Human Horizons, the owner of the HiPhi brand, announced that it has rolled off the production line with a local parts supplier for an integrated, large die-cast rear body structure based on a giant 7,200-ton die-casting machine.
In the age of electric vehicles (EVs), new technologies are being used at a rapid pace, and large-scale integrated die-casting technology is one of them.
Chinese EV maker Human Horizons, which owns the premium HiPhi brand, announced on Saturday that it and local component supplier Ningbo Tuopu Group have rolled out a large integrated die-cast rear body structure based on a 7,200-ton giant die-casting machine.
(Image credit: Human Horizons)
HiPhi became the first Chinese automaker to get the technology into mass production, and it will be used in future models of the brand, Human Horizons claimed.
Human Horizons' press release uses vague wording and does not say whether HiPhi has introduced the giant 7,200-ton die-casting machine into its own production line or who the supplier of the die-casting machine is.
The move comes after HiPhi and the National Engineering Center for Light Alloys at Shanghai Jiao Tong University late last year developed a low-carbon aluminum alloy material called TechCast for use in large castings, according to the press release.
The material is a heat-treatment-free alloy that is more than 15 percent more fluid and 30 percent tougher than materials in its class, Human Horizons said.
In car manufacturing, by replacing steel structures with aluminum parts, the weight of the body can be reduced by 20 percent to 30 percent, thus reducing energy consumption and improving vehicle range, according to the press release.
The large die-casting process, widely known after its use by Tesla, allows the production of large castings without heat treatment and shortens production cycles.
Compared to the traditional body manufacturing stamping and welding process, one-piece die casting can help reduce the weight of the model, reduce the number of parts and process steps, resulting in significant cost savings.
Tesla is currently using a 6,000-ton integrated die-casting machine in the production of the Model Y. Media reports said the company will use an 8,000-ton integrated die-casting machine for the Cybertruck.
Previous media reports have said that six Chinese car companies intend to use similar equipment to produce vehicles.
On October 18 of last year, NIO announced that it had successfully validated the development of a heat-treatment-free material that could be used to make large die castings.
This is the first of its kind for a Chinese car company, and the new material will be used in models built on NIO's second-generation platform, according to NIO.
The rear subframe of NIO's ET5 sedan, released late last year, uses an integrated die-casting process, according to the company.
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