Cars are responsible for around 12% of total EU emissions of CO2, and to this concern, EU Regulations such as EC Nº 443/2009, Euro 5 and Euro 6 are pushing the passenger car industry to reduce its greenhouse and toxic emissions by setting mandatory emission reduction targets for new cars.
The most direct way to reduce polluting emissions from cars is to reduce their weight, directly related to their fuel consumption. Therefore, current trends in the automotive industry are directed towards the incorporation of light pieces, while maintaining the current performance concerning security- in terms of impact resistance- and a competitive price1.
In this sense, structural aluminium is becoming increasingly adopted, as it stands out over traditional materials used in cars such as steel, which is much heavier (density of 7.85 g/cm3 vs 2.81 g/cm3 for aluminium), or alternative ones, such as magnesium or carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRPs), which are remarkably costly: the amount of aluminium used per car produced in Europe almost tripled between 1990 and 2012, increasing from 50 kg to 140 kg, and this amount is predicted to further rise to 160 kg by 20202. With a density that is about one third of that of steel, the weight reduction from using aluminium is usually around 50%.
However, traditional die casting procedures for structural aluminium also present several drawbacks, such as the need of large quantities of mould-release agents (about 12L per mould) which are water-pollutant and generate porosity


#FC21S is an innovative process for the spraying step in aluminium die casting process which we have developed in collaboration between Fonderie Cervati and Vibe, in which a pioneer mould release agent which is highly concentrated and wax-free is nebulised through an ad-hoc designed micro-spraying device. The pieces manufactured using this process have 8% less porosity, which implies better mechanical properties and 4% better impact resistance than structural aluminium casted in the traditional way –with a diluted mould release agent-, improving the quality of the piece and its adequateness for its use is car’s structure. Moreover, due the nebulization system and the remarkable properties of the mould-release agent, the amount of this agent required is much smaller (just 10 ml per mould), hence allowing a reduction of 80% in waste-streams and 30% less energy consumption, increasing 15% productivity of the line and increasing each piece’s cost-effectiveness. Altogether, we calculate a reduction of about 25% in the global cost of the process.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. GA 733619
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