IK4-Azterlan consolidates the research line on light alloys and aluminum transformation processes with the participation in a new European project in this field.
On the 2nd of June took place in Ajalvir (Madrid) the kick-off meeting of the HardALU Project (H2020-SMEINST-2-2014: 674 539) led by Hornos y Metales S.A., in which the metallurgical technical center IK4-AZTERLAN is actively involved. The goal of the project is the development and further launch to the market of a fluidized bed technology for the heat treatment of aluminum engine blocks and other aluminum components for the automotive sector produced by high pressure die casting (HPDC).
Hardening heat treatments are not usually applied in conventional aluminum high pressure die cast components due to their porosity and blistering tendency. The development of the HardALU technology will allow hardening aluminum injected parts, reducing significantly the heat treatment cycle time by an optimization and higher efficiency of the heat transfer coefficients. Consequently, the HardALU technology will offer to the market new weight reduction opportunities for aluminum cast components, increasing their competitiveness level. In addition to shortening the conventional T6 heat treatment cycle time, a significant reduction in energy costs along with the corresponding emissions compared to the conventionally heat treated parts.
The HardALU project along with some other important ongoing research programs such as Soundcast (www.soundcastproject.es) and SENTRY, strengthen the knowledge and the R&D efforts on light alloys and aluminum transformation processes within IK4-AZTERLAN. A wide field of research that goes from the democratization of the vacuum assisted high pressure die casting technology by developing new high-tech secondary alloys and the process control, to the efficient recycling of aircraft fuselage panels.
An increased activity in H2020 European projects combined with a significant development of industrial research projects that respond to the demands of companies in the field of advanced alloys, processes and tools.
Important R&D efforts are being performed on light alloys and aluminum transformation technologies