Hydro will upgrade casting operations at its Husnes (Norway) facility with new technology to produce more advanced products for the growing automotive aluminum forging market. Newly developed in-house casting technology, low-pressure casting (LPC), will enable Hydro to provide materials with enhanced properties for various extrusion markets in which it is already a major material supplier. After the upgrade, Hydro Husnes will also be able to offer materials for forging. The Hydro-developed technology enables a shift from traditional extruded forge stock to cast forge stock, eliminating costly steps in the production process while improving quality. The as-cast surface is ready for forging, and homogenizing is not required. The upgraded facility will commence operations in 2020.
Being able to produce materials for various niche segments such as forge stock in a large casthouse directly from liquid metal from electrolysis allows further cost and quality improvements compared to the traditional smaller-scale casthouses that are typically based on melting of ingots and horizontal casting methods. According to Hydro Husnes, the new technology will strengthen the plant’s ability to deliver more advanced aluminum products. The key is the flexibility to be able to cast both extrusion ingots and forging materials according to customer demand in a flexible and efficient way.