Constellium will lead a consortium of automotive manufacturers and suppliers to develop structural aluminium battery enclosures for electric vehicles.
“Taking advantage of Constellium’s high-strength HSA6 extrusion alloys and new manufacturing concepts, we expect these battery enclosures to provide automakers with unparalleled design freedom and modularity to optimize costs as they transition to vehicle electrification,” said Paul Warton, president of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit.
The £15m ‘Alive’ (Aluminium Intensive Vehicle Enclosures) project will be developed in the UK and funded in part by a grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) as a component of its low carbon emissions research programme.
Aluminium battery enclosures of high-strength extrusion alloys
Thanks to agile production cells, the new battery enclosure manufacturing system will be designed to adapt to changing production volumes, providing scalability as volumes increase. As a provider of both aluminium rolled and extruded solutions for the global automotive market, Constellium is able to design and produce battery enclosures that provide the strength, crash resistance and weight savings needed in a structural component. Its HSA6 alloys are 20 % lighter than conventional alloys and are closed-loop recyclable.
Constellium will design and produce the aluminium extrusions for the project at its University Technology Centre (UTC) at Brunel University London. The UTC opened in 2016 as a dedicated centre of excellence for developing and testing aluminium extrusions and prototype components at scale.
A new application centre will be created in the UK for Constellium and its partners to provide full-scale prototypes to automakers, and to refine production methods for advanced manufacturing. The Alive project is scheduled to kick off in July and is expected to deliver its first prototypes at the end of 2021.