Breakthrough Alcoa Technology Enabling Mass Production of Aluminum Intensive Vehicles Licensed to Industry Globally

Fri Apr 5, 2013 10:00am EDT

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`Alcoa 951` Pre-Treatment Bonding Technology Licensed to Exclusive Distributor,
PITTSBURGH--(Business Wire)--
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that its breakthrough "Alcoa 951" pre-treatment
bonding technology-an enabler for adhesive bonding of automotive structures-has
been licensed to Chemetall in an exclusive global distribution agreement. The
Alcoa technology is the new pre-treatment bonding standard for aluminum sheet,
extrusion and casting suppliers across the automotive industry. Chemetall is the
leading supplier of surface treatments to the automotive industry, globally. 

The use of aluminum in cars is expected to nearly double by 2025 according to
automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and today is already the
second-most-used material to produce cars. As OEMs work to continue to make cars
more fuel efficient, many are expanding aluminum use from heat exchangers,
wheels, drive shafts, engine blocks, hoods and deck lids to developing aluminum
intensive vehicles (AIVs) by converting the body in white, or body structure, to
aluminum. As OEMs use aluminum body structures to improve fuel efficiency, new
joining and assembly methods are required. "Alcoa 951" is a patented, non-chrome
approach for enhancing bond durability and enabling more cost-effective, mass
production of AIVs. 

In customer trials, "Alcoa 951" has been proven to be up to nine times more
durable than titanium zirconium applications used in the automotive industry in
the past. These results led OEMs to specify "Alcoa 951" and request Alcoa to
license it to other suppliers in the industry, hence the agreement with
Chemetall. "Alcoa 951" technology is being incorporated into the $300 million
automotive expansion underway at Alcoa`s Davenport (Iowa) Works facility,
scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. 

"`Alcoa 951` is a perfect example of Alcoa Technology Advantage at work to
create value for our customers," said Kay Meggers, Alcoa Executive Vice
President and Group President of Alcoa Global Rolled Products. "The use of this
technology is helping to enable greater use of aluminum throughout the industry
and helping make mass-produced aluminum-intensive vehicles possible. This
ultimately saves significant fuel for consumers who say fuel efficiency is a top
factor in their purchase decision." 

"We look forward to partnering with Chemetall to provide `Alcoa 951` to help
enable commercialization of adhesive bonding of aluminum structures in
high-volume automotive applications. This, in turn, will drive lighter vehicle
weights and enable the integration of sheet, extrusions, and castings to
ultimately improve fuel efficiency," said Dr. Raymond Kilmer, Alcoa Executive
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. "The process was developed as a
result of collaboration between the Alcoa Technical Center and our automotive
business. We`re excited to see it commercialized." The Alcoa Technical Center is
the world`s largest light metals research facility and is located outside
Pittsburgh, PA. 

About Alcoa 951 Adhesive Bonding

"Alcoa 951" employs an organic, environmentally-friendly system tailored for
both the aluminum substrate and the structural adhesives used for joining. The
pre-treatment delivers far superior bond durability compared to conversion
coating systems such as the titanium zirconium often used in the past. In fact,
customer trials show its durability is up to nine times stronger than titanium

The surface treatment is applied through an immersion or spray application in
which the organic components bond with oxides present on the metal surface. The
molecular structure chemically binds aluminum oxide with one end, and adhesive
with the other. This creates a strong link at the molecular level resulting in
lasting, durable joints for automotive structures. 

The minimal level of treatment on the surface makes it essentially "transparent"
to downstream steps in the automotive manufacturing process such as forming,
resistance spot welding and painting. 

Other commercially available conversion coatings, which generally contain heavy
metals and are measurably thicker, lead to potential environmental concerns and
diminished performance in other steps in the manufacturing process. The
attractiveness of "Alcoa 951" lies in its repeatability and its simplicity. It
does not incorporate exotic components that threaten the ability to implement
the product on a large scale, and it brings the type of benign environmental
impact that addresses the need for the "cradle-to-cradle" life cycle required
for aluminum. 

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world`s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as
well as the world`s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition
to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind
major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and
construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial
markets over the past 125 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are
flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa
wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building
systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and
nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa`s
operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to
customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 11
consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever
produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately
61,000 people in 30 countries across the world. For more information, visit and follow @Alcoa on Twitter at and follow Alcoa
on Facebook at 

About Chemetall

Chemetall, a division of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ROC), is a leading
global supplier of special chemicals with a focus on processes for the surface
treatment of metals and plastics. Chemetall is headquartered in Frankfurt am
Main, Germany, and comprises about 40 companies worldwide. With 1,900 employees,
the Group achieved sales of about 537 million Euro (2011). More at

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Monica Orbe, 212-836-2632 

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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