The second generation ABS aluminum alloy and its production process
Foreword: In the context of the global call for energy conservation and emission reduction, the lightweight of automobiles has become the focus of attention of all countries. Scientists have done experiments. If the net mass of a car is reduced by 10%, the fuel efficiency can be increased by 6% to 8%; for every 100kg reduction in the mass of a car, the fuel consumption per 100 kilometers can be reduced by 0.3L~0.6L. Energy saving and emission reduction is a global task, and automobile lightweight has become the current trend of world automobile development.
Aluminum is the first automobile manufacturing material to become a substitute for steel. If aluminum is substituted for steel in automobile manufacturing, the quality of automobiles can be reduced by 30% to 40%. In 1960, the average amount of aluminum used in passenger cars (cars) in the United States was 28.6kg. It rose to 109kg in 1999, reached about 160kg in 2015, and is estimated to reach more than 205kg in 2025. In 1994, the Audi A8 (Audi A8) produced by the German Audi Motor Company, the inner frame (Audi Space Frame, ASF) and cover parts are all made of extruded aluminum and thin sheets of Alcoa. The first all-aluminum passenger car.
The first generation of ABS
As of 2016, ABS is divided into two generations, which are divided according to the properties of aluminum alloy and its production process. The first generation uses conventional deformed aluminum alloys, and cold-rolled strips are produced by the ingot-hot rolling method. The second-generation alloys are newly invented by Alcoa. The cold-rolled strips are made of Alcoa. The company’s innovative "San Antonio Micro MillTM Flow Path" (San Antonio Micro MillTM Flow Path), which is a brand-new process, and the production of Hazellet method (Hazellet) and special alloy company method (Special alloy company method). The strip produced by Alloy) is also classified as the second generation.
ABS is divided into two types: inner plate and outer plate. The performance requirements of the external board are high, and the production is difficult. Typical representatives of conventional ABS alloys are: 2002-T4, 21187-T4, 2036-T4, 2037-T4, 2038-T4, 5182-O, 6009-T4, 6010-T4, 6015-T4, 6016, 6111, 5754, etc. . In addition, there are alloys with certain characteristics developed by some companies, such as AlMg5 and 483 alloys from France, GC45, GZ45, GC150, GV10, X660 from Kobe Steel in Japan, and AMg3 from Germany.
ABS must have good formability, strong surface smoothness, good weldability and excellent bake hardenability. The technical complexity of the production of ABS and the investment in the construction of ABS projects are both the largest projects in the aluminum processing industry, which are larger than those for the production of aerospace aluminum alloy sheets and strips.
The second generation ABS
The second generation of ABS is produced with new alloys and/or new processes. There are currently three processes that can produce second-generation ABS: Hazlet method, Alcoa’s Micro-MillTM method and American Special Alloys’s process, and Micro-MillTM method pilot and commercial production lines built in Alcoa The ABS produced by the company’s rolling mill in San Antonio, Texas, has been tried and certified by an automobile manufacturer. They were all born in the United States in 2015!
The car enters the aluminum age
With the arrival of Alcoa MicromillR from Alcoa, the second-generation ABS has not only entered mass production, but also used in batches to manufacture Ford Motor Company’s new version of F-150 pickup trucks. Its formability is 40% greater than that of traditional ABS alloys. %, the strength performance is 30% higher than that of traditional materials, and the quality of parts is 30% lighter than that of steel. All properties are better than those of low-carbon automobile steel plates. The birth of this second-generation aluminum ABS is a milestone. It is announced that automotive materials have entered the aluminum era, and aluminum will become the second largest automotive material. In some models, it may even become the largest material, with extraordinary economic benefits. Social benefits.