Funded Projects

RACEForm – ( Rapid Aluminium Cost Effective Forming )

Developed with Support Funding from APC UK, November 2017.


Impression Technologies, a leading developer of advanced light-weighting technology, is pleased to announce the award of funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK Ltd (‘APC’) to further develop and validate Impression Technologies’ HFQ® Technology for use in the global automotive industry. The total project value is £ 9.5 million, with £ 4.8 million in funding through the APC, awarded as part of its seventh round of funding.


Impression Technologies will lead the RACEForm Project with a World class consortium including; Gestamp Washington UK Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Gestamp Automoción), Innoval Technology Limited, Imperial College London and Brunel University London


The RACEForm 30-month project starts in November 2017 and will focus on validating the HFQ® Technology for the mass production of complex, deep drawn, high strength aluminium structures for body in white and chassis applications and help establish the technology as a global standard for aluminium light-weighting worldwide. The HFQ® Technology, for which Impression Technologies holds the exclusive global rights, offers OEMs significant savings in weight, cost and system complexity through its ability to produce deep drawn high strength aluminium alloys with low cycle times and no spring back.


Impression Technologies is pleased to be working with Gestamp Automoción, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of metal components for the automotive sector, to achieve safer, lighter and more efficient vehicles using HFQ® Technology. The consortium will also work in partnership with a major UK-based passenger car OEM and a producer of aluminium. The RACEForm project will help position the UK as a leader in aluminium light-weighting and establish a strong UK supply chain capability for the development of low cost, mass production low emission vehicles.


Jonathan Watkins, Impression Technologies’ Chief Executive Officer said: “We are delighted that APC has chosen to back our HFQ® Technology. We look forward to working together with Gestamp and the other consortium members in collaboration with our OEM and aluminium partners to further develop the HFQ® Technology for mass production and to establish the technology as a global industry standard.”


Tom Larsen, Gestamp’ R&D Advanced Technology & Application Manager said: “Gestamp is continuously innovating in product and process and material developments and see HFQ® as an important milestone in developing advanced technological parts for application on future OEM platforms.”


Minister for Climate Change and Industry, Claire Perry said: “Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are improving our supply chains to make it easier for them to work with big business. Alongside this, our recently published Clean Growth Strategy underlines our support for the low carbon sector and the 430,000 people working in the industry across the UK.”


“If we want the UK’s automotive sector to remain a success story, we must invest in technologies that will help reduce the weight of vehicles. That’s one of the reasons why the government is supporting the Advanced Propulsion Centre, so it can help drive the collaboration needed to accelerate the development of low carbon vehicle technologies such as those developed by Impression Technologies.


For more information, please visit


Contact email:


Jonathan Watkins, Chief Executive Officer / John Sellors, Director Application Engineering




About Impression Technologies :


Impression Technologies has industrialised the breakthrough HFQ® Technology and is developing its HFQ Technology platform for new material grades and high-volume applications. ITL offers its unique HFQ® Technology to tiers and OEMs in the automotive, aerospace, rail and industrial sectors and is receiving significant global interest in the use of HFQ Technology. Impression Technologies’ Coventry site incorporates a state-of-the-art press line for lower volume commercial passenger car production, technology development and prototyping for a growing number of international passenger car OEMs who are looking to use HFQ® Technology on light-weighting and new vehicle platforms. ITL’s HFQ Technology stems from over 14 years of research at the University of Birmingham and Imperial College London and more than £25m of investment from the UK Government, the EU and Touchstone Innovations plc and Mercia Technologies plc. Components produced using HFQ® Technology can be found on current production vehicles, such as Aston Martin’s DB11.


About Gestamp / Autotech Engineering R&D UK Ltd :


Gestamp is a multinational specialized in the design, development and manufacture of highly engineered metal components for top vehicle manufacturers. It develops products with an innovative design to produce lighter and safer vehicles, which offer improved energy consumption and a reduced environmental impact. Its products cover the areas of body-in-white, chassis and mechanisms.


The company is present in 21 countries with 102 manufacturing plants and 7 under construction, 13 R&D centres, a workforce of more than 36,000 employees worldwide as of December 2016. Its turnover was €7,549m in 2016. Gestamp is listed on the Spanish stock market under the GEST ticker.


As a part of Gestamp Autotech Engineering R&D UK Ltd, is responsible for the Design, Development, Prototype and Testing of Chassis products. This group primary develops Chassis products worldwide for the past 20 years.


About Innoval Technology Ltd :


Innoval Technology Ltd provides high quality technical consultancy to investors, manufacturers and end-users of aluminium across a broad range of industry sectors, such as rolling, extrusion, automotive, aerospace, heat exchangers and packaging. The company, based in Banbury, UK, holds ISO9001: 2008 certification and ISO17025 accreditation. Since 2012 Innoval Technology has been part of the Danieli Group.


About Brunel University, London :


Brunel University London is an international university committed to bringing benefit to society through excellence in education, research and knowledge transfer. Brunel works extensively with industry partners, contributing to global innovation and policy change.


The Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology, BCAST is an internationally leading research group working in solidification science delivering advances in both fundamental understanding and technological and application development addressing sustainable metals technologies for industry.


The Brunel Dynamic Response Group, part of the Structural Integrity theme, has a proven international track record in numerical methods development (including constitutive model development), design and non-linear analysis for the mechanical response of structures and materials, which includes large or rapid deformation (crash and impact loading).


About Imperial College London :


Imperial College London is ranked among the top 10 universities in the world and the top 3 in Europe. The Faculty of Engineering is the largest such faculty in the UK and ranks top among European engineering schools. The Mechanical Engineering Department at Imperial was most highly rated for research impact in the most recent REF. The Metal-forming and materials Modelling Group, led by Professor Jianguo Lin, has an international reputation on innovative metal forming process development, has over 70 post-doctoral and PhD researchers. The HFQ® -Aluminum technique was invented in the Group. Impression Technologies Ltd is a spin-out company from Imperial College for the commercialization of the HFQ® -Aluminum technique.



Other Funded Projects –




Environmental wellbeing backed by increasingly severe legislation dictates that pollution and energy consumption by automobiles must be reduced significantly. The outcomes of this project will enable both these imperatives to be achieved simultaneously. Read more>



MagHot has developed a manufacturing route, enabling a step change in the manufacture of ultra-lightweight magnesium pressings. MagHot has extended the HFQ® process for hot forming of Magnesium, to overcome existing and economic limitations. Read more>