Lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing leader Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that R&D Magazine has named Alcoa 951 — an enabler for adhesive bonding of aluminum-intensive vehicles (AIVs) — an R&D 100 Award winner. The 52 nd Annual R&D Awards, known as the "Oscars of Invention", recognize the top 100 technology innovations introduced in the past year across industry, academia and government-sponsored research.
As automakers use aluminum body structures to improve fuel efficiency and performance, new joining and assembly methods are required. The patented Alcoa 951 pretreatment bonding technology is up to nine times more durable than the competition. It enhances bond durability and enables more cost-effective, mass production of AIVs. Alcoa 951 also uses organic, environmentally friendly materials, and the ultra-thin profile of the treatment more readily accepts spot welds and rivets, making it easier to use these processes to add strength during manufacturing.
"The Alcoa 951 pretreatment technology came out of our commitment to making superior products for our customers,” said Dr. Raymond Kilmer, Alcoa’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “We worked closely with the automotive companies to understand what was keeping them from taking that next step into high volume, aluminum intensive structures, and from that effort, our surface and joining experts developed this breakthrough pretreatment.”
Kilmer added, “It’s an honor to be recognized with this R&D 100 award. We are continuing to develop technologies that our customers want for their next generation vehicles, including new alloys, fasteners, and energy systems for electric vehicles.”Today, Alcoa’s plant in Davenport, Iowa, has a state-of-the-art automotive treatment line that applies Alcoa 951 to the aluminum sheet before it is shipped to customers. The technology was co-invented by Alcoa scientists Sherri McCleary and Jim Marinelli, and has been licensed to Chemetall in an exclusive global distribution agreement.