Novelis teams up with Chinese university on aluminum innovation


The Atlanta-based aluminum firm Novelis announced it is partnering with China’s leading universities to conduct research into the innovative use of aluminum.

The partnership between Novelis’ Shanghai Customer Solution Center (CSC) and the Tsinghua University Suzhou Automotive Research Institute (TSARI), confirmed by way of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will drive research and development of aluminum products to promote a “low carbon, sustainable future.”

Novelis is a subsidiary of India’s Hindalco Industries Ltd. The company accounts for almost half of Hindalco’s consolidated revenue.

Furthermore, with operations in 10 countries, Novelis is one of the largest aluminum recyclers in the world. It reported U.S. $11.2 billion in net sales for the most recent fiscal year.

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Novelis in China

aluminum sheet

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However, Novelis already has a significant presence in China.

Back in May, for example, the aluminum major announced that it would supply Nissan with a sustainable, lightweight aluminum body sheet for the all-new Qashqai SUV and create a closed-loop recycling system in Europe.

The Nissan Qashqai is an SUV in the C-segment. The vehicle will incorporate Novelis aluminum in the hood and doors to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.

Through Novelis’ global Customer Solution Center network, engineers have aimed to prove to automakers that lightweighting with aluminum doors and hoods is a cost-effective way to reduce weight.

Meanwhile, by using aluminum, the Qashqai had achieved 21 kg of the total 60kg of body-in-white weight savings compared to the previous model, Novelis said.

In addition, Novelis said the use of aluminum demonstrates “the growing trend by many major automakers to increase aluminum adoption in smaller vehicle segments and high volume production models.”

The MoU with TSARI aims to augment the auto industry’s current levels of acceptance of aluminum in vehicular production. As per the MoU terms, the two organizations will partner on body-in-white applications for the automotive products (both electric and conventional).

This agreement is also seen as one more step in China’s stated goal of reducing carbon emissions by 2030 to meets its 2060 goals.

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