ALTec industrial R&D group
With Canadian smelters producing more than 50% of the aluminium used in the North American market, Canada has taken a leadership role in expanding the use and acceptance of aluminium in manufactured products. The National Research Council of Canada is spearheading national research efforts for the development of innovative aluminium products for ground transportation vehicles.
ALTec industrial R&D group is a multi-client collaboration project which allows its members to share costs and risks, associated with aluminium R&D, and gain access to NRC's experts and exceptional facilities, all under one roof. ALTec's activities are focused on three areas of R&D: manufacturing of advanced aluminium components; assembly of aluminium and multi-material components; and durability and performance evaluation and solutions.
What is ALTec?
ALTec is an industrial R&D Group that brings the latest advancement related to aluminium manufacturing and assembly to its member companies. ALTec acts as an innovation catalyst by creating a research community involving participants from the entire value chain, from raw material manufacturers to major prime contractors whose main interest lies in lightweighting vehicles and land transportation through the use of aluminium.
The goal of ALTec is to solve common industry challenges through pre-competitive research projects. The results of these projects will improve member companies' capabilities in manufacturing, assembling and evaluating the durability of advanced aluminium or multi-material components with tailored properties.
Current ALTec projects
Project 1: Alloy and process development for the high-productivity production of aluminium hot-stamped lightweight structural components
- Determine proper 6xxx and 7xxx aluminium alloys; develop hot stamping procedures to form aluminium structural components and validate the process as a whole with the fabrication of prototype parts.
Project 2: High-integrity aluminium die casting technology for structural automotive applications
- Intelligent tooling for HPDC
- Study coatings effect on wettability, non-stickiness, soldering and corrosion-resistant properties will be evaluated
- Gas/plasma nitriding, PVD or CVD nanomaterials and HVOF
- Understand die interaction with new low-iron aluminum melts
- Embedded sensors and active thermal control
- Modeling and simulation improvement
- Review of the current state of the art of HPDC simulation
- Experimental data gathering with sensitivity analysis
- Develop/Improve heat transfer modeling
- Microstructure prediction
- Experimental validation
- Development of cores for hollow die castings
- Evaluate new techniques for the manufacturing of hollow parts
- Powder metallurgy and/or additive manufacturing will be used to create porous cores (e.g. foam)
- Prototypes and experimental trials
Project 3: New HPDC aluminium alloys for structural applications
- Develop HPDC alloy formulations that will improve yield strength and elongation.
Project 4: Design and production of large hollow extrusions with thin walls
- Maximize the effectiveness of the structural parts, while minimizing the overdesign and using the right safety factors
Project 5: Vacuum-assisted high pressure die casting of hollow aluminum structural nodes
- Significant weight reduction of structural nodes while maintaining their strength, weldability, ductility, elongation and assembly capacities
Project 6: Friction stir welding (FSW) process development and multi-material welded assembly for structural applications
- Multi-material assembly for automotive and ground transportation markets
- Assembly of high structural integrity for the automotive and ground transportation market.
Project 7: Assembling strategies for joining Al/Mg dissimilar joints using structural adhesives
- Identify suitable conversion coatings available in the market dedicated to Mg alloys
- Identify aluminum conversion coatings applicable to Mg alloys
- Identify and evaluate the right adhesive systems to bond pretreated Al and Mg that are durable in harsh environments
Project 8: Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) fatigue improvement of welded Al T-joints using a laser re-melting technique
- Evaluation of GMAW welded Al T-joints fatigue resistance across the AWS D1.2 allowable in terms of optimized conditions, high undercut & high reinforcement levels
- Evaluation of GMAW Al T-joints fatigue resistance after post-weld laser toe re-melting for the worst fatigue GMAW condition
Project 9: High-productivity friction-stir welding (FSW) of Al lap joint
- Increase the travel speed during FSW in aluminium lap joint by working on tool design or using an external heat source
Project 10: Resistance spot welding (RSW) of dissimilar materials using cold spray interlayers
- Determination of a cold spray assisted RSW joining process for multi-material assembly suitable for production implementation
Project 11: Mitigation of galvanic corrosion of aluminum in dissimilar material assemblies
- Favor a local application of protective means to a local area rather than to the entire surface to avoid the use of expensive coatings applied to the entire surface
Project 12: Development of a design support tool and accelerated structural integrity qualification procedure for corrosion resistance assessment of multi-materials assemblies incorporating high strength aluminium alloys
- Development of standardized design guidelines
- Structural integrity qualification procedures that can be used by OEMs while being enforced by governmental regulation departments
Project 13: Accelerated evaluation of filiform corrosion susceptibility of coated aluminium panels
- Establish an accelerated test procedure to determine the susceptibility to filiform corrosion of an alloy/conversion coating couple
- Support the optimization of application parameters and product development at an early stage
Project 14: Stress-corrosion cracking of dissimilar high-strength aluminium alloys assembled by welding
- Establish the in-service stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) performance of dissimilar aluminum alloys assembled by welding
- Identify laboratory exposure conditions which lead to the same corrosion features as in-service exposure
Project 15: Weldability assessment of Al alloy AA7075 and the esthetic optimization of lap joints
- Safe utilization of AA7075 in welded assemblies and possible use of laser welding in non-structural and high-estheticism components
- Rio Tinto
- Prima Québec
- Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation du Québec
- Aluminium Association of Canada
- TRANS-AL Network
- Aluminium Valley Society
- Natural Resources Canada
- Clean TeQ
- Cosma International (a group of Magna International)
- Dajcor Aluminum Ltd
- Deere and Company
- Ford Motor Company
- Manac Inc
- PEXAL Tecalum CANADA
- PPG Industries
- Raufoss Neuman
- Rio Tinto
Why join ALTec?
- Gain access to unique technologies and confidential R&D results
- Be part of cutting-edge R&D projects at an affordable cost
- Make use of skills and expertise that align with your priorities
- Control, minimize and share the risks associated with new technology development
- Obtain comprehensive, reliable results you can adapt to your needs
- Expand your technical capabilities and become more competitive with improved quality, cost and turnaround times
How does ALTec work?
R&D activities are carried out according to priorities of ALTec members. The results are delivered to members on a continuous basis through face-to-face technology transfer group meetings, WebEx sessions and individual member support.
Membership in ALTec Industrial R&D Group is currently open. For more information on how to become a member, please contact:
Online request form
Submit an online request for information about our programs and services.
"NRC helped us validate and understand corrosion's effects on the assembly of dissimilar metals. Concrete results supported by clear explanations have enabled us to develop new, lighter and less costly designs while minimizing the risks identified at the start of the project." – David Croteau, Eng., Mechanical Product Expert, Prévost
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