Novelis is the largest producer of laminated aluminum products and one of the most prolific recyclers of aluminum in the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, in the United States, the company has a site in Sierre hosting two production facilities and a European center for research and development. The latter, opened in 2009, is one of the company’s five R&D labs worldwide. Over the past decade, its 29 employees have been providing technical support, experimental research, product development and innovation to the automotive, building, industrial and transportation markets.
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The Technical Innovation Center in Sierre focuses on two main areas : surface engineering and applied metallurgy. It has developed several new aluminum-based alloys to meet the demands of customers such as Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW or Porsche. “These alloys provide new mechanical performance and better impact resistance,” explains Cyrille Bezençon, manager of the R&D site, to Le Nouvelliste. A special emphasis is placed on ensuring aluminum surface quality and formability : “The design of vehicles is increasingly stylized, with sometimes very strong character lines desired by the manufacturer. To meet this requirement, our products must have a very high shaping capability.” The R&D center also seeks to optimize the durability of its aluminum alloys by providing them with a high recycling capacity.