Aluminium industry is thriving in the face of political and economic challenges, according to annual ALFED Members’ Briefing

The 2018 Aluminium Federation Members’ Briefing and Annual Dinner showcased developments within the industry – and the important role ALFED plays as the industry’s voice.

On 20th September, representatives from more than 100 ALFED members descended on the historic Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire to share 12 months’ worth of insight and discuss upcoming challenges.

The agenda included presentations from ALFED’s president, 4 sector subgroups, ALFED training and the Health, Safety and Environmental Support Group, as well as the UK Metals Council, Bloodhound SSC and The Outward Bound Trust.

Key takeaways were:

  • There’s a positive outlook for extrusion, with the year-on-year growth experienced since 2015 continuing its upward trend. There’s particular growth in products for the industrial and automotive markets
  • Members in the finishing group are reporting healthy order books, sales and supply volumes. Current issues relate to hexavalent chromate authorisation, the redrafting of BS EN12206, titanium oxide, cobalt and the surface treatment and powder coating of secondary aluminium
  • Innovation initiatives have included the ALFED forging project to establish a framework for migrating from ferrous to aluminium components, with a focus to date on the automotive industry. Over the past year, the innovation group has also looked at Horizon 2020 funding opportunities, joining techniques, developments in second-generation fibre metal laminates, strained hardened heat-treatable alloys, cryogenic stress relieving and additive manufacturing
  • The recycling group updated members on new technologies – like high-efficient burners, spectroscopy and alloy detection systems – as well as developments in closed-loop recycling, packaging recycling and secondary material usage.

Bloodhound SSC discussed the new schools challenge in partnership with ALFED – and brought a full-size model of the car that will be making a world record attempt. We also learned about the new HSE apprenticeship scheme at Hydro Extrusion UK, a landmark 4-year programme that’s helping cement the importance of health and safety in future working practices.

Giles Ashmead, ALFED President, said:

“Over the past year, we welcomed over 20 new members to the Federation: companies who want to take advantage of our services. We also offered further networking opportunities for our existing members.

“Our training offer continues to develop, with the launch of not only our revamped schools challenge in association with Bloodhound, but also our new management training courses, which are already selling out.

“We are accelerating our innovation work by forming knowledge partnerships with a number of educational establishments, and have resurrected our lecture programme. We continue to listen to our members and develop training and technical support initiatives that meet their requirements.

“ALFED are definitely focused on building the aluminium industry of the future. At this time of uncertainty – with not only Brexit as a threat to the industry’s stability but also the actions of the US Government – we have found an unprecedented level of access to our Government. We thank the civil servants of Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, as well as other Government departments for giving us their time, taking up our issues and doing what they can to alleviate the threats we face.”

To learn more about the Members’ Briefing and the specific presentations, contact Margaret Lane at or 44 (0)121 601 6363.


After intensive advocacy work in the past months and weeks with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the European Commission and the Member States, European Aluminium have announced a potential evolution in the Rusal dossier.

Based on information published by OFAC in a Q&A last Friday, there may be an opening for companies to sign certain types of contracts extending beyond the current expiration of General Licenses 14, 15, and 16 under certain conditions. European Aluminium are currently in the process of seeking clarity on the legal interpretation of OFAC’s messaging and remain in close cooperation with the stakeholders.

The World of Aluminium, West Bromwich, 4 December


Tuesday 4 December 2018, 9.00am – 4.15pm

Park Inn Hotel, West Bromwich B70 6RS      

An intensive, one-day workshop that gives participants an elementary, practical understanding of aluminium production, processing, application, markets and industry.

Equally suited to technical and non-technical people, the workshop is delivered by Jan Lukaszewski. It requires no prior knowledge of aluminium, and is therefore suitable for both new and more experienced employees.

The four sessions of the workshop are:

  • Introduction to Aluminium
  • Working with Aluminium
  • Uses of Aluminium
  • The UK Aluminium Industry

A copy of the full programme can be viewed here

Workshop fees

ALFED Members – £260.00 + vat = £312.00 – This price includes a complimentary copy of ALFED’s ‘Properties of Aluminium and its Alloys’ 

Non-Members – £375.00 + vat = £450.00 – This price includes a complimentary copy of ALFED’s ‘Properties of Aluminium and its Alloys’ 

This includes refreshments, lunch, course notes and ALFED ‘Props Book’.

Please book places at the workshop using this booking form

For further information, please contact Ann Gough on 0121 601 6365.

FREE Welder’s Handbook

Download your FREE Welder’s Handbook from the experts in welding – Air Products.

Partnership activites aim to strengthen links with industry

TWI and ALFED partnership activities aim to strengthen links with industry

In May 2018 TWI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Aluminium Federation (ALFED) to start investigating joint opportunities, collaborative projects and mutual areas of interest.

The aim of the strategic partnership is to see an exchange of information through workshops, events and collaborative training opportunities, and has now started to build a programme of activity and opportunities for its Members.


Joint events already shared include innovation and technology days for the benefit of ALFED and TWI Members. Further days are in the pipeline, one of which will focus on bonding aluminium. More details will be available shortly.

