Every two years, the European Aluminium Awards are given to products or projects in which aluminum has been applied in an innovative manner. Industrial designers, manufactures, importers, architects, builders, and artists can enter the competition in various categories.Judging criteria includes originality and functionality of the use of materials, functionality of the product, design, durability (in relation to lifecycle costs), recycling potential, and representativity and promotional value for aluminum.
The Aluminium Award is an initiative of the national association for aluminum in the Netherlands, Aluminium Centrum. The 2014 edition received important support and recognition by the European Aluminium Association (EAA), the German Aluminium Association (GDA), and ALUMINIUM 2014, the world’s largest trade show and conference in aluminum.
The 2014 European Aluminium Awards honored five award winners and one overall jury prize, as well as five honorable mentions, a young talent prize, and two special prizes.
Philips Lighting BV for Philips OneSpace Luminous Ceiling – Lighting & Interior Category: Philips designed an innovative luminous panel that can cover an entire ceiling
with homogeneous white light. The OneSpace luminous ceiling integrates LED lights placed closely together in a mesh like arrangement combined with textile to create a sound absorbing panel with a signature homogeneous light quality. The result is a smooth and clutter-free ceiling that emits a uniform and glare-free light that recalls the feeling of natural daylight. It can be dimmed, used as safety lighting and also be connected to building management systems enabling centralized control to switch it on or off for greater energy efficiency. “This innovation will redefine how light can be used in architecture and design. Light is now an architectural component – it is no longer an add-on in a space,’’ said Antoon Martens from Philips Lighting. ‘’The ceiling is not often seen as a design element. Now, it is transformed by this minimalistic ultra-thin panel of light into a design statement.’’ Aluminum Supplier: SAPA.
3XN Architects and Novelis AG for The Blue Planet, Sea Aquarium in Copenhagen – Building and Architecture Category: Opened in March 2013, The Blue Planet is Northern Europe’s largest and most modern aquarium, situated at the island of Amager in Copenhagen Denmark. The project design was inspired by the the organic motion of sea water and the varieties of shapes and scales of sea creatures, reflected both in the whirlpool structure and also in the overall facade, which is covered in small diamond-shaped, pre-painted aluminum shingles. Novelis seawater and corrosion resistant alloy C4S aluminum was selected for the cladding, since it had proven itself for decades in extreme climates. The falzonal® is a rolled and coil-coated aluminum with specific alloy composition and special surface finish developed for building and construction applications. Over 27,000 m² of 1.2 mm thick coated aluminum sheet, produced at the Novelis’ Göttingen, Germany plant, was used to make the 40,000 shingles, identical in size and form, each of which is approximately half a square meter in size. Both sides of the sheet were coil-coated in 3 micron weathering clear lacquer, providing necessary protection during installation, while allowing the natural beauty of the aluminum to shine through.
LEIBER Group GmbH & Co. KG for a truck suspension beam realized in a special Al-alloy (AluXtrem®) – Aerospace & Automotive Category: The forged aluminum suspension beam, developed by LEIBER Group, is based on bionic principles, which take into consideration material parameters as well as the production restrictions. The Advantages of the aluminum part include a design that results in more homogenous distribution of stress in the component; reduction of weight by at least 50%, thereby increasing trailer payload; and reductions in cost and production time as no cathodic dip painting (CDP) is required for the corrosion resistant aluminum alloy, AluXtrem®. The forged truck suspension beam was selected by the award jury because they believe this innovative product will open the market of truck suspension parts for aluminum, which was up to now dominated by steel.
Daimler AG for an in-line process chain for the production of complex aluminum sheet components – Production Techniques, Tools & Machinery Category: An improvement of the formability of aluminum sheet materials was achieved by Daimler AG with the development of a process chain applicable for series production in the automotive industry. The in-line process chain enhances the formability of standard aluminium sheet material (e.g. AA 5182) and widens the range of automobile components that can be used in aluminum without mitigating the design in comparison to steel designs (i.e., 1:1 substitution of steel with aluminum without changing the geometry). This results in an improvement of the lightweight potential of aluminum and ensures the ability to produce door inners (S-class coupe) in aluminum using the existing design. The process chain can be applied to existing press shop lines for standard cold forming without reducing the current production time.
Ben Hoek Meubelarchitectuur for its Pandora Sideboard – Design & Lifestyle Category (Awarded by Public Vote): Of the 2.478 votes received, 39,95% were for Pandora Sideboard out of eight nominated products chosen by the European Aluminium Award jury.
