ACRC members Eck Industries and Magna International win Best in Class at the 2015 AFS/Metal Casting Design & Purchasing Magazine Competition.
Magna won best in class for its high pressure vacuum diecast multi-material lightweight vehicle front kick down rail for the automotive industry. This is a significant accomplishment for the casting industry. The kick down rail is one of eight body structure castings, enabling the 77kg (23.5%) mass reduction associated with the Body-In-White (BIW) of the DOE-funded Magna/Ford Multimaterial Lightweight Vehicle (MMLV). The MMLV includes 147kg of aluminum castings front and rear crossmembers, brake rotors, disc brakes, transmission housings and engine block/head, as well as 16kg of magnesium associated with the instrument panel and powertrain.
The MMLV project included a detailed life cycle analysis, demonstrating the environmental sustainability of an aluminum casting-intensive vehicle.
Key benefits include:
- 16% reduction in global warming potential
- 16% reduction in total primary energy
- 962 gallons of fuel saved over lifetime
Eck Industries teamed with REL Inc. to win best in class for the aluminum conformable compressed natural gas tank. The award was presented at the President’s Brunch April 23, 2015 at the 119th AFS Metalcasting Congress in Columbus, Ohio. Benefits of this best in class technology include:
- 20-35% more compressed natural gas than a cylinder due to better use of allowable packaging space
- More storage of compressed natural gas (CNG) on automobiles and trucks
- Improved packaging
The tank was designed using the Schwarz P-Surface cell design. The cell walls act as struts and carry a tensile load, keeping the tank intact. The tank operates at 3600 psi yet must withstand a burst of pressure of 8100 psi and tens of thousands of cyclical loads. Eck provides the high integrity casting – a 7075 alloy casting using printed sand cores and fixed walls coated with a proprietary thermal barrier technology and filled on a low pressure machine.