A highlight for 2019 will be a joint TWI ALFED technology workshop hosted by TWI at its headquarters near Cambridge, UK.

Members will be able to learn more about TWI’s surfacing and joining know-how for aluminium, a key material for the automotive and aerospace sector.

As well as presentations, networking opportunities and a tour of TWI’s facilities, attendees will be able to relax and enjoy a social dinner in Cambridge the evening before the event. The workshop is being planned for February 2019.

Full details, including online registration, will be published soon.

Additional activities

The partnership is currently exploring opportunities to enhance joint activities with some of TWI’s existing academic partners, and is in the process of establishing a LinkedIn group, which will act as a sounding board for Members’ ideas and interests in the area

About the partnership

The MoU was signed at a joint meeting of ALFED’s Automotive and Innovation Group on 1 May 2018 and was followed by a meeting on 30 May, where aims and deliverables were set.

The mutually beneficial agreement will allow ALFED to introduce TWI’s expertise to its own Membership base, while ALFED’s experience in the aluminium industry, and associated sectors, offers a valuable interface for many of TWI’s Members who are looking to aluminium as a manufacturing solution. There is considerable opportunity to explore both industry and government-led collaborative initiatives together.

Year in Industry Programme

Year in Industry Programme – provided by the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield have joined the Aluminium Federation as ALFED Members on a Knowledge Partnership basis.

Atttached you will find information on their Year in Industry Programme.

The Year in Industry Programme allows students to spend a year in industry as part of their degree.

By spending a year on an industrial placement, they will gain valuable work experience and evidence of applying their engineering skills, i.e. putting theory into practice.

The Year in Industry gives students an opportunity to find out what working in engineering/as a computer scientist is really like, and is an opportunity for a company to potentially offer a job to a student after graduation.

It will also give companies an insight into new engineering technologies being developed and a link with an engineering department within the University of Sheffield.

If any company requires further information, please contact Dr Neil Lowrie, Business Development Management Manager, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield.

Tel: 0114 2225506

There is no specific deadline so this information is valid for now and following years.

ASI Newsletter – August 2018 Posted: 28th August 2018

In the August edition of the ASI Newsletter:

  • ASI Outreach in China
  • Indigenous peoples and bauxite mining
  • Collaboration Agreement with the Responsible Business Alliance
  • 3 new ASI Members: SIG Combibloc, Kunshan Aluminium Co. Ltd., Quality Foil
  • 6 upcoming free 1-day ASI Training events for auditors and members/interested stakeholders (Berlin, Chicago area, Melbourne, Dubai)

Read the August Newsletter

ASI Newsletter – July 2018

In the July edition of the ASI Newsletter:

  • The ASI Certification journey: Infographic
  • ASI Aluminium is coming to market
  • 3 new ASI Members: Daimler AG, Impol d.o.o., Yantai Donghai Aluminium Foil Co., Ltd.
  • 6 upcoming free 1-day ASI Training events for auditors and members/interested stakeholders (Berlin, Chicago area, Melbourne, Dubai)
  • 2 events where ASI will be present and active
  • 1 webinar in co-operation with IBAT Alliance on the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool

Read the July Newsletter


US Sanctions / RUSAL

OFAC extends RUSAL, EN+ Group and GAZ Group general licence until 23 Oct.

The US has extended the general licence allowing Rusal to be divested from Oleg Deripaska from 5 August to 23 October, in line with the licence on doing business with Rusal.  Details can be found at

House of Lords shows rising influence of aluminium

Richard Harrington MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (BEIS)

On the 12th July, we had our annual lunch at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Paul of Marylebone. It was a fruitful and honest discussion of key issues facing the industry, with lots of opportunity for members to ask questions of the parliamentarians and civil servants. And there was a bit of additional drama as the MPs hurried from the chamber with their fresh copies of the Brexit white paper – it was interesting hearing their immediate impressions.

Here are the key takeaways from the event:

  • The Aluminium Federation is having a major impact on government policy – Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS, as well as the BEIS civil servants and APPG parliamentarians all commented on how helpful ALFED has been as they consider policies affecting trade and industry
  • Government is taking our interests to heart when it comes to trade and Brexit – and they welcome our continued input. ALFED CEO Tom Jones meets officials regularly, so let us know if there are issues you want him to raise
  • The aluminium industry is making key strides when it comes to showcasing innovation – Rob Bennett from Bloodhound SSC made this clear as he discussed the valuable contribution aluminium is making to efforts to break the land speed record
  • We need to think long-term about talent issues – the Bloodhound SSC/ALFED combined project is part of this, and if you’d like to sponsor the schools-based activity (and build your business profile), contact Kathy Romback at

The next big event is the Annual Dinner and Member’s Briefing on Thursday 20th September. One of the highlights of the industry calendar, it’s being held this year at the prestigious Tortworth Court Hotel, a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion in South Gloucestershire.

To book your tickets for the dinner and to take advantage of our pre-reserved hotel rooms, please contact Ann Gough at or on 0121 601 6365.