Edwin Heinle (right) and Prof. Lothar Kallien with the award certificate - © CHRISTOS MANGOS

Prize for work on recycling

The Verband der Metall- und Elektroindustrie Baden-Württemberg e.V. has awarded the Südwestmetallpreis to Edwin Heinle from Julius Schüle Druckguss GmbH. Heinle received the prize for his bachelor thesis on the casting of aluminum pipes using the die casting process.

Even a negative result is a result. Edwin Heinle received the Südwestmetall Prize, endowed with 5000 euros, for his bachelor's thesis, in which he proved on the basis of theoretical calculations that it is not possible to cast aluminum tubes without filler in die casting. A negative result that was confirmed by extensive casting tests. The decisive factor in awarding the prize was the coherent implementation of the topic as well as the high degree of topicality and practical relevance.

High topicality, as the technology of tube casting will gain in importance in the future in the course of the mobility transition in the automotive industry, but at the same time entails material combinations that make recycling more difficult. This is because power electronics are absolutely essential in electric vehicles, which release large amounts of heat during operation that need to be dissipated, for example through a housing with an integrated cooling media channel. At Julius Schüle Druckguss GmbH, one of the ways in which tubes are cast is by casting a hollow structure made of austenitic stainless steel into a housing cover made of an aluminum alloy. This material combination of aluminum and steel results in mixed scrap during disposal, which has to be laboriously separated during recycling. Edwin Heinle's work was intended to clarify whether a process is possible in which the aluminum tube is cast without filler. It was supervised by Prof. Lothar Kallien.

Every year, the Baden-Württemberg Metal and Electrical Industry Association awards the Southwest Metal Prize for academic theses that are important for the industrial working world and/or its socio-political framework conditions.