November 26, 2010

Alcoa Innovation in Aluminum Prize announces winners

In this ninth edition established projects stand out because of their public usefulness and environmental concern

The Organizing Committee of the Alcoa Innovation in Aluminum Prize 2010 has just announced the winners of its ninth edition. The selected projects, including those that received honorable mention, distinguished themselves because of their social and environmental concern. The 11 selected pieces of work present simple and creative ideas and are affordable by the whole of society. Of this total, six belong to the Student section and the Recycling Management category, while the other five fall under the Professional section, in the Products & Applications category.
Recycling Management category - In the Student section, the winner is Alexandre Rangel Schweickardt, a student on the Chemistry course at UCB (Catholic University of Brasilia), with his project The use of industrial waste (sludge) from the process for anodizing aluminum as a raw material in the production of bricks. This is a feasible and low cost alternative for the disposal of industrial waste. The objective is to reduce the environmental impact and use the waste as a component material in the manufacture of solid fired bricks. “As I worked for an anodizing company (one that specializes in electrochemical processes for applying a protective or decorative coating to metal surfaces), I knew what a problem this waste was, because we did not have anywhere to dispose of it and the volumes were just piling up. That was when I talked to the owner of the company and told him that I would begin an investigation into an ecologically feasible destination for the waste. Right away he encouraged me, offering me trips and courses in order to increase my knowledge in the environmental area,” recalls Alexander.
In the Professional section, the Alternative recycled block, project from mechanical manufacturing technologist, Paulo Fonseca Junior, was chosen. With his experience in this area, Paulo intends reducing the environmental impact caused by disposing of long-life milk cartons and by the extraction of sand from rivers, in addition to reducing costs for the civil construction sector, while seeking to favor people living on low incomes. Satisfied with the result, he is still planning new opportunities: “I intend developing an innovation patent and continuing with the tests to achieve all the objectives I have of reducing environmental impact and costs.”
Second place in the Student section went to the project, A New Route for Aluminum Recycling: Basic Clean Energy Production for Fertilizers Antiflame Additives and Advanced Ceramics, from César Augusto Borges Caldart, 22, a Materials Engineering student at UNESC, the University of the Far South of Santa Catarina. The student intends to reuse the waste from processing stages and reduce environmental impact. “The adoption of a new route for recycling is in line with one of the major topics of debate, which is sustainable development,” he states.
Metallurgical engineer, Haysler Apolinário Amoroso Lima, won second place in the Professional section, with his work, Recycling Aluminum Cans for use as Deoxidizers in the Steel Industry, which is a process that proposes compressing discarded aluminum cans into a special format for use in the chemical adjustment of steel during additions to pans. “My project is going to make for a fantastic saving, since it will eliminate the can smelting stage in recycling companies. It will only be necessary to add a pressing stage to the recycling cycle, thereby supplying a suitable format for the aluminum of the cans to be used,” he sums up.
Products & Applications category – A Solar Electric Oven, from Diego Fernando Waltrick, a student on the Design course at ULBRA (Lutheran University of Brazil) in Carazinho in Rio Grande do Sul, was the winning work in the Student section. The project consists of linking an alternative concept to the conventional concept, by means of design and puts forward an idea for a product that can be used domestically. According to Diego, the big advantage is the availability of free and abundant energy, leading to savings in bills and energy consumption. “Solar ovens are used in hand-made versions in various places in the world and in desert regions where solid fuel is scarce. I believe that new products and services are likely to wake up to this situation very soon,” he says.
In the Professional section the project BoxtermThermal Box for Transporting Organs, by designer Tássio Devison Tomaz de Lima Sousa, won. The idea is to develop a unique and innovative product for transporting organs, in order to replace conventional cooler boxes and standardize the way of moving organs from one place to another. The designer says that inspiration for the project came from conversations he had with his girlfriend, a nursing student. He saw that the handling and transport of some medical and hospital equipment were not done in a suitable way.”When carrying something as important as an organ, we must take the utmost care in order to avoid future rejection by the organism of patient who receives the transplant,” explains Tássio. He also says that its application is based on Law 9434/97, which provides for the movement of organs and tissues for transplant.
Luiz Rafael Viana dos Santos, an Architecture and Urbanism student at Gama Filho University, RJ, won second place in the Student section with his FlexboxFlexible Use Portable Kiosk project. The author intends to create a mobile and autonomous structure, capable of substituting small commercial spaces installed in shopping malls and public places. “This box is light, sturdy and easy to maintain,” is how he sums it up.
