CHICAGO Alcoa Inc. has
licensed and commercialized a "breakthrough" bonding technology
to automotive surface treatment firm Chemetall GmbH in a move
the company says will allow aluminum to be used more widely on
The Pittsburgh-based aluminum
producer said "Alcoa 951" is the new standard for pre-treatment
bonding for aluminum sheet, extrusion and casting suppliers
serving the automotive sector.
With aluminum use in vehicles
expected to double by 2025, new methods of joining aluminum to
other materials are needed to prevent corrosion.
Non-chrome Alcoa 951 is more environmentally friendly than
other alternatives and more durable than traditional
titanium-zirconium applications, the company claimed.
"The use of this technology is
helping to enable greater use of aluminum throughout the
industry and helping make mass-produced aluminum-intensive
vehicles possible," Kay Meggers, Alcoa executive vice president
and group president of Alcoa global rolled products, said in a
statement April 5.
Automotive firms asked Alcoa to
license the technology, which is being incorporated into the
expansion of Alcoas Davenport (Iowa) Works, which is
expected to be completed by the end of 2013, the company
Under the terms of the license,
Frankfurt am Main, Germany-based Chemetall will make Alcoa 951
available to other aluminum companies, an Alcoa spokesman said.
Alcoa will receive royalties from the license, but perhaps the
primary benefit is that automotive suppliers will be able to
use one bonding standard from a range of aluminum providers, he
"This is going to grow aluminum
across the board," the spokesman said. "Its not just a
matter of more aluminum on a vehicle, its more aluminum
on high-volume vehicles."
The spokesman declined to
disclose the terms of the license agreement, which other
aluminum firms might have adopted the technology or which
automotive producers were using it, and said it was too early
to say what vehicle models might employ it.
Aluminum producers expect to see
their market share increase compared with traditional steels,
given the push by automakers to increase fuel economy by
reducing vehicle weight.