Powdertech Corby strengthens team

Powdertech Corby has recently added to its team with the appointment of Harriet Truss as Assistant Commercial Manager.

“Powdertech’s business continues to expand in the architectural, rail and retail sectors”, said Richard Besant, Powdertech Director.  “With Harriet on board we have even greater resource to focus on customers’ work as it is received, processed and delivered. We aim to listen carefully to our customers and to promote a ‘can-do’ attitude. Harriet has sound experience in customer account management, with excellent communication skills and focus.”

At the beginning of 2017, Powdertech invested £500,000 in new equipment to provide a chrome-free pre-treatment capability. Growth in sales continues as Powdertech introduces new powder coating ranges, the latest being the Evolution range, seeking to stay ahead of design trends.

“I am delighted to be part of the Powdertech team. This is a proactive company, one that continually looks ahead”, said Harriet. “I see my role as the ‘voice of the customer’, ensuring that their business needs are fully understood and acted on, from our first discussion, through to delivery of the job, and after sales service. I am focused on the best possible outcomes at all times.”

ALFED members join forces to commercialise HFQ technology

Coventry-based Impression Technologies, a leading developer of advanced light-weighting technology, has been awarded funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre to further develop and validate Impression Technologies’ HFQ® Technology for use in the global automotive industry. The total project value is £9.5 million, with £4.8 million in funding from the APC.

Impression Technologies will lead the RACEForm project consortium comprising Gestamp, Innoval Technology, Imperial College and Brunel University.

The RACEForm project will focus on validating the HFQ® Technology for the mass production of complex,
deep drawn, high strength aluminium structures for body in white and chassis applications and help establish the technology as a global standard for aluminium light-weighting worldwide. The HFQ® Technology, for which Impression Technologies holds the exclusive global rights, offers OEMs significant savings in weight, cost and system complexity through its ability to produce deep drawn high strength aluminium alloys with low cycle times and no spring-back.

The consortium will also work in partnership with a major UK OEM, and a producer of aluminium. The RACEForm project will help position the UK as a leader in aluminium light-weighting and
establish a strong UK supply chain capability for the development of low cost, mass production low emission vehicles.

“We are delighted that APC has chosen to back our HFQ® Technology”, said Jonathan Watkins, Impression Technologies’ CEO. “We look forward to working together with Gestamp and the other consortium members in collaboration with our OEM and aluminium partners to further develop the HFQ® Technology for mass production and to establish the technology as a global industry standard.”

Tom Larsen, Gestamp’ R&D Advanced Technology & Application Manager added: “Gestamp is continuously innovating in product and process and material developments and see HFQ® as an important milestone in developing advanced technological parts for application on future OEM platforms.”

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are improving our supply chains to make it easier
for them to work with big business”, said Minister for Climate Change and Industry, Claire Perry. “Alongside this, our recently published Clean Growth Strategy underlines our support for the low carbon sector and the 430,000 people working in the industry across the UK.”

“If we want the UK’s automotive sector to remain a success story, we must invest in technologies that will help reduce the weight of vehicles. That’s one of the reasons why the government is supporting the Advanced Propulsion Centre, so it can help drive the collaboration needed to accelerate the development
of low carbon vehicle technologies such as those developed by Impression Technologies.

Senior adds style to Royal Enfield’s new R&D facility

One of the world’s oldest and most famous motorcycle manufacturers, Royal Enfield is known for creating  classics, and the company’s cool and contemporary style has inspired the design of a striking new technology centre in Leicestershire, which features a range of aluminium glazing solutions from Senior Architectural Systems.

 

 

Designed by LE1 Architects, the highly glazed façade of the impressive two storey research and development facility has been created by leading fabricator and installer Unique Window Systems Ltd for main contractor Stepnell.

With the need to maximise the flow of natural light whilst ensuring a comfortable internal working environment a key requirement, the attractive slim sightlines and enhanced thermal performance of Senior’s popular SF52 aluminium curtain wall system was the perfect choice for the building’s dramatic glazed entrance. To complete the fenestration package, Senior’s slim profile thermally-broken SPW300 aluminium windows were also specified, alongside Senior’s high-performance SPW500 and SPW501 aluminium doors, which are ideally suited to high traffic applications.

Destination Milan for Alu D&T Challenge winner

The UK aluminium industry’s national design competition, the Alu D&T Challenge, has added a new ‘Grand Prize’ to the 2017 competition: the chance to see aluminium production at first hand, in Italy.

The prize, sponsored by Novelis, will be awarded to the student, or team of students, judged to have produced the most outstanding design across the three categories.   The two day trip for the students and their D&T teacher will include the chance to visit two Novelis plants on the outskirts of Milan: Pieve to the south of the city has over 50 years’ experience of rolling aluminium. Bresso, located to the north, produces pre-painted aluminium and speciality finishes for architectural use.

The plant visits will provide students and their teacher with a unique insight into the global aluminium industry and the many diverse uses for aluminium.  There will also be plenty of opportunities to take in some of the wonderful sights in and around Milan, with a full day of sight-seeing included in the itinerary.

ALFED members Novelis who are sponsoring the Grand Prize trip to Milan have been supporting the competition since it began in 2012.  Andy Doran, Senior Manager – Sustainability and Recycling Development says:  “For Novelis the competition is a valuable opportunity to teach students about Aluminium and challenge them to think creatively about how we can use materials to reduce our impact on the environment.  I’ve been a judge of the competition since it started in 2012 and never cease to be impressed by the amazing, practical and ingenious ideas the students come up with.”

