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October 25, 2007
Alcoa Supplies Components to Nissan for GT-R, its New Flagship High Performance Sports Sedan
Alcoa Uses Proprietary Vacuum Die Process and New, Exclusive Alloys
for Inner Door and Rear-Seat Structures
NEW YORK--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that it is supplying two complex
components for Nissan’s GT-R, the company’s
new flagship for high-performance driving around the world.
The just-introduced GT-R features aluminum inner-door and rear-seat
structures made from Alcoa’s proprietary
vacuum die casting process (AVDC) at the company’s
plant in Soest, Germany. Both components also feature new, proprietary
alloys developed by Alcoa.
“These two components exemplify Alcoa’s
capacity to tailor alloys and manufacturing processes to meet customers’
performance requirements,” according to Misha
Riveros-Jacobson, President of Auto and Truck Structures, Alcoa’s
business unit that manufactures the GT-R components.
“The GT-R door was particularly challenging,”
said Matthias Siedersleben, program manager. “Its
size, approximately 1300 by 700 mm, in combination with wall gauges of
only 2 – 3 mm, required significant casting
performance requirements, in particular strength and deformation
characteristics, also mandated a highly-engineered alloy. Alcoa’s
new C-446, in combination with the unique advantages of the AVDC
process, enabled us to meet their needs.
“We were also able to do this while reducing
the weight of the completed door assembly by 35% over conventional
designs and materials. The key element in this mass reduction is the
cast component, which weighs only 5.5 kg,”
Dr. Siedersleben observed.
The sports sedan’s rear seat structure also
presented its own safety performance challenges, in this case strength
and stiffness. Here again, Alcoa’s engineers
combined specific AVDC process advantages with another new, proprietary
alloy, C-611, to meet Nissan’s
specifications. The rear seat structure also provides a weight savings
of approximately 25% compared to a conventional steel design.
“The Nissan GT-R inner door structure is the
largest vacuum die casting in the auto industry,”
Ms. Riveros-Jacobson noted. “In addition to
its size, gauge, weight, strength and deformation demands, the inner
door also has some very daunting appearance requirements.
“Unlike many internal structures, much of
this one will be visible to GT-R drivers …
including an Alcoa logo that demonstrates our role and pride in helping
Nissan bring their ‘Super Car’
to the world’s roadways,”
Alcoa’s AVDC process provides the company’s
structural engineers with the ability to “build
in” critical reinforcing ribs where enhanced
strength is required and to “design in”
very specific details to help consolidate parts and streamline assembly.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major
aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive,
packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and
industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other
capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum
products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy
extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa®
wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, structures
and building systems. The company has 116,000 employees in 44 countries
and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the
world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More
information can be found at www.alcoa.com