INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH, INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES & ROBOTICS
European researchers revolutionise anodized aluminum tools
The EU-funded project Alamo has made remarkable achievements
in the field of anodised aluminium used in industrial tooling
by improving the technical specifications
of treated aluminium.
Aluminium has many inherent qualities, such as its light weight, recyclability and energy efficiency. Yet, major drawbacks such as durability prevent large scale industrial usage.
|Aluminium tools used in moulding processes have many advantages over popular steel tools.|
© Glenn McKechnie
The European team of researchers has set out to address those issues not solved through traditional anodising processes. Anodising refers to the treatment of the surface of a metal to improve its resistance against corrosion and can also be used for dyeing purposes.
The issue of corrosion is particularly important for industrial
aluminium mould tools used for thermoplastic processing. The
project built upon developments in anodising produced by two
small businesses from the UK. They had developed a system that
improved the structural properties of aluminum that outperformed
steel in terms of heat resistance up to 500°C. The EU supported
project aimed specifically to apply these developments to the
techniques of injection moulding, blow moulding and rotational
Through the efforts of researchers from the UK, Spain, France,
Germany and Ireland with expertise in the areas of anodizing,
materials testing, mold manufacture, molding and 3D molding,
simulation managed to achieve a 20 percent reduction of the
time between uses of an aluminium tool due to rapid heating
and cooling, reports the industry website compositesworld.com.
The project was developed with the idea of creating a material
allowing for sustained manufacturing that can remain competitive
when faced with competition from the Far East and the US. The
project comes with a €1.4 million price tag, according
to compositesworld.com, with €723 000 coming from the
Project Alamo homepage
description on CORDIS