Constellium launches R&D initiative called Project ISA3

The project aims to develop a lightweight, recyclable and cost-efficient aluminum solution for the automotive market.

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January 16, 2021

Constellium SE, a Paris-based supplier of rolled and extruded aluminum solutions for the global automotive market, has announced that it is leading a new research and development initiative in France called Project ISA3. In partnership with Groupe Renault, ESI Group, Institut de Soudure and the University of Lorraine, which are all based in France, this 7 million euros project will develop lightweight, recyclable and cost-efficient aluminum solutions for the automotive market.

Project ISA3 aims to further lightweight vehicles by accelerating automakers’ transition from steel to aluminum. According to a news release from Constellium, the project will focus on alloys and solutions that enable closed-loop recycling.

“We are very excited about Project ISA3 and the opportunity to further demonstrate Constellium’s commitment to providing sustainable solutions to its automotive customers," says Jack Clark, senior vice president of manufacturing excellence and chief technical officer at Constellium. "We believe this project will advance aluminum’s position in the automotive market as manufacturers seek to reduce carbon emissions and expand their electric vehicle offerings. This partnership with a strategic customer allows us to explore solutions that can apply to a wide range of vehicles and deliver both environmental and economic benefits.Further, working with our partners on end-of-life recycling is an exciting opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of the entire automotive aluminum supply chain.”

Project ISA3 will focus on the design and development of aluminum automotive doors that would be 15 percent lighter than current average aluminum solutions, more efficient to produce and recyclable at all stages of their life cycle. Constellium reports that the project is scheduled to run through 2023 and is partially funded by Bpifrance.

“We need to reduce the cost per kilogram saved on automotive parts, especially aluminum parts,” adds Patrice Belliard, expert of flat products at Groupe Renault. “The ISA3 project aims to reduce the price per kilogram by half on aluminum doors. This is essential to continue to lightweight vehicles by using aluminum in the future.”

Pierre Culière, precertification and validation outcome director at ESI Group, says, “To enable faster and more accurate development, the ISA3 project will rely on ESI Group’s solutions and team of experts. Thanks to our ‘Pre-certification & Validation’ and ‘Smart Manufacturing’ solutions, we will help to develop and validate the design and manufacturing of the aluminum doors without the need for physical prototypes.”