Korean Automotive Lightweighting Aluminum Research And Development Accelerated

- Jan 09, 2019-

With the increasingly strict environmental protection regulations such as energy conservation and emission reduction, global auto manufacturers are actively developing environmentally-friendly vehicles to reduce energy consumption, and the light weight of automobiles has become the trend of the times. In order to promote the lightweight of automobiles, the research and development and production of the Korean aluminum alloy industry are also in full swing. The trend of replacing aluminum with aluminum is becoming more and more obvious, and related invention patent applications have become very active.

The weight of aluminum is only one-third of that of steel. At the same strength, the thickness is about 1.5 times larger than steel materials, and the manufacturing cost is about 60%. Even so, in 2015, aluminum alloy is in the total weight of automotive materials. The proportion still accounts for 10%, and it is estimated that by 2020, 13% of the weight of the car will be replaced by aluminum.

According to the statistics of the Korea Patent Office, compared with 2007, the number of patent applications for Korean aluminum alloy development in 2016 increased by about 2.3 times, mainly related to automobile bodies, engines and wheels. The number of patent applications for aluminum alloys for automobiles accounts for about 61% of the total number of patent applications for aluminum alloys.

From 2007 to 2016, from the applicant category, Koreans accounted for 56%, foreigners 44%; Koreans, companies accounted for 73%, universities and research institutions accounted for 27%; among foreigners, Japanese companies 60 %, 21% for European companies, 18% for North American companies, and 1% for Chinese companies.

From the perspective of the types of aluminum alloys, the aluminum alloy for casting manufactured by die casting and sand casting is 43%, and the aluminum alloy for processing by rolling, extrusion, forging and drawing is 57%; In view, the alloy for auto parts is 42%, the alloy for body structure is 32%, the alloy for engine is 23%, and the alloy for wheels is 3%.

In June 2018, the South Korean government released a “13 areas of innovation and development plan”, which will accelerate the development of a class of high value-added materials such as aluminum sheets for automobiles, and invest 688 billion won by 2022. financial support. It is expected that the development of high-strength, high-formability aluminum alloy sheets for Korean body structures will be more active in the future.

Jiang Jiuhuan, head of the metal review team of the Korea Patent Office, said that due to the high manufacturing costs, aluminum alloys still cannot completely replace steel products. However, in order to comply with the requirements of environmental protection, aluminum alloys are lightweight materials for vehicles. The competition in the future will also become more intense. The development of aluminum alloy materials contributes to the development of related industries and creates more jobs. Therefore, all companies are committed to developing high-strength and lightweight aluminum alloy products. In addition, in order to seize market opportunities and ensure their own patent rights, companies or related R&D institutions also spare no effort in applying for related patents.