Jonathan Watkins

CEO of Impression Technologies

Hot Form Quench – Enhancing The Recycled Content for High Strength Aluminium Sheet Structures

There is a growing emphasis on the circular economy and the embedded carbon in the materials for manufactured products, particularly in automotive. Aluminium presents a major opportunity to reduce the carbon content of vehicle production. High strength 6x series alloys are seeing increased use within automotive body structures, particularly for electric vehicles; but their limited cold stamping formability restricts their use or makes designs complicated with multiple joined parts. Some automotive makers, such as Ford and JLR, have already incorporated tight waste stream sorting of sheet scrap within plants to feed back into alloy sheet production but these measures alone will not achieve the goal of fully recycled sheet stock for body structures. The challenge is to enable the addition of additional waste streams into the production of 6x series sheet (which was developed for cold forming) for the automotive and other sectors, taking advantage of the significant formability enhancement enabled by the Hot Form Quench (HFQ®) manufacturing process. Impression Technologies has already done promising HFQ trials on the use of near 100% bottom ash for 6x structural parts and is undertaking a programme this year to develop a full-scale automotive body structure component using 100% recycled 6x series aluminium.

Speaker Biography

Jonathan is CEO of Impression Technologies. He has over 25 years of experience in commercialising technology in the international automotive, industrial and cleantech sectors, having held senior commercial and operational leadership positions in Federal-Mogul, Textron, and most recently, Ceres Power. He is a Chartered Engineer with a bachelor’s degree in Materials Science; Technology from the University of Birmingham and a masters in Design, Manufacturing; Management from the University of Cambridge.