Breakthrough Alcoa Technology Enabling Mass Production of Aluminum Intensive Vehicles Licensed to Industry Globally

  Breakthrough Alcoa Technology Enabling Mass Production of Aluminum Intensive
  Vehicles Licensed to Industry Globally

      ‘Alcoa 951’ Pre-Treatment Bonding Technology Licensed to Exclusive
                            Distributor, Chemetall

Business Wire

PITTSBURGH -- April 05, 2013

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that its breakthrough “Alcoa 951”
pre-treatment bonding technology—an enabler for adhesive bonding of automotive
structures—has been licensed to Chemetall in an exclusive global distribution
agreement. The Alcoa technology is the new pre-treatment bonding standard for
aluminum sheet, extrusion and casting suppliers across the automotive
industry. Chemetall is the leading supplier of surface treatments to the
automotive industry, globally.

The use of aluminum in cars is expected to nearly double by 2025 according to
automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and today is already the
second-most-used material to produce cars. As OEMs work to continue to make
cars more fuel efficient, many are expanding aluminum use from heat
exchangers, wheels, drive shafts, engine blocks, hoods and deck lids to
developing aluminum intensive vehicles (AIVs) by converting the body in white,
or body structure, to aluminum. As OEMs use aluminum body structures to
improve fuel efficiency, new joining and assembly methods are required. “Alcoa
951” is a patented, non-chrome approach for enhancing bond durability and
enabling more cost-effective, mass production of AIVs.

In customer trials, “Alcoa 951” has been proven to be up to nine times more
durable than titanium zirconium applications used in the automotive industry
in the past. These results led OEMs to specify “Alcoa 951” and request Alcoa
to license it to other suppliers in the industry, hence the agreement with
Chemetall. “Alcoa 951” technology is being incorporated into the $300 million
automotive expansion underway at Alcoa’s Davenport (Iowa) Works facility,
scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

“‘Alcoa 951’ is a perfect example of Alcoa Technology Advantage at work to
create value for our customers,” said Kay Meggers, Alcoa Executive Vice
President and Group President of Alcoa Global Rolled Products. “The use of
this technology is helping to enable greater use of aluminum throughout the
industry and helping make mass-produced aluminum-intensive vehicles possible.
This ultimately saves significant fuel for consumers who say fuel efficiency
is a top factor in their purchase decision.”

“We look forward to partnering with Chemetall to provide ‘Alcoa 951’ to help
enable commercialization of adhesive bonding of aluminum structures in
high-volume automotive applications. This, in turn, will drive lighter vehicle
weights and enable the integration of sheet, extrusions, and castings to
ultimately improve fuel efficiency,” said Dr. Raymond Kilmer, Alcoa Executive
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “The process was developed as a
result of collaboration between the Alcoa Technical Center and our automotive
business. We’re excited to see it commercialized.” The Alcoa Technical Center
is the world’s largest light metals research facility and is located outside
Pittsburgh, PA.

About Alcoa 951 Adhesive Bonding

“Alcoa 951” employs an organic, environmentally-friendly system tailored for
both the aluminum substrate and the structural adhesives used for joining. The
pre-treatment delivers far superior bond durability compared to conversion
coating systems such as the titanium zirconium often used in the past. In
fact, customer trials show its durability is up to nine times stronger than
titanium zirconium.

The surface treatment is applied through an immersion or spray application in
which the 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. 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 essentially
“transparent” to downstream steps in the automotive manufacturing process such
as forming, resistance spot welding and painting.

Other commercially available conversion coatings, which generally contain
heavy metals and are measurably thicker, lead to potential environmental
concerns and diminished performance in other steps in the manufacturing
process. The attractiveness of “Alcoa 951” lies in its repeatability and its
simplicity. It does not incorporate exotic components that threaten the
ability to implement the product on a large scale, and it brings the type of
benign environmental impact that addresses the need for the “cradle-to-cradle”
life cycle required for aluminum.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as
well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of 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 125 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 11 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum
ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs
approximately 61,000 people in 30 countries across the world. For more
information, visit and follow @Alcoa on Twitter at and follow Alcoa on Facebook at

About Chemetall

Chemetall, a division of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ROC), is a leading
global supplier of special chemicals with a focus on processes for the surface
treatment of metals and plastics. Chemetall is headquartered in Frankfurt am
Main, Germany, and comprises about 40 companies worldwide. With 1,900
employees, the Group achieved sales of about 537 million Euro (2011). More at


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