Environmental wellbeing backed by increasingly severe legislation dictates that pollution and energy consumption by automobiles must be reduced significantly. The outcomes of this project will enable both these imperatives to be achieved simultaneously. The project aim is to establish production lines in Europe that manufacture components for lightweight complex-shaped body structures of automobiles, trains and aircrafts, which are significantly lighter and of comparable strength and stiffness to those currently available.
This will be achieved by exploiting a new patented thermo-mechanical processing technology (HFQ) for sheet aluminium alloy that enables, for the first time, parts in heat treatable alloys to be produced to net-shape with maximum attainable mechanical properties. The life-cycle energy consumption of cars, trucks, buses, aircrafts and railways will be reduced; in the production stage, by the low energy requirements of HFQ, which is enhanced by the potential use of low cost recycled raw material and in the driving stage, by the reduced fuel consumption associated with lightweight vehicles.