ALD’s vacuum furnace systems are integral in the advancement of product technology in high growth industries, such as automotive, aerospace, energy, specialty metals/chemicals and solar energy.
The global aerospace industry is an essential part of an increasingly connected world, with aviation growth projected to be 5-6% per annum for the next twenty years. Global aviation accounts for about 2% of global CO2 emissions and this figure could rise to 15-20% by the year 2050. To help offset this environmental impact, the global aerospace industry is aiming for an additional 25%² improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, primarily through technological enhancements by 2020.
Reducing structural weight is one of the major ways to improve aircraft performance. ALD is a world leader in the production of vacuum furnaces for titanium production, which is critical in the design of new lightweight planes for greater fuel efficiency. ALD also produces a number of specialty alloys including Gamma Titanium Aluminide (TiAl) used to help reduce weight and improve operational performance of aircraft.
ALD is also the global leader in electron beam technology for coating of turbine blades, which enable the turbine blades to withstand the heat of the engine. These vacuum metallurgical processes allow large-scale mass production of turbine blades, which reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% and emissions by 15% and more.
Highway vehicles release about 1.7 billion tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere each year – mostly in the form of CO2. Each gallon of gasoline burned creates 20 pounds of GHG, underscoring the increase in legislation aimed at reversing this trend. The European Union, for example, has set mandatory emission reduction targets for new cars. This legislation is the cornerstone of the EU’s strategy to improve the fuel economy of cars sold on the European market. The fleet average to be achieved by all new cars is 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 – with the target phased in from 2012 – and 95g/km by 2021, phased in from 2020.
The development of advanced applications is essential in limiting energy expenditure, both in the manufacturing process and in use. ALD is offering heat treatment systems for serial production in the automotive industry which can be integrated into the manufacturing environment or directly integrated in the manufacturing lines. These technologies allow producing highly efficient transmissions and injection systems with reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
For customers in that industry who do not want to invest into furnace equipment, ALD is offering these processes in their own heat treatment service centers on a tolling basis. ALD’s heat treatment services business processed over 100 million automotive components in 2014, enabling its customers to improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicles they produce.
The United Nations forecasts that the global population will grow approximately 40% between now and 2050 to 9.1 billion people, an increase of 2.6 billion people, or more than the entire world’s population in 1950. Energy demand is expected to grow even faster – an 86% increase by 2050. CO2 emissions could jump 56% by 2030, leading to an eventual increase in average global temperature of up to 6°C. It is estimated that over “$22 trillion in investment will be needed in energy-supply infrastructure by 2030” in order to compensate for global growth.
ALD is meeting this demand through research and development on vacuum furnaces used in the production of solar energy. ALD’s silicon melting and crystallization furnaces provide customers with high-purity polysilicon solar wafers that deliver some of the highest sunlight-to-energy conversion ratios in the industry.
ALD is producing specialty alloys used to help make industrial gas turbines more fuel efficient. Furthermore ALD is providing nuclear technology for the safe storage of nuclear waste.
Specialty Metals & Chemicals
Specialty metals and chemicals are products that enhance existing products, and are used to create new products that enhance standards of living in the context of stable development. Utilizing its extensive background in metals based material technologies, AMG produces innovative specialty metals and chemicals for a wide variety of applications. ALD focuses on creating intermediate products that enhance the performance of our customer’s end products while promoting sustainable development.
Over the last century AMG’s predecessor companies have been developing the “next generation” materials to improve the quality of life and spur innovation. Specifically, ALD is focused on producing customized metallurgical solutions that meet the market’s exacting demands.