RECYCLED CAST ALLOY WITH SMALL CARBON FOOTPRINT FOR SAFETY COMPONENTS
For the first time, AUDI and AMAG have developed a recycled cast alloy that fulfills the strict requirements for safety components visible to end customers while also meeting the requirements to be designated a climate-friendly product.
Aluminium has a long tradition in automotive engineering and will remain a crucial material for the industry in the future. However, making aluminium products more climate-friendly demands high expertise in materials science and recycling, especially when it comes to the stringent requirements for safety-relevant components in the chassis and wheels. AMAG can draw on many years’ experience in both disciplines and, in the Center for Material Innovation, has a vital in-house institution that specializes in bringing such developments to series maturity.
When it comes to cars, aluminium alloy wheels have now become standard components in almost every segment. At around 40 kg, the wheels account for over 20% of the average total aluminium in a car - and this figure is expected to continue to rise.
In an intensive cooperation with AUDI, AMAG has successfully developed the recycled cast alloy AlSi7.REC, an AlSi alloy that fulfills all technical requirements. At the same time, an increased tolerance range in the alloy’s composition makes it possible to significantly increase the proportion of recycled materials and use previously unusable aluminium scrap.
Bringing a new alloy for use in car chassis (e.g. wheel mounts, aluminium wheels) to series production involves a number of tests to determine the strength, dynamic properties, corrosion tendency and other characteristics to ensure the maximum possible level of safety. The product must remain functional for the car’s entire service life of more than 15 years. These tests include:
- Industrial test production for the wheel and chassis elements (determining the feasibility of series production and especially castability)
- Strength tests (static & dynamic, on test objects and real components)
- Misuse tests (curb testing)
- Corrosion tests, i.e. tests in different media with varying intensities
- Six-month component tests on real vehicles in road traffic
AMAG AlSi7.REC - The first recycling-friendly alloy for safety-relevant components such as wheels
The project passed through numerous cycles to refine both the alloy’s mechanical properties and its corrosion resistance, including in industrial processes. Eventually, through its cooperation with AUDI, AMAG developed the first recycled alloy with tolerance ranges that facilitate a high recycled material content in accordance with EN ISO 14021:2016 while also possessing properties that meet the requirements of safety components. This new recycled cast alloy, which has the AMAG designation AlSi7.REC, is a prime example of what can be achieved in terms of a recycled material content and carbon footprint when the material tolerance intervals defined decades ago are scrutinized and adjusted. As a result, AMAG is able to supply the AlSi7.REC alloy with a guaranteed carbon footprint as AMAG AL4®ever and AMAG AL4®ever star.
Advantages for customers
For the first time, AUDI and AMAG have developed a recycled cast alloy that fulfills the strict requirements for safety components visible to end customers while also meeting the requirements to be designated a climate-friendly product. Together with the Al4ever program recently initiated by AMAG to promote certified products with a significantly reduced carbon footprint (i.e. with < 4 t CO2 / t AlSi7.Rec or < 2 t CO2 / t AlSi7.Rec depending on product characteristics) and with a high recycled material content, customers can now benefit from a markedly more climate-friendly version of one of the largest aluminium components in cars.
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