More than 260 participants came to the University of Aalen once again for the foundry colloquium where suppliers had the chance to show their new products with a total of 22 stands at the trade exhibition. The main highlight was the BMW I3, which contained many innovative light alloy die castings. The rear side panel of body, the platform frame and the rear axle connected to the strong electric motor received first place this year in the International Die Casting Competition, whose jury was also represented by Prof. Kallien of the university. Similarly, the two-piece electric motor was made with a casting method, which is currently a focal point of research at the university foundry laboratory.
The first speaker of BMW, Mr. Martin Schübel, head of the group's foundry in Landshut, discussed the motivation for electric mobility and the development of the BMW I3. Especially with fast-growing mega cities in China, this changes the environment for individual mobility and electric mobility is a sustainable answer to the changing requirements - but not the only one, said Schübel.
With the intelligent lightweight build of the engine area, the structure and the chassis, the system-related excess weight of an electric drive must be compensated, as it’s still the case that the energy content of a liter of gasoline in the form of electricity is 74 times the weight, so the BMW I3 mainly made of aluminum alongside carbon parts.
After the presentations on the first day, colloquium exhibitors were given the opportunity to present their products and developments in a short presentation. To conclude the official program, the traditional Foundry Evening took place where networking is paramount. In addition, students of the college took advantage of the evening to make contacts within the industry.
The winners of the International Aluminium Die Casting Competition 2013/2014 announced at the Euroguss 2014 in Nuremberg, were presented by Jörg H. Schäfer from the German Association of the aluminum industry, and through this competition, the general public should be aware of the possibilities of the high quality of aluminum die casting. The 17 submitted castings from Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland were evaluated by a seven-member jury of research and practice. The first prize was awarded for the rear axle of the new BMW i3 in Landshut.
After the presentations from industry, employees of the foundry laboratories of Aalen University presented their current and new research topics.