Touchstone portfolio company Impression Technologies Limited (ITL), which is commercialising a novel aluminium forming technology based on intellectual property developed at Imperial College London, is playing a key role in a consortium of automotive partners that have secured funding totalling £9.6million.
ITL will lead the 30-month project, which is known as RACEForm, with a consortium of automotive partners including Gestamp Washington UK Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gestamp Automoción, one of the world's largest suppliers of automotive components), Innoval Technology Limited, Imperial College London and Brunel University London. The project includes £4.8million in grant funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Ltd ('APC'). ITL will receive a significant proportion of this grant funding to further develop and validate its patented Hot Formed Quench (HFQ®) technology, which allows manufacturers to form deep drawn complex shapes from high and ultra-high strength aluminium. The result is a high strength, low weight, cost-effective components for structures within car bodies, rolling stock and aircraft assemblies. ITL’s HFQ® technology enables the replacement of steel with aluminium in critical applications, including those where complex geometries would not otherwise be formable in high strength aluminium grades.
Jonathan Watkins, ITL's Chief Executive said:
"We are delighted that APC has chosen to back our HFQ® Technology. We look forward to working with Gestamp and the other consortium members in collaboration with our OEM and aluminium partners to further develop HFQ® Technology for mass production and to establish the technology as a global industry standard."