14 Mar Aluminium Chassis Components in Demand

Aluminium casting firm, Sarginsons Industries Ltd., has reported a growing demand for hollow aluminium chassis components for use in electric vehicles.

The Coventry-based manufacturer reports it is increasingly being asked to develop lightweight parts for electric vehicles, from self-driving cars through to buses and recycling trucks, necessitating the need for aluminium to replace the more traditional steel. But replacing a solid steel component with a hollow aluminium one and keeping the same strength and safety of the heavier part is not without its challenges.

Anthony Evans, managing director at Sarginsons, explained: “Light weighting is increasingly important in the automotive sector, particularly in electric vehicles as it contributes vastly to increased battery range and makes electric a highly viable proposition. “Original equipment manufacturers can save hundreds of kilos in weight on an average 4×4 vehicle just by installing hollow aluminium castings instead of the traditional steel. “We’re also currently working on designs for completely hollow aluminium wishbones, combined wishbones and suspension housings and we are even looking at casting an entirely hollow sub-frame. These are very complicated parts which require sophisticated engineering.

“Manufacturing hollow aluminium automotive components which are as strong as steel is extremely challenging so we’re particularly pleased with the breakthroughs we’ve been able to achieve.”

Due to the extensive development and testing already undertaken alongside some of the UK’s research institutions such as the Advanced Metal Casting Centre and the Lightweight Energy Absorbing Aluminium Structures for Transport, such hollow components meet or exceed the safety critical characteristics seen in heavyweight steel components.

“It is clear to us that low pressure casting is very much the future of vehicle chassis manufacture as it allows the mass production of hollow castings which the more common high pressure casting is unable to do,” added Mr Evans.

 

As reported in Engineering Capacity 

Angela Mason
Angela Mason
angelamason@cmfed.co.uk