Brunel University will supplement this grant with a further £2.5M (Euro 2.9M) for a dedicated building and support resource at their site in London.
The goal of the “Advanced Light Metals Processing Research Centre” will be to bridge the gap between fundamental research and industrial applications. Constellium will be co-director of the Centre and will therefore have full access for research and development projects.
The Centre aims to provide high-performance light alloys, resource-efficient casting technologies, extrusion processing technologies and component innovations to meet the mid- and long-term needs of the automotive industry. Of key strategic importance to Constellium will be a fully integrated DC casting and extrusion laboratory, which is planned to include a full-size 1600 ton extrusion press complete with support facilities and full automation.
“We expect the market for extrusions in automotive structures, power train and chassis applications to grow rapidly over the next five years and this represents a major business opportunity for Constellium. We believe the new Centre will enable us to exploit this growth by mastering the cutting-edge of automotive light metals research. Furthermore, because we are part of the Centre consortium, new developments will generally be carried out in close association with our strategic customer and supplier base to support the continued growth and evolution of our business,” commented Paul Warton, President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit.
Dr Roger Darlington, Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Our work with the new Centre will give us a strategically significant opportunity to expand our capabilities across a number of different manufacturing disciplines, gaining both environmental and economic benefits through the development of new, highly efficient alloy processing and recycling techniques.”