Aluminium alloys with properties equal or superior to other materials such as steel, have been the focus of intense research since their introduction at the beginning of the previous century, and because they yield high specific strengths (strength versus density) and rigidity, they have become indispensable in many applications. The high demand for the Al alloys and growing pressure on decreasing their weight, costs and environmental footprint, all mainly governed by the electrification of vehicles, creates an enormous market potential and urges the need for innovations in this field.
The CastQC project focuses on the cost-effective upscaled production HPDC technology and Al-matrix strengthening mechanism with the non-equilibrium quasicrystalline (QC) phase. The demonstration in a relevant environment shows that the QC alloy has 30% higher mechanical properties than the commercial EN AC-46000 (DIN 226) alloy. To achieve the same functionality, the QC alloy requires 30% less Al (and generates 20% less CO2 emissions. Due to the lower weight of the products, the environmental impacts will be reduced throughout the whole value chain. The QC alloy will bridge the gap in market demand for lightweight materials and contribute to the increased competitiveness of the EU automotive industry. The main goal of the CastQC project is to reach TRL 8 and enter the market with the novel QC alloy to (partially) substitute commercial Al-alloys, steels or even some Ti and Mg alloys.