Hycast - LowEX - Low carbon aluminium heat exchangers

LowEX: Low carbon Aluminium Heat Exchanger Products

LowEX is a three year innovation project aiming at the development of a low-carbon production value chain and products for aluminium heat exchangers. It is a collaboration between Hydro Aluminium AS, Elkem ASA Silicon Materials, Gränges AB and SINTEF.

This project focuses on the production phase of heat-exchanger materials. Modern light vehicles contains up to ten different heat-exchangers and the number per vehicle has been increasing in recent years due to advanced engine design and passenger comfort demands. In electric and hybrid vehicles there is also a strong need for thermal management of batteries. Due to high heat conductivity, aluminium brazed materials are the preferred material for heat-exchangers. The project targets reducing the CO2 footprint throughout the value chain and designing new heat exchanger products.

  • The overall aim of the project is to develop low-carbon footprint sheet ingot materials for heat-exchangers, primarily for the automotive industry.
  • The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions from current levels by at least 1 ton per ton aluminium produced.
  • Processes and products developed shall be ready for environmental product declaration (EPD) and new products will fulfil the quality demands on heat-exchanger materials.

As a project partner and leading provider of casthouse technology and equipment, including melt treatment, Hycast contribute with deep process know-how on melt refining and casting as well as casting equipment.

In return, Hycast will gain valuable expertise on low carbon emission aluminium casting and be able to identify the main contributors to CO2 footprint in the casting process. This will in turn lead to casthouse equipment with lower CO2 footprint and associated CO2 documentation.

Through this initiative Hycast is taking steps towards:

  • More production process transparency.
  • Identification of CO2 contributors in the casting process.
  • Equipment with lower CO2 footprint and documentation.
  • Reduced consumption of resources and consumables where it makes most impact.