Sarginsons at forefront of Lightweight Energy Absorbing Aluminium Structures for Transport project
May 26, 2017
Sarginsons Industries, the leading lightweight casting company, is working in partnership with the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), to develop high performance cast aluminium alloys for the automotive and rail industries.
The partnership with BCAST – an academic research centre on the campus of Brunel University London and global leader in metallurgical casting research – is under the Lightweight Energy Absorbing Aluminium Structures for Transport (LEAAST) project.
The three year, £2.2m LEAAST project started from May 2015, and is funded by Innovate UK. It involves 10 industrial partners and research institutions led by Jaguar Land Rover to develop future lightweight aluminium Crash Management Systems (CMS) for automotive and rail applications. Other lead partners include Oleo and Strathclyde University.
Sarginsons is working with BCAST to develop a high ductility aluminium alloy using overcasting techniques to demonstrate the potential for both increased crash resistance and weight saving. The alloy contains no additions of copper or other non-sustainable components, so is fully recyclable.
Initial results from laboratory tests at Brunel have delivered mechanical properties 30 per cent stronger than conventional aluminium alloys, with yield strengths above 310 MPa, ultimate tensile strength above 365 MPa, and elongation over 8 per cent.
Anthony Evans, managing director at Sarginsons Industries in Coventry, said:
“Lightweight crash management systems are of increasing importance for most forms of ground transport, and while at present many automotive OEMs have advanced aluminium automotive body designs they still depend on steel for bumper beams.
“Sarginsons is delighted to be working closely with BCAST and other major partners on this project to demonstrate and evaluate optimised designs for crash management systems.
“Delivering a fully sustainable and high ductility alloy is critical for providing the automotive industry lightweighting options to counter the higher weight battery and hybrid vehicle base loads.
“Working together we’ve utilised Sarginsons’ latest investments in molten aluminium analysing equipment to support data analysis to be completed at Brunel University.
“The first scale up trial has just been completed with the new alloy being tested with a 400kg and controlled manufacturing condition at Sarginsons and the results are extremely positive.”
BCAST focuses on both fundamental and applied research on solidification of metallic materials and was first established in October 2002. It is now one of the world’s strongest solidification research groups.
Sarginsons is also lead industrial partner at the Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC) at Brunel, alongside other key aluminium strategic partners.
The company is renowned for its excellence in the field of automotive lightweighting and the company counts some of the most respected names in the automotive, petrochemical, energy and engineering sectors as clients.
Pictured: left to right – Howard Warner (Sarginsons), Dr Shouxun Ji and Dr Xixi Dong (BCAST)