The CNRS, Constellium and the University of Grenoble Alpes join forces to create a joint laboratory dedicated to the aluminum of the future

To meet the challenges of sustainable development, all sectors of industry must reduce their environmental impact. The metallurgy sector, for its part, relies on innovation for alloys and manufacturing processes. The Constellium group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of aluminum products, the CNRS and the University of Grenoble Alpes have created the joint laboratory 3ALP (Advanced aluminum alloys partnership) which aims to jointly develop research on the recyclability and durability of aluminum , use innovative research methods to create new aluminum-based materials.

To be competitive, companies in the metallurgical sector are constantly questioning themselves: they have to produce increasingly resistant parts, find processes that reconcile savings and less impact on the environment, particularly for aluminum products for the automotive, aeronautics and packaging, of which the Constellium industrial group is one of the world’s leading suppliers.

The Constellium Group

The history of Constellium dates back to the creation in 1855 of the company Henri Merle et Compagnie, renamed Pechiney in 1950. Today, the group, whose head office is based in Paris, has offices in Baltimore and Zurich and has 12 000 employees internationally. It operates 27 manufacturing sites in Europe, North America and China.

The company’s C-TEC technology center in Voreppe, Isère, a US hub in Plymouth, Michigan, as well as an academic technology center at Brunel University in London, are the source of many alloys and solutions advanced aluminum.

The Constellium Technology Center (C-TEC) is a world-renowned R&D center dedicated to aluminum and its alloys. He has contributed to many innovations regarding the design of new alloys, tempers, products, functional applications, transformation and enabling processes. Constellium provides state-of-the-art resources to the team of international scientists and technicians it hosts. In addition, C-TEC has a high-level international university network.

Ludovic Piquier, Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence and Chief Technical Officer, said:

“I am very proud to support the opening of this joint laboratory, and I thank all those who have made this achievement possible, and first and foremost our partners, the UGA and the CNRS. This laboratory will allow us to continue to explore the potential of aluminium, a material of the future for the circular economy of tomorrow. »

The 3ALP joint laboratory

Constellium and the CNRS have joined forces with the University of Grenoble Alpes (UGA) to create this joint laboratory.

Industrial collaborations are part of the DNA of Grenoble INP – UGA, institute of engineering and management of the University of Grenoble Alpes. SIMAP, laboratory of Science and Engineering of Materials and Processes, which is based on the Grenoble INP – Phelma school, UGA, was created in 2007 and was born from the merger of 3 research units from CNRS, Grenoble INP and from UGA.

The 3ALP joint laboratory, the creation of which is the result of more than 40 years of collaboration between SIMAP and C-TEC, will rely on SIMAP’s expertise in the design of metal alloys and innovative processes such as additive manufacturing (set of processes making it possible to manufacture, layer by layer, by adding material, a physical object from a digital object). Its ambition is to respond to the challenge of the industry of the future: sustainable development, particularly with the extension of the recyclability of aluminum to all its applications.

Constellium will have access to state-of-the-art modeling and characterization tools, particularly in connection with synchrotron radiation, and will benefit from the experience of SIMAP scientists in various fields: study of the structural and mechanical characteristics of materials, design and instrumental implementation , development of artificial intelligence tools for materials.

Antoine Petit, President and CEO of the CNRS, comments:

“I am delighted with this merger with Constellium, which is part of a long history of cooperation. We pursue a constant policy of developing joint laboratories with companies of all sizes, as confirmed by the more than 200 joint laboratories already in existence. This ambitious form of collaboration between the economic world and the academic world relies on basic research to provide an answer to major industrial challenges. Our ambition is to reach 400 joint laboratories in operation within four years. »

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, which has more than 40 joint laboratories, leads the French regions in terms of enhanced collaboration between research and business. Nearly a quarter of these are monitored and coordinated by the CNRS Alpes delegation.

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The CNRS, Constellium and the University of Grenoble Alpes join forces to create a joint laboratory dedicated to the aluminum of the future


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