The largest research project so far (almost CZK 35 million) has been started by the academic staff of our school in the school laboratories. The outcome of the project at the end of 2022 will be qualitatively new components for automotive, produced by the MOTOR JIKOV foundry.
„The quality standards of the final products, components and their properties are constantly growing, together with the market´s requirements for producing each time more light-weight components. Thus, we often have to face the technical limits of both the components and production technologies. The only way to push them further is applied research and development. But we are not able to manage it ourselves“ says Miroslav Dvořák, the Director-General of a mechanical engineering holding, MOTOR JIKOV Group.
This joint project, where our school is represented by the Environmental Research Department of the Faculty of Technology, is seeking new technological processes that would reduce the costs of preparation and production of the melt while increasing the efficiency of the refining processes for die casting and low-pressure die casting, shorten the time between casting the metal from the melting furnace and the casting state and increase the lifetime of the equipment as well as shorten the shutdown period.
“The outcome will be new high quality products for automotive with a higher value added. We are only at the beginning, but we have experience, well-equipped laboratories and we know the ways to find solutions,”says Assoc. Prof. Ladislav Socha, who is the project investigator together with his colleague, Assoc. Prof. Karel Gryc.
For development and innovation, both institutions received financial support of CZK 20.6 million from state Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR). The overall costs will amount to CZK 34.8 million.
For MOTOR JIKOV and its division MOTOR JIKOV FOUNDRY, whose main customers include Scania, MAN, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive or Aisin, this will be a strong incentive.
“To compete at least at the European level means to produce high-quality components. In our case, it refers to castings with high requirements for mechanical properties and weight. Therefore, we need an appropriate material for melting furnace. However, a good base is not enough. It is necessary to achieve the best material and mechanical properties of alloy of a maximum purity, without harmful gases. And that´s alchemy for the academics and their research,” says Tomáš Prášil, director for MJG project management.
For developing complex production technologies, operational and pilot experiments, physical modelling and verification under full operating conditions are used. A part of these activities is a systematic material-technological evaluation under normal operating conditions of the division Foundry, as well as extensive series of test smelting completed with laboratory experiments. The project outcome will be the optimization of batch materials, chemical composition of the melt and improvement of the refining process by means of gas, metallic and non-metallic impurities removal. New and unique findings then enable to develop new technological processes improving the casting quality to a higher level.
The project“TH04020449 Research and development of refining technologies for increasing the quality of aluminium alloys for high-quality castings” is financially supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic.