Automotive conference line-up announced

An impressive array of presenters has been announced for the first Advanced Aluminium Engineering for the Automotive Industry conference.

This conference, produced by the Aluminium Federation will highlight technical excellence and forthcoming developments in automotive  sector.

The two-day conference is being held on 21 and 22 November 2017, at the Millennium Point complex in central Birmingham. Opening the conference is Professor David Bailey of Aston University, a well-known media commentator on the automotive industry. David will speak on Reshoring and other opportunities for the UK automotive industry – covering the impact of ‘Brexit’ along the way.


Day one continues with a look at alloy development by Constellium’s Alexis Skuboch and Geoff Scamans of Innoval. Recycling is fundamental to the UK aluminium industry, and speakers from Novelis, Milver Metals and others will highlight recent efficiency advances in recycling for automotive applications.

Aluminium’s relatively low weight means that it has always played a key role in aircraft production, and Mike Bond of Aeromet will consider the potential for the application of aerospace casting techniques in the automotive field.

There has traditionally been a clear separation between forging and casting. But could squeeze casting offer the best of all worlds? Peter Radcliffe of CastAlum will be addressing this important question in the casting session. The forging session, which concludes day one, will be framed by AFRC outlining the principles of advanced aluminium forging. This will be followed by real-life experiences of working with aluminium, from  AHT and SDF Automotive.


Day two begins with an examination of forming automotive aluminium sheeting. Of particular interest will be a presentation on the Hot Quench Forming (HQF) process by  Impression Technologies. Ensuring the durability of aluminium products is important in many applications, especially in the harsh environments in which motor vehicles operate.

Speakers in this session will cover developments in pre-treatment, including anodising, and Alan Cooper of Westmoreland will highlight the benefits and techniques available for the lifetime testing of components.

In the United States, Ford and General Motors have followed different paths regarding aluminium, but both now use significant quantities – Ford with its F-150 range and GM with the multi-metal Cadillac CT6. These vehicles feature established uses of aluminium extrusions, but Sapa’s Jonas Buhr will preview some new applications, such as in electric vehicles.

With the advent of the ‘multi-material’ car, interest in techniques for joining aluminium to itself, to steel and to other materials, including plastics, is greater than ever. The final session of the Conference covers joining techniques – especially bonding and welding – with presentations on laser, thermal and pulse welding, new welding-friendly alloys, plus a look at the challenges of bonding aluminium.


“This conference will showcase the best of the new in automotive aluminium, with a lot of material that hasn’t been presented before,” says ALFED technical manager Jan Lukaszewski. “The conference is also a great networking opportunity for engineering professionals, especially as we will have an optional conference dinner in Birmingham on 21 November.

“While Advanced Aluminium Engineering for the Automotive Industry is organised by the Aluminium Federation, everyone, including non-members and international executives is welcome to attend this pioneering event.”

 Full conference details

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Something old, something new…

The architectural grandeur of a former Masonic Hall has provided the inspiration for a new sixth form campus for d’Overbroeck’s College in Oxford which features glazing solutions from Senior Architectural Systems’ Hybrid range.


Designed by TSH Architects, the new sixth form college is located at the site of the city’s former Masonic Hall which dates back to 1823 and which has been sympathetically restored and extended to provide a number of new facilities.  The construction materials for the new build elements, which comprise a new sixth form college and separate hall, have been carefully specified to both complement and enhance the existing Italianate Villa style of the older building. Doors, windows and curtain walling from Senior’s innovative Hybrid range, which features aluminium on the exterior to provide a durable and low maintenance solution and engineered timber on the interior for a natural look and feel, provided the perfect solution.

Fabricated and installed by Soundcraft Doors and Windows for main contractor Kingerlee Ltd, Senior’s Hybrid series 3 curtain walling system and Hybrid series 1 windows were installed to give a light and spacious feel to the two-storey teaching building and to provide exceptional views of the surrounding parklands. As well as complementing the existing architecture of the site, Senior’s high-performance Hybrid system also ensured that the required U-values and thermal efficiency requirements were successfully met.


Senior’s Hybrid curtain wall and windows were also installed to the college’s new hall that is adjacent to the main building and which provides dining facilities and a 180-seat auditorium for performance and events.  A key challenge, and one which illustrates both Soundcraft’s skill as an installer and the design flexibility of Senior’s Hybrid range, was the creation of the hall’s curved elevation that features a complex faceted curtain wall screen.

To complete the fenestration package, Soundcraft also installed Senior’s robust SPW501 aluminium doors, with an attractive feature of the college’s main building being an attractive 300mm deep entrance door system.


Aluminium pioneer honoured

A pioneering metallurgist has been presented with an award for his contribution to the global aluminium industry.

The Aluminium Industry Award was presented to Prof. Scamans at the Aluminium Federation’s 2017 Dinner by Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. The event, at Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire, was attended by more than 200 guests from across the aluminium sector.

Chief scientific officer at Innoval Technology, Professor Scamans is also Professor of Metallurgy at Brunel University’s BCAST metals research facility. He started his research career in 1974 at Alcan International, initially as research scientist and later as principal scientist, a role he took with him when moving to Innoval Technology in 2003.

Over the last 30 years he has initiated and managed a number of R&D programmes on both materials development and technological innovation, making substantial scientific and technological contributions to the light metals sector, his work being described in over 130 publications.

A world authority on automotive lightweighting, Prof. Scamans has been closely involved with aluminium car body development for Ford, and subsequently with Jaguar Land Rover, which has resulted in JLR’s current industry-leading range of aluminium-intensive vehicles.

“Geoff has been a great supporter of the Aluminium Federation over many years, always willing to give his time and share his expertise, “ said Mr Ashmead. “He has succeeded not only in becoming an aluminium ‘go-to’ expert, but also in developing and nurturing younger and talented scientists throughout his career.

“It’s rare that we make such an award, indeed Geoff is only the fourth recipient. This recognition is well deserved, and Geoff continues to make a significant contribution to the development of aluminium globally.”

In November, Professor Scamans will be a keynoter speaker at the Advanced Aluminium Engineering for the Automotive Industry Conference in Birmingham.