The development of the automotive and aluminium: together for innovation
AIM, the Italian Metallurgy Association, dedicated a Study Day to the historic role of aluminum in automotive innovation.
On 20 May 2022, the Study Day entitled "Aluminium in the automobile: history meets the future" was held at the Engineering Department of the University of Ferrara, organized by the Italian Metallurgy Association (AIM) - Center of Studio Metalli Leggeri, with the patronage of ASI - Automotoclub Storico Italiano, of AISA (Italian Association for the History of the Automobile), the support of MAUTO (National Automobile Museum of Turin) and the Club Officina Ferrarese del Motorismo Storico, federated ASI.
The Study Day, promoted by the Metallurgy research group of the Engineering Department, was dedicated to the analysis of the innovations that have characterized the automotive world since its inception and was intended to represent an in-depth study of materials, in metal parts, used in the automotive sector and the innovations produced by the introduction and use of ever lighter and more performing materials, such as aluminum alloys.
Aluminum alloys have played a fundamental role in automobile innovation, both in the bodywork and in the mechanical parts, especially for the purpose of lightening and improving vehicle performance. At the same time there has been a profound evolution of alloys, both from foundries and from plastic processing, which has made it possible on the one hand to improve the integration between the different technologies and on the other to significantly increase the use of light alloys in the means of transportation.
After the intervention of Eng. Lorenzo Boscarelli, president of AISA, on "The first applications of aluminum in the automtive and the innovations in its history", during the day there were interesting interventions on cars of historical interest, such as that of Eng. Lorenzo Morello, vice president of the ASI Culture Commission on "Evolution of design and materials in the main Italian automotive powertrains" and "The restoration of metals: from works of art to mechanics", held by Dr. Chiara Armigliato, restorer at the MAUTO of Turin.
Aluminum and electric vehicles: the development of the automotive industry
There was no lack of insights related to the use of aluminum in modern high-performance cars, illustrated by professors Franco Bonollo and Giulio Timelli of the University of Padua-Vicenza, the evolution of the production of light alloy rims (G. Muffatto) and on the importance of research in the materials sector linked to the upcoming world of the electric car, by Eng. Jacopo Tatti of CRF-Stellantis.
After the intervention on "The electrical connections in aluminum in the automobile", the effects of the transition from the heat engine to the electric vehicle were highlighted, which will determine an epochal change, with a profound revision of the applications of light alloys in automobiles and therefore a further path of innovation.
In this scenario, in addition to the lightening factor, the use of aluminum alloys will ensure reduction of assembly costs, excellent conductivity and heat dissipation, complete recycling, resistance to corrosion and lower maintenance costs.
At the conclusion of the conference, the round table "Research on light alloys in the automotive sector: company-university collaborations" was held, which was attended by representatives of the industrial world and professors from the Engineering Department of the University of Ferrara and of the Department of Technique and Management of Industrial Systems (DTG) of the University of Padua, Vicenza branch.
The Study Day also wanted to be a memory of Eng. Giorgio Valentini, designer of racing cars since 1948, independent, eclectic and innovative. Giorgio Valentini was also vice president of the AIM Study Center - Light Metals and founding member of AISA, a cultural association that since 1988 has promoted studies and research on the history and culture of the automobile and motorcycle, with particular attention to the safeguarding of documents of historical interest.
Source: A&L Aluminum Alloys Pressure Diecasting Foundry Tecniques