Sapa’s Crash Alloy Formulas can be found in the body structure of a number of cars, including the Mercedes-Benz SLS.
Design meets material expertise
It is often said in the design world that form follows function. This includes material choice.
The form follows function truism can also be applied to automotive design and to aluminium extrusions used in the front end of a car.
“Actually,” explains Dirk Schneider, global accounts director for automotive applications for Sapa Profiles, “as metallurgists know, when we say ‘aluminium’, we really mean aluminium alloys.”
“Aluminium alloys in proportion to their weight have an extraordinary ability to absorb impact energy smoothly and predictably,” says Mat Vestjens, extrusion technology manager for Sapa Profiles Hungary. Depending on their formulation, aluminium alloys do not necessarily break upon impact at high speeds. They can be designed to fold and thereby absorb much impact energy that would otherwise harm vehicle passengers. This makes them a highly desirable construction material when it comes to automotive design and driver and passenger safety.
“Sapa has a long history of developing crushable profiles,” says Wout Polderman, technology manager for Sapa Profiles Netherlands. ”Sapa, as Alcoa Extrusions, produced its first customised auto body extrusions in the 1990s for Audi and Ferrari. Over the years, our knowledge in impact energy management has continued to grow.” Sapa now offers this expertise and range of customised extrusions for automotive applications with three classifications – Crash Alloy Formulas 200, 240 and 280.
These extrusions can be found in the Aston Martin Rapide, the Audi A8, R8, and tt, and several other car makes and models. Crash Alloy Formulas 200, 240 and 280 are Sapa’s total solution approach to vehicle design for ideal crash behaviour. It is where functional design meets material expertise.
Car manufacturers often outsource production of automotive components, systems, modules and, in some cases, entire vehicles to global automotive suppliers such as Magna International.
• Magna is the world’s largest automotive supplier: 263 manufacturing facilities and 84 product development, engineering and sales centres in 26 countries on five continents.
• Supplies content to virtually every automotive manufacturer for every major brand around the globe.
• Uses Sapa’s Crash Alloy Formulas 200, 240, 280 in body structure of Mercedes-Benz SLS. Other car manufacturers use the Crash Alloy Formulas 200, 240, 280 for Aston Martin Rapide, Audi A8, R8, TT and in other vehicle makes and models.