Microstructure Engineering of Aluminum Extrusions for the Automotive Sector

The use of aluminum alloys in automotive applications is increasing since the weight of the vehicle can be decreased. This is beneficial for both internal combustion and battery powered vehicles, to increase fuel economy and increase vehicle range, respectively. However, in general, aluminum alloys are more difficult to form and their performance during a vehicle crash may be challenging. Thus, it is necessary to understand the linkages between the production of the components and their performance. In many cases, components can be made by extrusion followed by heat treatment. The cooling conditions after extrusion and before heat treatment are important. Here, better mechanical properties are found with high cooling rates but higher cooling rates can lead to distortion of component shape which is not acceptable. The goal of this work is to develop models to predict performance based on processing conditions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Warren Poole


Andrew Zang;Jared Uramowski;Gwenaelle Meyruey


Rio Tinto Alcan






University of British Columbia



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