RUSAL creates a new AlZn alloy for the automotive industry

Moscow, 11 December 2023 – RUSAL, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, announces the creation of a new AlZn alloy for the automotive industry. The Company has been successfully running several R&D projects with top global automotive parts suppliers on proprietary AlZn alloy.

The new alloy is developed on the basis of the Al-Zn-Mg system with additional alloying with Fe-Ni to improve manufacturability during casting. It has increased strength characteristics compared to those serial alloys that are widely used in the automotive industry. This high-strength cast alloy allows the implementation of lightweight designs in high-load automotive components like wheels and suspension parts.

Casting process of AlZn alloy involves low-pressure die casting (LPDC) and gravity die casting (GDC). While it does not require expensive alloying elements, it allows using end-of-life scrap. The alloy can be used in both F and T6 tempers depending on the specific application and requirements. With T6 temper, the strength can be increased to reduce weight in comparison with AlSi7Mg alloy in similar temper. In as-cast (F) condition there is an advantage of avoiding heat treatment for cost saving. Hence, AlZn alloy application may give flexibility for casted product in terms of tempering, depending on whether the focus is on weight or cost reduction.

“Our new AlZn alloy offers significant advantages over alloys currently used in the automotive industry. One of the key advantages of using AlZn alloy is reducing the weight of wheels and vehicle suspension parts by up to 15% by increasing the strength and endurance of the alloy after heat treatment, including solution treatment, quenching and aging,” commented Victor Mann, Technical Director of RUSAL.

“Our clients – the end consumers of the alloy – automotive companies can also reduce the cost of parts without using heat treatment of the metal,” noted Roman Andryushin, Sales and Marketing Director of RUSAL. “AlZn alloy can become an effective tool for the largest international automotive companies and manufacturers of auto components in achieving strategic development goals, both from the point of view of optimizing the cost and strength of parts, and from the point of view of the environmental agenda.”

A combination of low carbon footprint, reduction of heat treatment and lightweight makes this alloy a unique development of RUSAL Light Materials and Technologies Institute, which is in line with strategic pillars of both TIER1s and OEMs in the automotive industry.
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