- The industry of aluminium expects a strong growth in the current and next year
- More than 2/3 of all participants came from abroad
- Over 80 percent of the companies have the intention of coming back to the next edition
A great success: this has been the most usual verbal and written comment from most of participants: all the people of aluminium world met in Bologna (Italy) from 17 to 21 May 2011 for the 7th World Aluminium Two Thousand Congress. 340 Participants from 43 Countries discussed all aspects of aluminium technology and market.
The event has been organized by Interall Publications, the Italian Publishing Company, and sponsored by Italtecno, world leader in aluminium surface tratment technologies, AluMag Automotive Marketing GmbH, the market developer, Kauffmann & Sons the Italian company specialized in Financial Market Consultancy of the non-ferrous metals quoted on the London Metal Exchange.
Among the supporters who contributed to the success of the Event, Diem-Tech, the engineering dept. of University of Bologna, organized an excellent extrusion workshop as side event.
American and German delegates have been the most numerous participants together with the Italian people. However, the presence of experts coming from Russia, China, and from Europe in particular Spain and Norway, is a proof of the importance attached to chances offered by this unique event.
Real aluminium specialists are rare and far away from each other all over the world: that's why they are so ready to grasp the occasion of meeting each other under one roof in a Conference where all aspects of aluminium technology are discussed. The international panorama of the aluminium market during the plenary session on the first day of the conference has attracted much interest.
More sections were represented by markets and strategies, extrusion, surface treatments, rolling, and coil technologies, casting and melting, transport industry, recycling & environmental issues that have been very successful for innovative presentations.
As many as 100 papers were presented by famous technicians, researchers and managers from the most important aluminium companies at world-wide level. All of this resulted in three days of intense work.
Big interest and participation to the Extrusion Workshop organized by the engineering dept. of Bologna University: lectures at the highest level about recent advances in extrusion technology.
The conference sessions took place in three separate conference parallel rooms and during all the duration of the congress there was an exhibit space dedicated to exhibitors and sponsor companies, meeting point for all participants.
During the third day of the congress, a technical seminar for Russian delegates, about the new developments and advanced technologies for the aluminium industry, has had a great success.
Moreover, the persons that had accompanied the conference participants were able to enjoy a very interesting array of social activities that included visits in the nice historical centre of Bologna and in Ravenna, the ancient capital of the Western Roman Empire rich of wonderful Byzantine mosaics.
Verona, city of art and history was the protagonists of the final sightseeing tour.
The fourth day of the congress has been dedicated with particular success to the technical visits to Profilati Spa for extrusion, Anoxidall for Anodizing and Ducati-Maserati-Ferrari museum for transport field. The delegates enjoyed being able to discuss and exchange opinions and questions with the experts on-site.
An exclusive Classical Music Concert performed by a young trio sax and piano 4 hands in the Mozart Hall of the Accademia Filarmonica brought all the participants in a evocative atmosphere.
The marvellous entertainment on the evening of the Gala Dinner at Palazzo Grassi, Medieval century palace, a building with a special charm and attractive decorations, where music, dancing and a friendly atmosphere reigned supreme, closed the 3 conference days: an unforgettable experience for all participants.
Prizesin different categories were awarded during the gala dinner to the Chairmen of the conferences and to the speakers for the best presentations: Lorenzo Donati - University of Bologna, Italy for "Extrusion Benchmark 2007 and 2009: a measurement of the increase of FEM code accuracy for Extrusion process analysis", Jack Tetrault - Duralectra-Chn Llc/Sanford Process, Usa for "Micro-crystalline anodic coatings - A revolutionary platform technology for corrosion protection", the Aluconsult Anne Deacon Juhl, Denmark for "The cost savings when using square wave pulse anodizing" and Jude Mary Runge - Compcote International, Usa, for "Connecting Theory to Practice - the Science of Successfully Anodizing Die Cast Substrates".
But beyond these interesting details about the social events, pleasant to talk about but certainly not the most important part of the Congress, it's worthwhile reviewing the work carried out during the three days, doing so from a technical aspect.
The 7th edition of this specialised congress was opened by Dr. Walter Dalla Barba, president of Interall and chairman of the congress, who pointed the attention to the importance of Aluminium that "is the metal of the future and that aluminium applications in all sectors will always increase"
"The Aluminium Congress in 2011 is held after the world crisis of 2008/2009" he said "and a transition year (2010) toward a new growth of the economy and a new increased demand of aluminium in all countries according to an actual forecast after a encouraging quarter of 2011".
"The markets require maximum flexibility of the companies and the capability to adapt to the mutations of customers' tastes".