The competition is now in its fifth year and aims to teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium – an infinitely recyclable material. Young designers are encouraged to realise the contribution aluminium makes to the world we live in through learning materials which show the use of aluminium in a wide variety of applications and products; from smartphones to cars, drink cans to buildings.

There is no entry fee and no limit to the number of entries a school can submit.  Schools have all autumn term to work on their entries, which need to be submitted via the website or by post before 22nd December 2017.   The resources and full details of the competition are available online at at the Learning Aluminium website.

New adhesive-free process for aluminium-to-thermoplastic bonding

Powdertech Surface Science, expert in lightweight material processing, has developed an innovative, time and labour-saving method for joining aluminium to thermoplastics.

Demonstrated within the Ariel Hipercar project, Powdertech has introduced a novel process for bonding polypropylene glass fibre composite to aluminium for the vehicle’s monocoque chassis. No adhesives are used at all. Powdertech’s work was part of SOLMAC, an Innovate UK funded project.  The process, called Powderbond, is single stage, placing powder coated aluminium into a mold together with polypropylene and using the standard composite curing cycle.

Powderbond– introduced in the Ariel Hipercar project 2017

 

“We are delighted with the result”, said Simon Saunders, founder of Ariel Motor Company.“The process is clean and quick, and the bond strength achieved far surpasses current adhesive-based methods”. This is a lean manufacturing process with no surface preparation necessary for the polymer, no activation period and an energy saving short curing cycle. A typical chassis is made up of several hundred separate parts, welded and rivetted together. By creating the aluminium-composite bonds within a mold, the number of parts in the Hipercar chassis is reduced by over seventy five percent.

“Bonding metals and composites in a single stage gives tremendous freedom in design” said James Grant, Powdertech Director. “Complex and intricate shapes can be moulded into the composite structure whilst also incorporating high strength metal features.  Powderbond makes it possible, today, to use the best possible lightweight materials for the job, exactly where they are needed. We would be delighted to discuss the wide-ranging implications of adhesive-free Powderbond with anyone who is joining aluminium to thermoplastic materials.”J

James Grant of Powdertech Surface Science is one of the presenters at Advanced Aluminium Engineering For The Automotive Industry in Birmingham on November 21-22

 

Application submitted for alloy wheel plant

GFG Alliance has submitted a planning application for an aluminium wheel production plant at its Lochaber site.

It is hoped the application will be approved in spring 2018, allowing production at the plant, which could produce up to two million wheels annually, to begin in 2010.


BLOODHOUND is GO!

BLOODHOUND SSCBritain’s 1,000mph world land speed record challenger, has  been driven to more than 200mph at Newquay Airport, as the initial part of its testing.

The test runs saw BLOODHOUND’s driver, Wing Commander Andy Green, at the wheel for the first time. Green and his team ran the jet powered car up to and beyond 200mph, using its EJ200 Eurofighter engine on the Cornish airport’s 1.7 mile main runway and pushing it to maximum reheat – or afterburner – phase. 

     

The runs, each of which saw the car accelerate from zero to 200mph in just under 1300 metres, have been used to evaluate the car’s steering, brakes, suspension and data systems, while also measuring the efficiency of the air intake that feeds the EJ200 jet engine, sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon.

For the Newquay public run she vehicle was sporting the logos of its new sponsors – including ALFED – the Aluminium Federation.

Now that the tests on Newquay’s 1.7-mile runway have been completed, the BLOODHOUND team plans to ship the vehicle to a specially prepared strip for the first of two high-speed campaigns in 2018. The team intends to use the 11-mile track at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa, where the car will be driven to more than 600mph, running without tyres on forged aluminium wheels developed with guidance from Innoval.

   

Further runs are planned to take BLOODHOUND’s speed past the current 763 mph land speed record, and ultimately on to 1,000 mph.

 

 

Rooms with a view

A new student accommodation scheme in Chester is making the most of its picturesque canalside location thanks to an attractive glazing package from Senior Architectural Systems.

Taking inspiration from its location next to Chester’s famous Shropshire Union Canal, The Towpath development offers modern student accommodation facilities across two four-storey and one three-storey blocks.


Installed by Kingfisher Windows Ltd for main contractor Watkins Jones, Senior’s aluminium curtain walling, windows and doors were specified for use on all three buildings of the new development. Senior’s thermally-efficient SPW600e windows and SPW600 doors were chosen for the use within the individual apartments, many of which feature attractive balconies that overlook the canal.  The communal areas of the scheme feature Senior’s robust SPW501 aluminium doors, with the slim sightlines offered by Senior’s popular SF52 curtain walling enhancing the sense of light and space across the lower ground floors.

The facades of the individual buildings have been created using different materials, with a striking mix of traditional brickwork, pre-coated zinc cladding and cedar timber cladding.  Working with different interfaces meant that the installation of the fenestration package required careful planning and this was skilfully executed by the Kingfisher team.  Close coordination with the other trades on site was also vital to ensuring that the construction programme remained on schedule, particularly as the windows had to be installed before work on the brickwork façade was completed.

Owing to the close proximity of the new student accommodation development to existing properties on the canalside, including a large number of residential properties, the acoustic performance of the fenestration package was also a key consideration.