As the aluminum industry evolves in the face of new trends, Light Metal Age (LMA) continues to be a valuable resource to its readers. The LMA website is steadily growing in readership — attracting an average of over 9,300 users and 19,400 page views each month in 2019 (an increase of 64% and 69%, respectively). Over the past year, the website has included exclusive featured articles from the print magazine to news on technology and manufacturing developments in automotive, extrusion, rolling, casting, smelting, recycling, and more.
In order to highlight the kinds of quality news provided by LMA, here are our top ten most viewed Industry News stories published on our website in 2019:
The aluminum extrusion industry in the U.S. and Canada has achieved a record milestone with nine consecutive years of demand growth. This article by Hank Sattlethight of the Aluminum Association provides insight into this growth with statistics on extrusion markets, press utilization, billet supply and demand, and foreign trade.
The largest waste by-product generated in the Bayer bauxite refining process is bauxite residue, commonly called red mud. An enormous quantity of caustic red mud is generated worldwide every year, posing a very serious and alarming environmental and safety problem. Alton Tabereax’s article provides a valuable look at red mud generation along with methods for managing red mud, such as lagooning, dry stacking, and dry disposal, as well as the utilization of the byproduct in other industries. It also provides an overview of processes for neutralizing the high alkalinity of red mud.
The cost of launching cargo into space is extremely high. Thus, the vast majority of rockets and crew modules rely on aluminum solutions due to the material’s light weight and cost. Michael Niedzinski from Constellium discusses the design considerations for space launch systems and the important role aluminum continues to play in various space launch programs, with a special focus on the evolution of Constellium aluminum-lithium alloys.
It’s no surprise that superhero movie star Jason Momoa, an actor known for his roles in Aquaman and Game of Thrones, would be at the top of the list. When Momoa released a video promoting the use of aluminum over plastic, while introducing his new line of water in aluminum cans, it became an internet phenomena — driving aluminum’s value as a sustainable material into popular discussion.
In order for automotive OEMs and Tier suppliers to develop aluminum applications for cars and trucks, they need to understand the capabilities of existing designs, whether sheet, extrusions, or castings, etc. This article by Lynn Brown presents an overview of the benchmarking and reverse engineering services supplied by Munro & Associates Benchmarking Innovation Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. A benchmarking study of three powertrain and battery systems implemented on the Tesla Model 3, BMW i3 (2014), and Chevy Bolt is offered as an example of the kind of work the company performs.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the sustainability of their products — and these concerns have made plastic products a target for reinvention with more sustainable materials. Aluminum is particulalry advantageous in this regard, due to its infinite recyclability. In response to this trend, Ball Corporation introduced an aluminum cup as an alternative to the classic disposable red party cup.
Otto Fuchs KG in Meinerzhagen, Germany ordered a 30,000 ton closed-die forging press for the manufacture of aircraft landing gear, engine discs, and structural parts, and other components. The press is able to achieve large slide strokes for long components, providing Otto Fuchs with an expanded range of possible products. Furthermore, the adaptation of the forming speed to the process produces excellent workpiece quality and long die service life.
Showcasing one of the many clever and stylish applications of aluminum introduced this year, the Kimbo is a aluminum camper with a shell made from a 5052 alloy that attaches to any 6 ft truck bed. Owner and lead designer Mark King currently has two patents pending on the Kimbo, which utilizes an innovative no-frame design.
Premixed cocktails have become the fastest growing category in the beverage alcohol business, and the wine-in-cans market has grown rapidly from less than a $10 million to a $70 million in sales this past year according to the Aluminum Association. This article highlights several winemakers who are showcasing their wines in aluminum cans.
The Aluminum Association entered a new era in 2019, when president and CEO Heidi Brock resigned. For nearly eight years Brock led the Association in growing its value proposition and membership. She has since left the organization to become president and CEO of the American Forest and Paper Association.