Alcoa Uses Proprietary Vacuum Die Process and New, Exclusive Alloys for Inner Door and Rear-Seat Structures
NEW YORK - Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that it is supplying two complex components for Nissan's GT-R, the company's new flagship for high-performance driving around the world.
The just-introduced GT-R features aluminum inner-door and rear-seat structures made from Alcoa's proprietary vacuum die casting process (AVDC) at the company's plant in Soest, Germany. Both components also feature new, proprietary alloys developed by Alcoa.
"These two components exemplify Alcoa's capacity to tailor alloys and manufacturing processes to meet customers' performance requirements," according to Misha Riveros-Jacobson, President of Auto and Truck Structures, Alcoa's business unit that manufactures the GT-R components.
"The GT-R door was particularly challenging," said Matthias Siedersleben, program manager. "Its size, approximately 1300 by 700 mm, in combination with wall gauges of only 2-3 mm, required significant casting capability.
"Nissan's performance requirements, in particular strength and deformation characteristics, also mandated a highly-engineered alloy. Alcoa's new C-446, in combination with the unique advantages of the AVDC process, enabled us to meet their needs.
"We were also able to do this while reducing the weight of the completed door assembly by 35% over conventional designs and materials. The key element in this mass reduction is the cast component, which weighs only 5.5 kg," Dr. Siedersleben observed.
The sports sedan's rear seat structure also presented its own safety performance challenges, in this case strength and stiffness. Here again, Alcoa's engineers combined specific AVDC process advantages with another new, proprietary alloy, C-611, to meet Nissan's specifications. The rear seat structure also provides a weight savings of approximately 25% compared to a conventional steel design.
"The Nissan GT-R inner door structure is the largest vacuum die casting in the auto industry," Ms. Riveros-Jacobson noted. "In addition to its size, gauge, weight, strength and deformation demands, the inner door also has some very daunting appearance requirements.
"Unlike many internal structures, much of this one will be visible to GT-R drivers ... including an Alcoa logo that demonstrates our role and pride in helping Nissan bring their 'Super Car' to the world's roadways," she concluded.
Alcoa's AVDC process provides the company's structural engineers with the ability to "build in" critical reinforcing ribs where enhanced strength is required and to "design in" very specific details to help consolidate parts and streamline assembly.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, structures and building systems. The company has 116,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com