Crash-optimised aluminium alloys for use in automotive applications should fulfil the requirements of both high strength and good crash properties, i.e. high energy absorption. At equal energy absorption, compared to steel designs, aluminium alloys allow significant weight reduction, which is demanded by the car makers.
In the present work different 6xxx series aluminium alloys with tailored chemical compositions are compared regarding their crash-performance. The aim is to optimise the formability in delivery T4 temper and achieve high strength levels while maintaining good crash performance after artificial ageing, through proper alloy selection and processing conditions.
A systematic characterisation is carried out to compare the mechanical properties and hemming performance at various ageing conditions. Microstructure characterisation and fracture analyses are performed to establish correlations between the microstructure and damage mechanisms. In addition, the crash performance is investigated to characterise/optimise the properties according to the OEM’s requirements.