Situation faced by China’s Automobile Foundry Industry

1. China’s automobile foundry industry started late and its technology is backward

As an ancient foundry country with a casting history of thousands of years, China’s automobile casting industry has only a history of more than 40 years. Such a young Chinese automobile foundry industry is basically a self-sufficient foundry subordinate to the main engine plant established under the planned economic system. Automobile castings are more complex than those in traditional industries, with higher quality requirements and faster supply pace. Therefore, casting equipment and facilities with a certain level of high productivity must be adopted, and the capital investment is also high. However, because it is subordinate to the main engine factory and is not the main specialty of the main engine factory, the actual investment that can be arranged is very limited. Even if some foreign equipment is introduced, due to limited funds, only some main equipment can be introduced, but there is no ability to introduce a full set of equipment, which leads to the backward technical level and low production efficiency of China’s automobile casting industry, which has become the “bottleneck” restricting the development of automobile industry.

2. Automobile castings shall be lightweight, thin-walled and toughened

At present, the automotive industry has higher and higher requirements for castings. In order to implement the strategy of sustainable development, we must make cars achieve the goal of energy conservation and environmental protection. Therefore, automobiles should strive to improve fuel economy and strictly control emissions. The European Union has begun to develop vehicles with fuel consumption less than 3 L / 100 km, and the daily standard proposed by the United States is 80 Li / gallon of gasoline (i.e. 34 km / L). In order to achieve this goal, reducing the dead weight of the vehicle is an important measure. 0.3 liters of gasoline can be saved for every 100 kg and 100 km of vehicle weight reduction; Every 10% reduction in vehicle weight can reduce vehicle emissions by 10%. In order to reduce the weight of automobile, automobile castings must be lightweight, thin-walled, accurate and tough. Therefore, automobile castings are constantly replaced by lightweight aluminum castings.

In the past decade, the number of aluminum castings for automobiles in the United States has increased by 1.7 times. By 2007, 95% of the engine cylinder heads of cars in the United States will use aluminum castings and 50% of the cylinder blocks will use aluminum castings. The aluminum castings per vehicle in Europe will reach 5 kg in 1990 and 98 kg in 2006. The application of magnesium alloy castings, whose specific gravity is one-third lighter than that of aluminum alloy, in cars is increasing significantly. These magnesium alloy castings include: clutch housing, gearbox housing, gearbox upper cover, engine cover, steering wheel, seat support, instrument panel frame, door inner plate, wheel loss, steering support, brake support, valve support, and even cylinder head and cylinder block. In recent years, the application of magnesium alloy castings in cars has increased at a rate of 20% per year. In 1996, 45 magnesium alloy castings were used in cars produced by general motors. In 1998, the annual output of magnesium alloy castings in American cars reached 13000 tons.

The development of cars in China is consistent with the trend of the world. China’s requirements for vehicle emission are to meet the emission standards of the European Community in one step (first implement the euro 1 standard, and reach the euro n standard in 2003…), and Beijing has begun to implement it, and other cities have also implemented it one after another. Therefore, the requirements for automotive castings are the same as the world trend. The requirements for lightweight, thin wall and strengthening and toughening of automobile castings have put great pressure on the improvement of the casting process level, equipment and mold level, as well as the level of casting raw and auxiliary materials of automobile iron castings in China. In China, automotive aluminum casting has just begun with the rise of car industry in recent years, and automotive magnesium casting has almost started from scratch. Therefore, China’s automotive casting industry has a long way to go.

3. Automobile casting industry must take the road of green casting

Facing the increasingly strict requirements of the society for the foundry industry. With sustainable development increasingly becoming the consensus of governments, the society can no longer forgive the laissez faire of the foundry industry, a large energy consumer and polluter. The protection of resources and the environment has become a consensus. At the 63rd World Foundry conference in 1998, the foundry Environmental Protection Award has been issued, and ten foundries in the world that took the lead in passing the certification of 15014000 won the award. The overall level of environmental pollution in China is equivalent to the most serious level in the history of developed countries. China’s automobile casting industry must take the road of high efficiency, energy saving, material saving and environmental protection, and take the road of green casting.

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