Aluminum Joining Intensifies
2014 R&D 100 Winner
The use of aluminum in cars is expected to nearly double by 2025, and today it is already the second-most-used material to produce cars. Manufacturers have had to develop new joining and assembly methods to meet the demand for aluminum-intensive vehicles (AIVs). “Alcoa 951” by Alcoa Inc. is one of these new technologies. A pre-treatment bonding material that significantly strengthens adhesive bonds between aluminum substrates, Alcoa 951 creates a highly durable bond that is nine times more durable than titanium-zirconium applications. The surface treatment is applied through an immersion or spray application in which its organic components bond with oxides present on the metal surface. The molecular structure chemically binds aluminum oxide with one end and adhesive with the other end. This creates a strong link at the molecular level, resulting in lasting, durable joints for automotive structures. The minimal level of treatment on the surface makes it ultra-thin and essentially transparent to downstream processes such as forming, resistance spot welding and painting. Alcoa 951 has already been integrated into automotive assembly and is used to build the 2015 Ford F150 truck.
Pre-treatment bonding material
The Alcoa 951 Development Team from Alcoa Inc.
Jim Marinelli, Principal Developer