A new aging process has been developed at CSIRO that offers the potential to improve the mechanical properties of all aluminum alloys that respond to age hardening and reduce heat-treatment costs.
Aluminum alloys are finding wider application in the transport industry as manufacturers seek to reduce vehicle weight, minimize fuel consumption and reduce exhaust emissions. A 10% reduction in motor vehicle weight is understood to deliver a 5.5% decrease in fuel consumption. Each 1kg (2.2 lb) of weight saved is estimated to lower CO2 emissions by 20 kg (44 lb) for a vehicle covering 170,000 km (105,000 mi). Considerable global research and development activity is focused on improving the properties of aluminum alloys and reducing processing costs to further facilitate adoption of aluminum into vehicles.