European value-added aluminium firm Constellium NV announced this week that it is heading up a new consortium for exploring new high-strength, low-carbon aluminium alloys in the automotive sector.
With £10 million in hand from Britain’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the new CirConAl (Circular and Constant Aluminium) is a joint public-private partnership aimed at building an end-to-end supply chain in the United Kingdom of high-strength aluminium alloys that are produced by emitting less than two tons of CO2 per ton of metal.
Constellium said that the project will demonstrate the safety of using high-strength aluminium alloys with significant recycled content by producing and testing aluminium automotive components on a large scale. In addition, the project hopes to create new scrap sorting technology that will preserve more valuable metals than can be done with current methods, reducing their loss to landfills and contributing to a circular economy.
Philippe Hoffmann, President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures & Industry Business Unit, said in a press release that this is the next step in creating a circular aluminium economy.
“Low carbon solutions require collaboration across the supply chain and Constellium is proud to lead the CirConAl project in partnership with the APC, automakers, and suppliers as the industry works toward carbon neutrality. Taking advantage of Constellium’s high-strength HSA6 aluminium extrusion alloys, as well as new scrap sorting and blending technologies, we expect this next generation of alloys to provide automakers with ultra-low embodied CO2 material to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of their products.”
Constellium, based in France, was founded 1855 as Henri Merle et Compagnie and subsequently renamed Pechiney in 1950. Pechiney was purchased by Alcan in 2003, which was purchased by Rio Tinto in 2007. In 2011 Rio Tinto sold Alcan Engineered Products to Apollo Management (51%) and FSI (10%). Constellium produces rolled and extruded aluminium products from various alloys, bringing in €6.2 billion of revenue in 2021.