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Aluminium Is The New Metal In Automotive Design

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Although the first industrial refinement of aluminium was in 1825 and the process to create aluminium extrusions dates back to 1894, many manufacturing industries are now describing it as a new metal. The use of aluminium has been fairly low-key over the years with usage being primarily in the aerospace industry, the production of household goods and accessories for cars such as radiator grilles, hub-caps and wing mirrors. However, concern over harmful carbon emissions and high fuel consumption has prompted organisations such as the Environmental Protection Agency to insist on a global policy for car manufacturers in particular, to design products that have a reduced fuel consumption of between 7% and 20%. Consequently, manufacturers are turning their attention to inexpensive aluminium, an old metal with new design capabilities.

How To Reduce Fuel Consumption

One way manufacturers can reduce fuel consumption is by creating more streamlined engines and fuel systems, but these take time to develop and perhaps have less flexible capabilities. The immediate solution to solving global fuel reduction is to reduce the overall weight of the car. Steel has traditionally been the major metal in a car, accounting for around 60% of the total weight. The main problem facing designers has been how to adequately replace the strength of steel. The solution has been the use of aluminium extrusions.

How Aluminium Can Replace Steel

Aluminium extrusions have the strength of steel due to chemical changes that occur to the mill finish aluminium during the extrusion process. The aluminium is irreversibly transformed into a superior form of the metal, adding extra strength and a complete lifetime of anti-corrosive properties. In this respect, the current terminology is correct except that it is extruded aluminium that is the new metal rather than aluminium in its original form.

Reduced Weight

Automotive manufacturers estimate that the weight of a car needs to be reduced by approximately 15% or between 250 and 700 pounds to reach the reduction of up to 20% of fuel consumption recommended by global agencies. Many famous brands have already been using aluminium extrusions which have seen the weight of their cars reduced by as much as 40%. Other brands are aiming at increasing an average of just 8% of aluminium to more than 50%. Automotive designers are using cost effective aluminium extrusions to create cars that are lightweight, strong and – rustproof! Let Edmo know why you need aluminium extrusions.