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Alcoas Vacuum Diecasting Process Wins Nissan Award

July 18, 2008
Technology offers design advantages, weight savings

Alcoa reports that a proprietary vacuum diecasting process (AVDC) it developed has earned Nissan Motor Co.’s Global Innovation Award. The process, along with new alloys, are used to produce the inner door and rear seat structures for Nissan’s new high-performance sports sedan, the GT-R.

The inner door is the largest vacuum die casting in the auto industry, according to Alcoa, and the rear seat structures is 35% lighter than a comparable steel structure. Alcoa produces the components at its diecasting operation in Soest, Germany.

Alcoa says AVDC allows structural engineers 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.

The award was present recently in Tokyo at Nissan’s Global Supplier Awards ceremony.

“We are honored that Alcoa’s vacuum diecasting process has been recognized by Nissan for technical innovation. The blending of this manufacturing process with advanced alloys enabled us to meet Nissan’s performance requirements, particularly strength and deformation characteristics, while still keeping a high-performance body made of lightweight materials,” stated Kevin Kramer, president of Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products.