The Future of Foundries is Aluminum
In order to meet the requirements of the growing world market for complex aluminum castings, aluminum-specific systems must interact harmoniously. Italpresse Gauss demonstrates the advantages of high-pressure and sand casting.
Until recently, aluminum was the most valuable substance in the world. Today, aluminum is the most popular metal after steel, so global consumption is expected to rise to 120 million tonnes by 2025. This demand is changing the face of the world’s foundries.
World aluminum production grew by 6 % in 2017. In addition to the automotive industry, the aerospace, mechanical engineering and packaging industries are the main drivers.
As environmental legislation tightens, the pressure is increasing to reduce automotive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. New greener vehicles must be lighter, so choosing featherweight aluminum instead of heavier steel can make a lot of sense for some components, particularly large structural parts. That’s why, by 2022, the average car will contain almost 100 extra kilos of aluminum in replacement of heavier components. Globally, the use of aluminum in automobiles will double from around 12 % to 25 % of consumption – 30 million tonnes – by 2025.
Increasing Demand for High Quality Aluminum
Foundries are seeing aluminum and other light metals take a more prominent part in their national casting markets. China, the world’s largest aluminum producer and consumer, saw primary production grow by 10 % in 2017 alone.
In the USA, the aluminum casting market size was valued at $ 49.47 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow by 7.8 % annually through to 2025. As the US imports the majority of its aluminum, 2018’s new import tariffs may well hurt those figures, but the outlook overall remains very positive.
India, the world’s third-biggest casting producer and now its fastest-growing large economy, is also pivoting towards aluminum. The same story applies in Europe, with aluminum increasingly used in premium automotive manufacture as well as in other sectors like construction. This rapid shift from steel to aluminum signals a huge opportunity for some foundries. But simply sending out the sales team isn’t enough. But it’s not an easy business to get into.
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