GM Prepping To Aluminum Manufacturing Process

General Motors is now ready for the possible game-changing aluminum manufacturing process from weld steel. In the initial manufacturing application for the proprietary process at GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant, spot welding removes rivets that connect steel frameworks to aluminum brackets to form part of the seatback of a Cadillac CT6.

GM engineers admit that the welding will be the first of the industry when it opens up later this year. If everything goes well with the seatback frame plan, GM has plans to expand the process up till the hood of the Cadillac. It’s actually a flagship sedan currently represented by the company’s most ambitious utilization of multi-material construction.

Lightweight material group manager at GM Research & Development Blair Carlson said, the welding-gun tip has an advanced electrode, a major element of the system. There are around 19 proprietary covering controls and hardware for the process.

The specially designed electrode of the aluminum manufacturing process helps improve the physical properties that now have positioned steel to aluminum welding, including delta melting points between both materials. A formation of oxides on the aluminum component that consist weld integrity and the inclination for a glassy layer to form between the two different materials, making the weld brittle.

According to Carlson, it requires around 20 welds before the cycle time of the welding gun tip demands dressing. The aim is to change the cycle into hundreds, which is part of GM research for the new aluminum manufacturing process to lessen additional cost, and eventually reduce the need to rivet aluminum and steel.

Carlson adds that once the combined welding of the Cadillac seatback is out for speeding, specialists are looking into the hood of the vehicle with the purpose of welding the traveller-impact steel reinforcement to the aluminum inner of the hood. It should reduce several rivets utilized to connect aluminum and steel.

Advanced combining methods for the CT6, which engage 11 various materials in the body structure, have already reduced over 1400 rivets, which is incremental to thetotal weight and cost. GM approximates the new aluminum manufacturing process will reduce up to 4.5kg or 10lb of rivets for some cars.