Trimet and Nexans have developed a new product able to meet the high technical requirements on the mechanical properties and conductivity of the alloy while reducing the product’s carbon footprint. Until now, power cables have been manufactured exclusively on the basis of primary aluminium.

Melting and recycling of aluminium scrap require only a fraction of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium. However, recycled aluminium contains impurities that adversely affect the material’s specific properties. The collaborative project between Nexans and Trimet aimed to coordinate optimised raw material supply and innovative material development. For example, Nexans has refined the sorting of aluminium scrap at its European production sites through RecyCâbles, a Nexans-Suez joint venture, while gearing its collection to recycling for electrical cables. Trimet has closed the material cycle with its recycling concept and used the scrap obtained to develop a high-quality alloy that meets the full range of quality requirements for mechanical and electrical performance.

“Our project shows that recycling offers enormous potential to reduce CO2 emissions. I am proud that Nexans can now offer its customers a product that combines superior quality while ensuring a higher level of a circular economy. Nexans thus pursues its strategy to constantly look for new sources of value for its customers,” says Vincent Dessale, Chief Operating Officer of Nexans.

“Recycling is an important component of sustainable aluminium production for us. The development of high-quality alloys with the smallest possible carbon footprint makes a significant contribution to this,” says Philipp Schlüter, CEO of Trimet Aluminum SE and President of Trimet France SAS.

Nexans plans to maximise the use of aluminium rod with recycled aluminium content in 2023. This enables the global company to meet its customers’ growing demand for products with a favourable eco-balance. For its part, Trimet is expanding its range of recycled products in the aluminium wire sector. In so doing, the materials specialist is building on its commitment to decarbonising production while contributing further to the energy transition.

Image source: Courtesy of Nexans & Trimet; image credit © Denis Morel

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