Constellium N.V. announced that it has expanded the capability of its University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University London and established an R&D Centre within the campus to transition technology from the laboratory to its production facilities around the world.
Opened in 2016, the UTC first focused on aluminium alloy development, employing dedicated industrial scale casting and extrusion equipment to reduce the time to bring a new alloy to market by at least 50%. Now, Constellium will form, join and test prototype automotive components such as Crash Management Systems, body structure components and battery enclosures for electric and hybrid vehicles from state-of-the-art facilities on the Brunel campus.
“The University Technology Center has been a tremendous benefit for Constellium and its customers to speed up development of new alloys and to trial novel extrusions,” commented Paul Warton, President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit. Speaking at the dedication of the new Advanced Metals Processing Centre (AMPC) at Brunel, Warton added, “Now, we are expanding our presence at Brunel to be able to apply that knowledge by rapid prototyping aluminium structural components for automakers and transferring new manufacturing methods to Constellium’s plants for series production with dedicated R&D resources.”
Capabilities in the new AMPC include freeform 3D bending, electromagnetic pulse forming, sawing, and joining techniques such as welding, flow drill screw and self-piercing rivets. Constellium will also be able to test and analyse prototype components to confirm they meet automakers’ exacting specifications.
In partnership with Brunel University London, Constellium continues to shape the next generation of engineers and scientists through a fellowship program for PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. A team of 25 researchers, engineers and technicians are advancing the material science and new manufacturing techniques necessary for future lightweight and electric vehicles.
By dedicating local R&D resources, Constellium will be able to implement advanced technology and production methods developed at the UTC on global programs for automakers at its extrusion and automotive structures plants.