One of the key challenges facing metallurgy today is the need for parts and components with increased strength that are also economical and environmentally friendly, especially in regard to aluminum products for automobiles, packaging, and aeronautics.
Aiming to address this challenge, Constellium is partnering with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the University of Grenoble Alpes (UGA) to create a new joint laboratory, 3ALP. The aim is to develop research on the recyclability and durability of aluminum, work on new and innovative research methodologies, and design new generations of aluminum alloys.
With a combination of business and academic research, the 3ALP laboratory will draw on the recognized expertise of the Science and Engineering of Materials and Processes (SIMaP) research laboratory, which was jointly developed by the CNRS and UGA. This expertise will be applied to the design of aluminum alloys and innovative processes, such as additive manufacturing. In this way, the organizations hope to develop new aluminum-based products that meet the challenges of metallurgy and society in the future.
Through 3ALP, Constellium will have access to state-of-the-art characterization and modeling tools. The company will also benefit from the experience of SIMaP scientists in various fields, such as microstructural and multiphysical characterization of materials, instrumental design, and development of artificial intelligence tools for materials.
One of 3ALP’s current projects is focused on the impact of recycling on the formability of automotive aluminum sheets. Since an increasing amount of aluminum components are being derived from recycled materials, variations in alloy composition and impurities can occur. The presence of impurities (such as Fe and Mn) can impact the formability and crashworthiness of 6000 series of alloys.
The objective of the project is to use machine learning to generate and study a large number of microstructures, provide systematic characterization of those microstructures, and observe how the mechanical properties are influenced by Fe and Mn based intermetallics and dispersoids within the aluminum matrix.
More about the project can be found on the 3ALP website.