HKPC’s Breakthrough in Roll Bonding

Enabling Customised Functional Mix Multi-Material Alloy Sheet Fabrication

Producing New High-strength Lightweight Alloy Materials With Unlimited Potentials

(Hong Kong, 4 May 2022) The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) is committed to promoting the upgrading and transformation of Hong Kong enterprises through innovation and technology towards high value-added development. In the era of Industry 4.0, improving the efficacy of core components is the essence of boosting competitiveness and standing out in the market. Developed by HKPC, the “Multi-Metallic Sheet Accumulative Roll Bonding (ARB) and Stamping Technologies” (ARB technology) is a breakthrough of conventional processes for producing high-performance novel metal alloy with the advantages of high-strength, lightweight and corrosion resistant, being even suitable for high-end and all metal manufacturing. This innovation has secured the gold medal at the 2022 Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions, which is a testament to the international recognition of innovation and technology achievements in Hong Kong.

ARB technology effectively tackles the pain points of conventional technology, such as lacking land and the performance of clad metal sheets failing to meet the growing market requirements. This technology leverages a new self-developed machine with length, width and height all being less than two metres, not only is the volume smaller, but the machine also enables the completion of the whole ARB process, including accumulating, rolling and annealing within one machine. Two or more multi-layer metal alloy sheets will be fabricated like a “sandwich” after the ARB process, so that the sheets are tightly connected. It does not only improve work efficiency, but also saves space and manpower. This technology can produce new and high value-added metallic materials cost-effectively with better bonding quality, which are suitable for manufacturing high-tech products, such as automobiles, electric vehicles and aerospace components, at a relatively economic cost. Hence, this technology is highly competitive when it comes to mass production, helping enterprises develop high-end manufacturing and quality products to penetrate new markets.

To achieve net-zero carbon emissions, ARB technology enables manufacturing products in a more environmentally friendly way, as it can operate with only electricity, without generating exhaust gas and wastewater during the ARB process. On the contrary, the conventional rolling metal technology emits pollutants, such as welding fumes and harmful gases, bringing adverse impact to the environment.

Materials produced by this ARB technology have unlimited potentials as they can meet various requirements of high-end technology products. For example, the new material “magnesium-steel” combines the characteristics of both metals, resulting in products with strong impact load capacity, electromagnetic radiation resistance and good heat dissipation, which is applicable to the shells of aerospace and high-end electronic equipment, and even in the fields of satellites and rockets. The critical automobile components components made by “aluminum-steel” are lightweight and with high strength, which can greatly reduce production costs and ensure the quality of electric vehicle components as well lifecycle and safety. In addition to high-end technology products, all manufacturers with production lines involving metals can be benefitted from this technology. Radiators produced by “aluminum-copper sheet” can be used for manufacturing domestic appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, greatly improving cooling efficiency while reducing losses in refrigerant and power.

Furthermore, this innovation also brings benefits to sheet metal manufacturers by complementing the automated production facilities in their factories, while facilitating the production of large or small batches of alloy sheets based on the order requirements. Manufacturers can also further process the sheets into a range of high-end, high-strength and lightweight components. HKPC will continue creating more values and promoting the intellectualisation of traditional industries in Hong Kong, while developing high-end manufacturing through state-of-the-art technologies, and further showcasing the “Made in Hong Kong” brand in the international market.

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