In this time of high energy costs, vehicle makers are turning to aluminum as a lighter weight, fuel-efficient alternative to steel and other materials. The use of aluminum helps reduce fuel emissions and improves vehicle handling characteristics. Aluminum’s impact resistance is similar to that of steel, and its corrosion resistance is better. And, aluminum’s perpetual recyclability allows manufacturers to easily recover and reuse parts.
These features make aluminum a superior solution for an increasing range of automotive applications, including engine housings, car bodies, anti-lock braking systems, shock absorbers, and heat exchangers for climate control systems, to name a few.
With its high strength-to-weight ratio and manufacturing flexibility, aluminum has become the solution for many of the challenges facing today’s automakers. Aluminum:
- Can be rolled formed, stamped, deep drawn, slit, bent, punched or fabricated into a variety of shapes and designs
- Is easily joined by welding, brazing, mechanical fasteners and adhesive bonding
- Is found in a variety of products ranging from heat shields to fin stock used in the manufacture of automotive heat exchangers
- Absorbs energy well in crashworthiness tests and is used for safety-related applications, such as frames, body panels, bumper reinforcements, engine cradles, side door beams, knee bolsters, anti-lock braking systems and air bag components, to name a few
- Is sustainable: nearly 90 percent of the aluminum in autos is recaptured and recycled again and again
Aleris is a leading supplier to the global automotive industry. We offer a wide range of products that enable automakers to build lighter, more energy-efficient cars while lowering production costs:
- Outer body panels
- Inner body panels
- Structural parts
- Extrusions / profiles
- Finished mechanical parts
We manufacture both direct-chill and continuous-cast sheet products for the automotive and light-truck industry. Our product engineers are specialists in helping customers find the right alloy, temper and product to meet their needs.
Extrusions / Profiles
Aleris manufactures a wide range of special extrusions for the automotive industry, including semi-hard alloy profiles. With extrusion presses ranging from 20 MN to 90 MN, Aleris supplies rods, bars, and different shapes of profiles to major automotive component suppliers for a variety of applications, including:
- Side impact beams
- Motor housings
- ABS / ESP hydraulic blocks
- Forged suspension parts
- Bicycle and motorcycle rims
- Airbag housings
- Snow cat chains
- And many more
Superlite® for outer panels and Ecolite™ for inner and structural parts
Aleris pursues a unique uni-alloy concept based on the alloy family EN6016 (AlMgSi type of alloy), taking into account significant benefits in terms of cost and environmental sustainability. Using the same alloy for various applications facilitates recycling in a manufacturing environment and increases the value of the scrap with respect to process and end-of life, from which, without further segregation, new aluminum sheets can be casted and rolled. Only some primary aluminum is required to tune the final chemical composition.
For outer panels, Aleris developed different Superlite® grades with outstanding features like good formability, excellent surface quality as well as high yield strength levels after paint baking. The Superlite® 200 IH (Improved Hemming) variant offers a superior performance for specific hemming requirements. Superlite® 200 IF (Improved Forming) allows car producers to form very complex shaped outer panels. To meet the highest standards in terms of appearance, another special version, called Superlite® 200 RF (Roping Free) can be recommended. The different indices used to specify the Superlite® grades, indicate the minimal guaranteed yield strength level after a paint bake simulation after 2% pre-strain and 185°C for 20 minutes.
For inner panels and structural parts, Aleris developed different Ecolite™ grades with different strength levels. This inner material grade was also developed inside the EN 6016 alloy composition. Great formability is perfectly coupled with cost efficient processing. For visible interior parts (like inner parts of doors or hatches), customers can choose between two versions with excellent roping properties: Ecolite™ 160 RO and Ecolite™ 210 RO (Roping Optimised). Last but not least , Ecolite™ 250 ST is often used for structural parts where high strength is needed.
Standard surface finish of Body in White material is EDT (Electro Discharge Texture). On request, the surface can be treated with TiZr passivation layers which improves overall adhesive bonding performance. To optimise friction behaviour in the press-shop, different types of pre-lubes (oils and hot-melts) are available upon request. The material can be supplied in coil, sheet or shaped blanks (like trapezoidal and radials)
Finished Mechanical and Structural Parts
Aleris facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art CNC centers for high-quality machining of finished parts, including customized surface treatments for our global customers.