AHT support student entry into the Shell-Eco marathon Europe


Dudley-based specialists in alloy and aluminium heat treatment and casting, Alloy Heat Treatment (AHT) have supported the University of Strathclyde in developing an Eco Vehicle to enter the Shell Eco-marathon Europe. 

 The competition challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy efficient car. The Prototype class which the University are entering focuses on maximum efficiency, which means passenger comfort takes a back seat. 

The University’s Chassis Team Manager, Robert Hamill explained: “We got in touch with AHT and they were very excited to be working with us and were incredibly helpful, especially due to the nature of the project. The main process they carried out was the solution heat treatment of our aluminium chassis which was great.” 

 The project provides students at the University with a wealth of opportunity to hone their craft in many different areas. A host of mechanical, design and electrical engineers have collaborated to develop the Eco Vehicle. 

 AHT were asked to provide technical assistance for the heat treatment of a fabricated aluminium alloy chassis. During the fabrication process, supplied material temper strength is significantly reduced in the heat affected zone (HAZ). This led AHT to re-heat treat to restore strength to the HAZ and uniform strength properties in general. 

 AHT Technical Director, Mark Percox explained: “We were able to accommodate the size and geometry of the part in our Furnace 30, which is our latest investment, which has rapid quenching into polymer glycol quenching capability.

“The chassis was solution treated and polymer glycol quenched to ensure the integrity of welded sections and to minimise quench distortion during heat treatment.

“We gave technical assistance in terms of preparation for heat treatment, best heat treatment practice, straightening capability and post-heat treatment strengthening of critical areas.” 

 Alloy Heat Treatment are the UK’s first and only specialist in the heat treatment of aluminium alloys. With over 40 years experience as a subcontractor focused solely on the heat treatment of aluminium alloys, they are the preferred destination for companies within all sectors of the light metal industry.

 Hamill concluded: “AHT were very helpful and helped us to arrange transport. AHT let us know of any slight distortion during the quenching and heat treating process. It has been a very smooth process compared to what is could have been. In terms of speaking with other companies, they were definitely the most helpful option.”