How Alcoa’s Micromill Makes Auto Body Panels Formable

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Alcoa Inc. has developed a new manufacturing process that produces aluminum sheet that is 40% more formable than the current aluminum alloys that are used on such vehicles as the Range Rover SUV and Ford F-150 pickup – the two highest volume aluminum-bodied vehicles.

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The Alcoa Micromill process changes the structure of the metal, enabling automakers to stamp body panels with deeper curves and creases, the Automotive News reported.

The aluminum 3-month price saw a 0.7% drop on the LME on Tuesday, December 23, landing at $1,904 per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. The primary aluminum cash price weakened by 0.6% on the LME, settling at $1,877 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian aluminum fell 0.4% to INR 120.40 ($1.90) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,900 ($2,073) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum billet held flat at CNY 13,700 ($2,202) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar showed little movement yesterday at CNY 13,110 ($2,107) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum showed little movement yesterday, hovering around CNY 13,100 ($2,105) per metric ton.

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