Constellium said it was heading a new consortium of automakers and suppliers to develop lower carbon, lower cost aluminium extrusion alloys.

Sponsored by a grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the GBP10m CirConAl (Circular and Constant Aluminium) project aims to maximise the use of post consumer scrap in a new generation of high-strength alloys that emit less than two tons of CO2 per ton of aluminium produced.

CirConAl is part of joint government and industry support for projects to build an end to end supply chain for zero emissions vehicles in the UK.

By designing, developing, prototyping, and testing aluminium automotive components at scale, the project is expected to demonstrate that high strength alloys with high recycled content can meet or exceed OEM requirements, such as strength, crushability, durability, and other performance criteria. Together, the partners would also develop scrap sorting technologies to ensure that valuable metal is recycled into new automotive solutions rather than downcycled, preserving its value and contributing to a circular economy.

“Philippe Hoffmann, president of Constellium’s automotive structures & industry business unit, said: “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.”

Aluminium extrusions and components will be prototyped and tested at Constellium’s University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University London which develops aluminium crash management systems and body structure components as well as battery enclosures for electric vehicles. Its industrial scale casting and extrusion equipment allows for rapid prototyping, reducing development times by at least 50%.