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10. November 2008

India - Aluminum Companies Eye Auto Industry for Major Push

Delhi - With India set to emerge as one of the top five automotive markets in the world, the focus has shifted to clean and new technologies to offer the best for both customers and the industry. As a step in this direction, Aluminium Association of India (AAI) and International Aluminum Institute (IAI) along with European Aluminium Association (EAA) and The Aluminium Association, USA have taken up the mission of promoting the latest technologies possessing the potential to herald a new revolution in the automotive industry.

Light-weighting is considered as one of the solutions to improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicles. In the process, the CO2 emissions are also reduced. For instance, every 100 kg saved on the mass of a car is equivalent to a reduction of 9 grams of CO2 per kilometer through emissions.

Towards this the associations together holding a first of its kind conference at Pune on November 11 to attract the attention of the Indian automotive industry. Based on the theme—sustainable aluminium and transport light-weighting—the conference, to be held at India’s premier automotive hub, is expected to witness the participation of Indian and multinational companies.

The conference will addresses some of the growing concerns of a fast developing nation like India. It is a well known fact that the transportation sector is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. In India, where transportation is still not considered cheap, nearly 10 million vehicles are added on to the badly laid roads, increasing the vehicular density. A clean technology, like improving the fuel efficiency, will drastically help reduce the emission levels.

According to Aluminium Association of India’s general secretary KSS Murthy, the Indian automobile industry is yet to mature when compared to its counterparts in the developed nations in terms of design. “The designs of vehicles manufactured in India are not comparable to those in western countries. The usage of aluminium is restricted in the automobiles in India. There are plenty of advantages in using aluminium in automotive industry,” he added.

Every component in a vehicle has the potential for different light-weighting gains. For example, substituting a cast iron engine block with an aluminium component of equal performance can reduce its mass by more than 50%, while replacing a high strength steel bumper with an aluminium bumper can reduce the mass by 45%. In addition to the direct weight reduction by material substitution, aluminium-specific fabrication techniques, such as complex, multi-hollow extrusions or thin-walled, high-strength, vacuum die castings, enable new design solutions with further potential for light-weighting.

This forthcoming conference will showcase the important role that aluminium light-weighting can play globally and particularly in India in enabling the transportation industry, vehicle and component manufacturers to meet their sustainability objectives of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, while still meeting their customers’ demands for high quality, safe and reliable products.

The global aluminium industry itself recognises the need for a drastic reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions to counter ongoing climate changes.

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