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Aluminium expertise at TWI

Aluminium has seen an increased uptake as a material used in industries including aerospace, automotive and construction – however, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when working with aluminium. These factors include the total carbon footprint associated with manufacture, and issues around welding aluminium (particularly to other materials).

Carbon Footprint

The manufacture of products from aluminium has traditionally had a relatively high carbon footprint when compared to using other materials, such as steel. While this impact can be offset by the benefits of using aluminium, such as light-weighting of automotive parts, recyclability and the subsequent reduction in fuel consumption, modern process plant are able to use a number of techniques to further reduce the carbon footprint associated with production of aluminium goods.


Unlike steel, which degrades over time, aluminium, once extracted can be recycled time after time. This capability has evident benefits on an environmental and cost level.


The uptake of aluminium use in the aerospace sector has slowed over recent years, primarily because the desire to use this material has been somewhat compromised by the lag in the development, or take up, of associated enabling technologies.

TWI expertise

With decades of experience working with aluminium, TWI has developed capabilities that can help industry to effectively use aluminium across a range of sectors. This expertise includes knowledge of joining dissimilar materials – for example when joining aluminium to steel – as well as knowledge on joining aluminium to composites and plastics. These processes are particularly applicable in both aerospace and automotive.

ALFED event

TWI held a special free event on 27 March, 2019, alongside the Aluminium Federation (ALFED) to look into factors relating to aluminium use and promoting best practice, skills and innovation.

Further to this, TWI and ALFED are working closely together to promote aluminium use by industry.

Avatar Chris Wiseman Industry Sector Manager - Corporate Development

Chris Wiseman was born and educated in the Midlands, UK. He then moved to Oxfordshire and enjoyed a thirty-year career within a global aluminium company, working as a process metallurgist in their Banbury research centre as well as at production plants around the world. 

Technological areas to which he contributed include, corrosion, thermomechanical forming, novel test methods, plant process optimisation and bonding and surface treatments. 

Chris Wiseman's current role at TWI is supported by this solid technical background and he is committed to seeking and sustaining growth opportunities for TWI and its industrial members from around the world. 

Chris enjoys guitar playing and songwriting, both in public (when he had more hair!) and at home. He has a strong interest in gardening, which extends through to beekeeping and chicken keeping.

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