INVITED KEYNOTE: 120 Years of Aluminum Auto Body Sheet Developments

Monday, September 13, 2021: 10:20 AM
224 (America's Center)
Dr. Robert E. Sanders , Chongqing University, Chongqing, China, Novelis, Kennesaw, GA
Mr. Laurent Chappuis , Light Metal Consultants, LLC, Grosse Ile, MI
This presentation is based on the research by Robert Sanders (Novelis) and Laurent Chappuis (Ford retired). The complete story appears in installments in the American Society of Materials’ magazine “Advanced Materials & Processes”.

The presentation covers the history of aluminum auto body sheet from its first application more than 120 years ago to the launch of the aluminum bodied Ford F-150. It has four parts - how the budding automotive industry led the developments of auto body sheet production and how steel passed aluminum. The second part covers the French contributions during and after WWII, while the third part looks at how the aluminum beverage can and the oil crisis awakened the aluminum industry’s interest in auto body sheet. The last part will chronicle the developments of all aluminum body structures. it will cover the many projects in Europe, Japan and the United States that all aimed to put an aluminum body structure introduction, culminating with Ford’s 2015 F-150. It is a synthetic view of an engineering dream fueled by the imagination of many pioneers, with many pictures and insights into the automotive and sheet metal industry.

Robert Sanders has been a Senior Technical Advisor at Novelis for the last 8 years. Before that, he spent 31 years at ALCOA, where his last position was Technical Director, Asia Pacific. He holds a PhD in Metallurgy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, He is also a visiting professor of Metallurgy at Chongqing University, China.

Laurent Chappuis has been an independent consultant in all aspects of aluminum auto body sheet for the last 5 years, with clients in North America, Europe and China. Before that, he spent 30 years at Ford Motor Company as the Technical Specialist for lightweight stampings. In that capacity, he led the development of aluminum auto body sheet in Manufacturing. As the liaison with Ford Research, he also led the early development of stamping CAE at Ford and saw its implementation into production.

Both Robert and Laurent are members of ASM.
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