Using aluminium in the body in white has contributed 21kg of the total 60kg of lightweighting achieved, according to alloy supplier Novelis
As you might have gathered from our earlier RESEARCH SNAPSHOT – Lighten up and today’s Novelis aluminium to reduce Qashqai weight news article, the fully redesigned Qashqai will be Nissan’s first model built in Europe using a significant number of lightweight aluminium panels.
The official word from Nissan today said the bonnet (hood), doors and front fenders are stamped from aluminium alloy which makes the body 60kg lighter (Novelis said using aluminium achieved 21kg of the total 60kg of body-in-white weight savings compared to the previous model). Nissan said the lightweighting improves efficiency and reduces emissions. It also helps accommodate more technology including new electrified powertrains.
Aluminium production at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in north east England includes the second extra large press line inaugurated last year and the cyclone, a recycling facility which blasts out scrap metal at 150km an hour and can handle seven tonnes of metal an hour, ensuring less waste and a ‘greener’ production process.
As bonnets and doors are stamped into shape, scrap material is shredded and extracted, keeping aluminium grades separate. The separation ensures the return of high quality scrap to suppliers to make new aluminium alloy sheets.
This closed-loop recycling system reduces waste and CO2 emissions and contributes to the automaker’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality across its operations and product life cycles by 2050.
Recycling scrap aluminium saves more than 90% of the energy needed to create a comparable amount from raw materials.
Manufacturing chief Alan Johnson at Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, said: “We continue to look for ways to make both our vehicles and our manufacturing process more sustainable. The use of lightweight aluminium in the new Qashqai is a great example.”
The new Qashqai follows the new Rogue (X-Trail elsewhere) sold in North America as the second Nissan global model to use aluminium parts produced with the closed-loop recycling process. The automaker is considering expanding the application of this process to future models and other factories.
“We continue to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our manufacturing operations and Sunderland will play a key role in meeting the company’s commitment to carbon neutrality,” said Johnson.