The project Design of Tools for Harvesting Ornamental Plant Seedlings: Aluminum/Ergonomics, from designer Danilo Corrêa Silva, came second in the Professional section. The aluminum harvesting tool is used manually and considered efficient, comfortable and safe. “Improvements were proved by the use of an instrument-connected glove, which measured the contact pressure during laboratory tests”, states Danilo.
“We are honored with the results of this edition. The projects exceeded our expectations with their creativity and innovation. Many of these ideas will be able to contribute to sustainable development and to improvements in the quality of life of people”, says Franklin L. Feder, president of Alcoa Latin America and the Caribbean.
Honorable mention
Students Angelo Luiz Tenan and Iane Machado, from the Product Design course at PUC-Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, received honorable mention for their Cargo Tricycle project. The proposal is to speed up the delivery of goods on short journeys. The tricycle has three drawers with a carrying capacity of 13 kg each and can be used for delivering purchases from supermarkets, drug stores, bakeries and other establishments. “We saw that delivery tricycles in Brazil have been the same for many years and had never received improvements that would facilitate the delivery service,” Angelo points out.
Also in the Student section, Diogo Renan Schnorr, Daniela Gasparotto and Fernanda Dapper received honorable mention for their work Evaluation of the Mechanical and Environmental Behavior of  Fly Ash-based Alkali-Activated Mortar, with the Addition of Aluminum Filings. The team of students from the Architecture and Urbanism course of the FEEVALE University developed a project that includes the reuse of industrial waste and a reduction in environmental impact in the production of cement. “Along with my team and tutor I intend continuing with the tests and improving the research, making the final product reliable and capable of being used in construction,” Diogo says.
In the Recycling Management category, Professional section, recognition was given to the project ‘Cantiles’ - Aluminum Cans contributing to a Reduction in Global Warming, a piece of work by mechanical manufacturing technologists, Leandro Barsottini and Paulo Henrique Mota Vilas Boas. The aluminum tile offers energy efficiency, reduced weight and lower emissions of greenhouse gases. “The major difference with our project is its use of the high reflectivity characteristics of aluminum cans for contributing towards reducing global warming,” says Leandro.
Judging committee – The judging committee in the Products & Application category comprised Auresnede Pires Stephan, from the Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation, Santa Marcelina College and Superior School of Advertising and Marketing; Claudio Parra De Lazzari, from ABM (Brazilian Association of Metallurgy, Materials and Mining); Gilberto Belleza, from Belleza e Batalha Architects; and Jean Yamamoto and Reginaldo Otsu, from Alcoa. Jury members in the Recycling Management category were José Roberto Giosa, from Latasa Recycling; Henio de Nicola, from ABAL (Brazilian Association of Aluminum); Aleris Saburo Ikeda, from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo; Wilker Pereira and Paulo Nakamichi, from Alcoa.
Prizes - The prize for the student or team that, according to the jury, wins first place in each category will be R$ 9000 and a trophy; the respective professor-tutor will be awarded R$ 5000, a trophy and a diploma. For the teaching institution attended by the prize-winner(s) will receive R$5000 in educational equipment. The runners-up in each category will receive R$ 3000, a trophy and a diploma. The tutors for these pieces of work will receive a smart phone, a trophy and a diploma.
The winning professionals will be entitled to a prize of R$ 11,000, a trophy and a diploma in both categories. The runners-up in each category will receive R$ 4000, a trophy and a diploma.
The Alcoa Innovation in Aluminum Prize is a scientific and cultural competition, whose objective is to encourage and divulge the ideas of Brazilian students and professionals in the sector.
This year 880 projects were entered, an increase of 15% compared to last year. They came from 17 states in Brazil. Professionals and students entered the contest with the aim of showing the different ways of using aluminum and of contributing to the sustainable development of the metal’s production chain.

As in previous years, the 9th Alcoa Innovation in Aluminum Prize has the institutional support of the main entities in the sector, such as the IAB (Institute of Architects of Brazil, SP), the Institute of Engineering, the Ethos Institute of Companies and Social Responsibility,  AEnD-BR (Association of Higher Education / Research in Design in Brazil), ADP (Association of Product Designers), ABM (Brazilian Association of Metallurgy, Materials and Mining) and ABEDESIGN (Brazilian Association of Design Companies). The Alcoa Prize also receives technical support from the ABAL (Brazilian Aluminum Association).
About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and 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 120 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 eight consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at