Sarginsons pioneer advances in lightweight aluminium

December 3, 2014

Lightweight aluminium, strong, safe and more energy efficient


Anthony Evans, managing director of Sarginsons Industries Ltd, talks to The Manufacturer about Sarginsons’ growing links with the best of UK academia, and why it is committed to building partnerships with leading universities as it seeks to deliver the materials and the manufacturers of tomorrow.

Sarginsons were recently involved in a debate about the differences between employing graduates and apprentices and while there are a great number of benefits to both we could see a key area to help future graduates deliver practical solutions.  As a consequence 2014 has seen us take significant steps to further develop our relationships with some of the UKs leading academic institutions.

Why does this matter?  Our ambition of retaining our position as a leading centre of excellence, built on the cornerstones of research, leadership and best practice, requires us to continually invest in advancing the materials and technology we use.  Only by doing this are we able to create the most reliable, lightweight, strongest and most technologically advanced components available.

This year we were pleased to be selected as the Industrial Partner for Aluminium and Magnesium Low Pressure Diecasting at for Brunel University’s new Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC).

This £14 million revolutionary new centre will see Sarginsons working to help bridge the gap between research, imagination and practical implementation.  Collaborating on a range of important projects that will literally change the way aluminium automotive structures are manufactured and which will result in ever lighter, ever stronger, automotive components.

Our role at the AMCC has already seen Sarginsons contribute to the design of the world-leading research facility, to be completed in early 2015, which is when we expect our practical work to start to deliver results.

Sarginsons will be bringing decades worth of hands-on industry expertise to the table, this, combined with the academic insight offered by staff, will help us to train those future graduates who will lead UK manufacturing.

The reality is that graduates are taught to think, to be creative, to analyse, to push the boundaries, and importantly, to study in a logical, structured manner, and by combining those skills with practical training from industry professionals with seasoned know-how, we’ll be able to harness ideas and turn them into workable solutions and repeatable processes that can be used not just in the laboratory but in the manufacture of real components.

However our academic links don’t stop with Brunel, as well as our role at AMCC, we are involved in another exciting new research project, “Make it Lighter with Less”, which will see us team up with JLR and a number of other leading industrial organisations.

The focus of this research will be to develop lightweight energy absorbing aluminium structures for automotive use.  In simple terms what this means is that we’ll be making safety critical elements for vehicles out of aluminium, rather than the heavier, less sustainable, steel.

The technical characteristics of aluminium are perfectly suited to creating structures with both high rigidity and high absorption levels. Making aluminium the perfect fit for automotive manufacturers chasing more ever more energy efficient vehicles.  This is an excellent project that the whole team are extremely excited to be involved in.

As each day passes it becomes more-and-more clear that our pioneering research into aluminium lightweighting will achieve results faster by combining our skills with those of our leading universities.

Sarginsons prides itself on being a lightweight centre of excellence and through continued research and innovation is confident that UK manufacturing in general and the UK automotive sector in particular will continue to be a leader in this key market.

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