The car industry has been a fan of steel for a very long time. They use it to make car frames, doors and other car parts. But ever since the demand for a more fuel efficient vehicle has grown, many car manufacturers have done research and development projects to find a suitable alternative for steel. Among the many materials that they have researched is the ever so light aluminum.
Aluminum is now being looked at as a possible candidate to replace steel frames and doors on cars. This lightweight material will certainly shave off extra pounds on the cars total weight therefore reducing fuel consumption. It is fast to manufacture, a lot less pricey than other lightweight metals such as titanium that is why it has been used by BMW more and more in the past years.
Car makers have been trying their best to comply with the public’s demand of creating a more economical, fuel efficient and tougher vehicle that still retains its aesthetic qualities. Thanks to the aluminum, research may just have found a way to do so. Many of the car companies we know have already engaged in research and development studies about aluminum as a replacement for steel in cars. They have been trying to use this material in their car units as much as possible and are now looking to use it even more. Hoods and doors might just be one of the first few car parts that may experience the change from steel to aluminum.
Ever since Alcoa’s Randal Scheps mentioned that aluminum-intensive vehicles are more fuel efficient, safe and affordable during the 2009 SAE Government/Industry meeting, many car manufacturers have looked at this metal more differently and the same man also said that he anticipate a great increase in the overall metal consumption of the automotive industry from 11.5 million tons last 2011 to a staggering 24.8 million tons by 2025. That is double the amount of metal consumption of last year. It is also predicted that by that time, an average car would now have a total aluminum content of 550lbs a great ways from the current 343lbs.
Alcoa has now invested a whopping $300 million for the expansion projects of their Davenport, Iowa production plant to keep up with the forecasted increase in aluminum demand in the coming years. This increase in demand is great news for aluminum manufacturing companies which has now has taken a whiff of the increasing demand for the metal.
If many of you can remember, President Obama has proposed to increase the U.S. CAFÉ standard from 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This proposition by the American president has gained so many criticisms that have now seemed to die out.
Consumers will now be given a vehicle that would pass all standards and will also be fuel efficient and safe. The remaining question now is how much is it will cost.