Maatschap Observatorium and Gové BV for Genothek-München: The Genothek-München public sculpture is comprised of aluminum profiles provided by extruder BOAL and anodized by Alumet. The profiles are composed of two identical parts, which are clicked together to form an invisible connection.
Constellium Singen GmbH for 3D Design Surfaces – Design & Lifestyle: Aluminium has a great image for high end design, luxury, and feeling in the decorative world. To foster this image, Constellium has come up with new creative 3D aluminum surfaces for decorative applications in architecture, automotive and consumer products that reflect the personality of emblematic regions in the world. The Bamako surface, for instance, is inspired by the natural design of African art craft while the Cardiff surface highlights the British woven heritage. The 3D technique allows designers to not only chose from a selection of ten surface patterns, but also create their own thanks to the customization of the embossing process.
Jaga NV for the Freedom Radiator – Lighting & Interior Category: The Freedom Project from Jaga, was focused around designing themost compact, yet powerful freestanding radiator, while at the same time using as many recyclable and environmentally friendly materials as possible, in the construction. In function, the design required easy installation and connectivity to environmentally friendly energy sources. Externally the casing was based on a gently curved, double-walled aluminum profile, resulting in an extremely strong radiator with a stylish and unique design. An elegant aluminum grill further defined the product.
SORBA Projects BV for Lines of Gold in Den Bosch, Holand – Building & Architecture Category: Two railway overpasses and a railway bridge were designed by SORBA Projects and Marius van den Wildenbergh utilizing double-curved extrusions wrapped in a complex 3D woven mesh around concrete structures. The extrusions are gold anodized with a special coating suitable for exposure to the railway environment.
Bayards Aluminium Constructions BV for a Motion Compensated Helideck – Building & Architecture Category: Baynard’s development of an aluminum landing platform for use in marine and offshore applications with a hydraulic system to compensate for movement on the water.
Ayse Byzanz for her design of an aluminum-based future fashion wedding dress – Design & Lifestyle Category: Byzanz developed a patented woven aluminum fabric suitable for both wedding dresses and interior decoration. A wedding dress was created with aluminium foil, processed in a special way to make it possible to wear the dress for an entire day. Furthermore, the dress was designed so that light reflects off the aluminium dress to make it appear as impressive as a fairytale wedding dress.
Zollern Aluminium Feinguß Soest GmbH & Co. KG for the TNO SINPLEX Space Project: The miniaturized extreme lightweight SINPLEX casting was designed to add new capabilties to future space missions, targeting exploration mission targets of asteroids, comets, planets, and planetary moons. Robotic vehicle will be required to land on these targets and return with samples to Earth. Reducing mass is a key enabling factor for such future exploration of the solar system and beyond. The SINPLEX housing is directly cast by using the engineering master data, with no tooling is used. The company’s successful development of the SOPHIA® casting, allows it to enter the world of additive manufacturing. The jury selected this ultra thin complex casting for a special prize due to its excellent proof of craftsmanship.
Novelis and the University of Leipzig PASUV for online measuring of thin coatings on aluminum coils: Over 90% of all Novelis products are coated with a conversion coating (sometimes also called pretreatment) for good corrosion performance and adhesion of lacquers, foils, or adhesives. The coating weight of this extremely thin coating is highly important and needs to be controlled accurately during processing. Normally, the line operator can only take measurement after production, which means that when the coating weight is out-of-range, the material needs to be scrapped. A direct measurement of the dry film thickness is needed to safe time, money, have closer process control, and save the environment from scrap. None of the commercially available solutions could fulfill the measuring task with reasonable effort at Novelis, because all processes had significant weaknesses to measure the coating thickness in nanometer range without destroying the surface during measurement. Optical methods could be ruled out because of the rough aluminum surface or coating thickness, 1,000 times thinner than a human air. Other systems with nuclear radiation or X-ray effects lead to high demands on the radiation protection. Since 2010 a Novelis team at the Göttingen plant developed in corporation with the University of Leipzig a new process for the online-measuring of thin coatings on aluminum coils.
Young Talent Prize
Ehsan Aghdami for CATLIGHT: This aluminum urban lighting system was inspired by the periodic phenomena rising and setting sun. CATLIGHT sweeps its wings depending on ambient light and
local time, providing either technical light (open wings) for full illumination or semi-decorative light (secondary strip mode) in which an acrylic glass sheet is lit by the same LED modules in the wings with low power light that provides orientation rather than illumination. The aluminum wings serve as a cooling surface, while also enabling the adaptive movement of the wings.