Austin, Texas -- January 4, 2017 -- Hydro and Austin AI (AAI) have signed a cooperative agreement to develop an advanced technology to sort automotive aluminium alloys. This could be a step towards more efficient recycling of manufacturing scraps and vehicles.
Hydro, based out of Norway, is an aluminum producer and technology company. Austin AI is based out of Texas and focuses on sensor-based sorting equipment.
“We are optimistic and hope this will close the loop with automotive fabricator scrap and end-of-life vehicle scrap for new car body sheet, substantially saving energy, resources and process effort - another push for sustainable lightweighting with aluminium,” said Kjetil Ebbesberg, Hydro’s Executive Vice President. “Thus, it is a next step on the way to make Hydro a preferred partner for car makers and a carbon neutral company by 2020.”
AAI's aluminum sorting technology is based on laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). According to the company, the AAI method provides advantages compared to other LIBS configurations. Testing has already produced good test results in terms of sorting these alloys for clear separation and clean recycling.
AAI plans to install a pilot-scale sorting facility at Hydro’s research and development centre in Bonn, Germany. Together with AAI, Hydro scientists will gradually advance its processes and features. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of the sorting system and ensure high-quality results for the required
“By developing robust processes, based on LIBS technology, Hydro can accommodate the needs of our automotive industry customers for converting their production scrap today - and help to master future challenges in end-of-life recycling for cars, with more aluminium in them,” said Klaus Vieregge, head of Hydro’s research and development centre in Bonn.