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News

Alcan Earns International Die Casting Award

Alcan Automotive : 02 November, 2001  (Company News)
Alcan Inc was awarded first-place by the North American Die Casting Association for its
This lightweight casting is just one of the many material and process innovations developed by Alcan that are helping vehicle manufacturers such as Audi offer higher-performing, more fuel efficient and environmentally cleaner vehicles to consumers.

“We are delighted to receive this award,” said Wolfgang J. Schmitz, Vice President, Alcan Automotive - Engineered Shaped Products, “because the B-Pillar stands as a great demonstration of the flexibility of aluminum for automotive use. Our work with Audi on pioneering such new applications reflects Alcan's leadership in aluminum technology and helps keep Audi in the forefront of automotive engineering.'

The B-Pillar, which won in the “Aluminum Die Casting 1-10 lb.” category, is an integral element of the all-aluminum structure of the A2 – the world’s first aluminum vehicle produced in an automated high-volume process. Currently available only in Europe, the A2 is the lightest vehicle in its class, making it more fuel efficient and easier to handle, while delivering outstanding safety performance. Audi’s hybrid space frame construction employs several aluminum castings as well as extruded parts and integrated sheet panels.

The large, thin-walled B-Pillar stands four feet tall, yet weighs little more than five pounds. Produced at Alcan’s manufacturing facility near Munich, Germany, the B-Pillar forms the vertical post between the front and rear doors of the A2, and provides critical stiffness to the overall vehicle structure along with added strength in a side impact. This single casting replaces up to eight separate sheet stampings typically assembled for this application.

Manufactured using Alcan’s proprietary vacuum die-casting technique, High-Q-Casting, the B-Pillar represents a significant advance in the production of thin-walled castings with high ductility.
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