, Automotive. Aerospace manufacturers typically start with a large piece of aluminum and machine out up to 90% of the material to achieve the desired shape.
“That’s great for airplanes, which are produced in low volume,” said Bendzinski. “However the automotive world is looking at material that is not inches thick, it is looking at tenths of an inch or less. The qualities and the characteristics that are really important for a big chunk of aluminum for machining versus a thin sheet that is stamped or formed can be very different. That’s what we’re doing – taking the basic chemistry in metallurgy, and adapting it for the needs of the auto industry.”
“The big thing about the 7000 series is it uses a set of alloying elements that under the right conditions allow the material to achieve very high levels of strength,” said Bendzinski. “It is a characteristic that allows for the minimal amount of material to be used in an application where strength is very important.”
“The development of Novelis Advanz 7000-series high-strength alloys is the latest step in our strategy to expand our automotive offerings around the world,” said Novelis VP Todd Summe. “Our Novelis Advanz 7000-series alloys will be used to produce automotive sheet at Novelis facilities in Asia, Europe and North America, offering a supply chain advantage to our global customers.”