The competition has again been organised jointly by the Association of the Aluminium Recycling Industry (Verband der Aluminiumrecycling-Industrie, VAR) and the Organisation of European Aluminium Refiners and Remelters (OEA), supported by the Association of German Pressure Die Casters (Verband Deutscher Druckgießereien) and the Die Casting Technical Committee of the Federal Association of the German Foundry Industry (Bundesverband der Deutschen Gießerei-Industrie, BDG). The aim of this highly regarded competition is to demonstrate the high quality standards aluminium die castings have to offer and publicise die-casting-friendly design. The extent to which recycled aluminium is used in the casting is also an important aspect of the competition.
Thirteen castings were entered; seven originated from Germany with two each from Italy and Austria, and one each from Switzerland and the Netherlands. In this year's competition, attention focussed on process customisation and not on trend-setting innovation as in previous years. This change has signalled a break with traditional entries: new ideas for the future in fields of tooling technology and tooling design are apparent. Experience in series production will lead to new design concepts being developed for the future. One should point out the very great potential of aluminium die casting in lightweight construction that enables the growing demands for sustainable development to be satisfied. The castings submitted were produced mainly from recycled aluminium.
The assessment and choice of the prize-winning castings was carried out by a jury of experts from research and industry. Three prizes were awarded and a further three entries were highly commended.
There are two first prizes because both castings exhibit innovative component design using the same technology. One of the components is an extremely thin-walled, intricate and lightweight design whereas the other is extremely thick-walled but thus correspondingly strong. The heavy gauge shows that it is actually possible to produce this structural element reliably by means of die casting, a process that is supposedly not suitable for such parts. The diversity in the possible use of the process to produce innovative die castings can be seen from the differences between the two winning components.