11 March 2010

Alcan Specialty Sheet introduces a comprehensive product portfolio of Automotive Body in White sheet specifications to meet European automotive industry’s growing demand

Alcan Specialty Sheet, part of Alcan Engineered Products – a business unit of Rio Tinto – introduces a comprehensive product portfolio of Automotive Body in White sheet specifications to meet the growing and increasingly complex demands of the European automotive industry.

With the successful investment in a conversion line at the Neuf-Brisach plant (France), Alcan Specialty Sheet further strengthened its position as a major player in the aluminium automotive market in Europe. Alcan Specialty Sheet, working closely with several OEMs, was able to develop a range of new products to satisfy existing customer specifications and to meet new requirements for future generations of aluminium intensive vehicles.

Alcan Specialty Sheet, with the largest dedicated research and development capabilities and technical support in Europe, focuses on delivering customised and innovative solutions to address highly demanding industry requirements through co-development programs with its customers.

As one of the leaders in automotive body sheet supply, we wanted to develop a complete product portfolio to offer the required tailored solutions,” said Thierry Mootz, Director Sales and Marketing, Automotive and Customised Solutions, Alcan Specialty Sheet. “By using new and recognisable brand names, we also highlight the differentiation of our products and create a strong automotive identity. The brand names recognise customer requirements like formability, strength, and surface.

We developed and qualified products to match key customer specifications, such as Surfalex™6s for demanding skin quality, or Formalex™5x, a high formability 5xxx mono-alloy tailored for difficult parts such as door interiors,” said Dr. Hervé Ribes, Development manager Automotive, Alcan Specialty Sheet. “The development of a full product range within less than two years was possible thanks to our unique R&D capabilities in Voreppe (France). The research centre provides us with a deep knowledge of aluminium applications and experience, acquired through collaborative projects and close work with highly innovative activities, such as aerospace, as well as environmentally friendly solutions in recycling and surface treatments.”*

* In addition to the previously mentioned trademarks, the Alcan Specialty Sheet portfolio also includes Strongalex™, Ultralex™, Securalex™ and Coralex™.

Alcan Specialty Sheet is a key player in the European rolling industry, occupying leading market positions for packaging, automotive, and customised industrial sheet solutions including high quality functional surface products. It has world-class rolling and recycling operations in Neuf Brisach (France) and Singen (Germany), dedicated R&D capabilities in Voreppe (France) and Neuhausen (Switzerland), and employs over 2,000 people.

Alcan Engineered Products is a global sector-leader strongly committed to developing innovative, value-added aluminium products for a broad range of markets and applications, including aerospace, mass transportation, automotive, packaging, energy and building. With around 11,000 employees located in over 30 countries and a commercial presence in more than 60 markets worldwide, Alcan Engineered Products is organised around businesses dedicated to performance materials in the areas of aluminium rolled products, extrusions and automotive structures, aluminium cable and international trade. Alcan Engineered Products is headquartered in Paris, France.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

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