Although technological innovation has been the basic reason for the Conference to attract so many people from so many distant places, an interesting amount of time has been dedicated to market and economy discussions, also. It would be impossible to summarize all those communications, so here we can focus the attention on some of the high points only: all the papers were extremely interesting and particularly topical.
The field of the aluminium markets was opened by the speeches of B. Ruttimann that spoke "How globalisation is changing competition in the aluminium industry: and how "A new winning industry logic is emerging": a deep analysis on globalizing aluminium industry.
M. Conserva about the aluminium industrial system after the crisis, A. Kharitonovich with an analysis of Russian market and J. Zhou about the rapid development of China's aluminium industry due to the strong trend of urbanization, concluded the plenary session dedicated to markets and strategies.
Among the technological sessions, the most popular subject was extrusion, followed by finishing and transport industry, with a special session dedicated to recycling and environmental issues.
M. Raszewski opened the Extrusion session speaking about the next generation of continuous homogenizing plants. L. Donati reported the benchmarks between the experimental trials and the FEM simulation with a perspective on the future of the FEM code application.
As regards Anodizing J. M. Runge, with her deep knowledge regarding the process, spoke about the influence of the surface treatment on the anodic coating formation.
The presentation of F. Vincenzi was very innovative and it brought examples of practical applications. It highlighted the great saving of NaOH and reduction of sludges in etching with the Beauty etch process. Best finishing with high speed and cost reduction.
A. Deacon Juhl brought remarkable contributions to energy saving in anodising with a study of the reduction using a square wave pulse current.
An electrochemical system that allows to obtain a decorative graphical effect on the aluminium surface was presented by G. Orlando. This innovative system masks some regions of the aluminium surface limiting the oxide growth only in selected area: the result is a graphical effects controlled by the shape of the applied screen.
Future technologies and trends regarding brightening were explained by A. Aztarain and deeply investigated in order to avoid law or environmental problems.
Anodizing of different alloys were investigated by M. Lerner with the hard anodizing of cast alloys and S. Hussain with a comparison of the properties of 6xxx series anodized at different conditions.
In the environmental field of the discussion M. Longo explained how the use of reverse osmosis in aluminium anodizing and painting lines is nowadays an ecological and economical technology for the deionized water production.
A fiber-metal laminate based on Al-Li alloy was presented by V. Shestov as the new material for aviation due to the lightness and the high mechanical properties.
The recent improvements in aluminium extrusion production were reviewed by J. Benedyk, while S. Basu explained which extrusion defects are not acceptable, the classification of these defects, the causes and the corrective actions.
M. Bertoletti explained the N5nitrogen software, able to manage the parameters for the use of liquid nitrogen in order to increase the speed and efficiency of the extrusion process.
D. Tomasevic presented the study and characterization of a very effective and inexpensive insulator for Die-casting: air.
What is true and what is a myth in the energy saving of the furnace for melting were enlightened by D. White, with the presentation of the effective cost.
In the session of Die technologies M. Masiero emphasized an innovative system for the die cleaning process, more ecological and safer for operators and also automatic: a valid alternative to the conventional pickling systems.
In the organic coating session, opened by O. Hope with the superperformance coatings using nanocomposite painting systems, most of the presentations regarded the new chrome-free treatment. An evaluation of the different technologies with the advantages and disadvantages of each one was treated by F. Vincenzi, who tried to clarify the actual situation of the Chrome(VI), Chrome (III) and Chrome-free products.
Obviously a session regarding Quality, more and more important in aluminium industry, was performed by J. Schoppig who spoke about Qualicoat and Qualanod and how to improve the quality level of the end products.
The presentation on Dryplus performed by M. Rossi in the recycling & Environmental issue session was particularly interesting. With this process it is possible to reduce the volume of aluminium sludges after filter press from anodizing plants by the obtaining of a "dry part" that is 50% higher than the one obtained with the traditional processes.
As regards Transport and Automotive industry O. Jensrud illustrated the Castforge, an impressive new technology able to cast a pre-shape and direct forging in an integrated heat treatment process chain.
R. Boeker reported the analysis performed by Alumag regarding the possible aluminium applications in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
The architectural and decorative indoor products section was opend by A. Canevarolo, who illustrated the new superdurable polyurethane powders for improved performance of the wood effect.
More general metallurgical sessions covered casting, rolling and smelting, followed by measuring and testing techniques, quality and marks and new technology for special applications.
The next conference is planned for 2015 again in Italy. Copies of the proceedings are available from Interall contacting Ms.Cecilia De Petri at aluminium2000(at)interall.it
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