Aluminum is seeing a marked increase in use in Automobile manufacture over the traditional metal; steel. This trend has been driven by two major factors. Firstly the market price for aluminum has fallen by over a third since its 2011 peak, making the metal and attractive option, despite it costing more than three times as much as steel. So what else is driving this trend? The intrinsic properties of aluminum make it suitable for vehicle manufacture; particularly its light weight. In a society that is increasingly concerned about fuel economy and pollution this is of particular importance, as lighter cars mean that less gasoline needs to be used to propel them.
So one can pose the question; how real is this trend? As mentioned in our previous article on the new Ford F-150 pickup truck, it is the first modern-mass produced vehicle to have its body completely composed of aluminum. However there are other examples, particularly in the luxury automobile segment that also have aluminum bodies, like the Audi A8 and Jaguar XJR.
This is just the beginning of the aluminum switch, as we can see the strong investment in technology and infrastructure. The biggest example of this being Alcoa Inc. and Novalis (the largest metal manufacturers in the United States) spending a combined $US 1 Billion on upgrading factories just to produce aluminum sheet metal for automobiles. This is not an intrinsically US phenomena, with Hindalco spending $US 550 Million upgrading aluminum sheet metal for automobile manufacture plants in Germany and China.
As a world leader in aluminum production and supply Shanghai Metal Corporation stocks this material in a range of forms and can customize specifications to suite your requirements. To contact us please visit our website Here. For more updates on this and other exciting developments follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. Or by using your smart device, scan the QR code below!
Dominick F.// Editor SMC
Sources: The Wall Street Journal; Anish Kelkar, Richard Roth, and Joel Clark; Wikipedia; Motor Trend; Forbes