Shape Corp., a Grand Haven, Michigan-based Tier 1 automotive supplier, has entered into an agreement with aluminum producer Hydro to “explore and bring to the United States market automotive components utilizing Hydro Circal.” That branded aluminum contains what Hydro describes as a minimum of 75 percent post-consumer aluminum scrap.
“We are very excited to enter into this close partnership alongside Hydro to bring a product to market that proves to assist in carving our path towards carbon neutrality,” says Mark White, president and CEO of Shape Corp. “As the industry continues to shift towards electrification, it is exciting to see the progress that is being made to materials that keep sustainability in focus for the future of automotive.”
Shape says the collaborative partnership opens the doors for it to introduce Hydro Circal to the global automotive market, “bringing green on green solutions while continuing to provide the strength and weight-saving properties held by Hydro’s aluminum product line.”
Executive Vice President of Hydro Aluminium Metal Eivind Kallevik says, “Aluminum is lightweight, infinitely recyclable, maintaining all unique properties no matter how many times it is recycled. This is why the metal can play a significant role in the lightweighting of electric and hybrid vehicles, as cars need less electricity and fewer or smaller batteries to travel the same distances.”
The agreement may help to match capacity increases being undertaken by both companies. Hydro now has a plant in Commerce, Texas, that makes Circal aluminum. The firm also is building a new melt shop and plant in Cassopolis, Michigan.
Shape Corp., which describes itself as a global producer of multi-material impact energy management and lightweight body structures, says it is expanding its aluminum extrusion capacity with a new 320,000 square foot plant in Trenton, Ohio.
Shape and Hydro say they “aim to bring Hydro Circal's first automotive product to the market through testing of material and identification of application projects.” By developing products using low-carbon aluminum, Shape says it aims to be carbon neutral in its manufacturing production phase.