The automotive sector is constantly growing, and the major automobile manufacturers are always looking for new materials and technologies; the average quantity of aluminum used inside of a vehicle continues to grow, and this trend is ongoing. What is aluminum mainly used for in the automotive sector?
- In functional units (engine, exhaust collectors, gear box, etc.)
- In the chassis (wheel hubcaps, steering box, lateral protective bars, etc.)
- In the cooling system (radiator, water pump and fitting sleeves)
Thanks to a wide range of available alloys, aluminum has mechanical and physical characteristics that make it perfect for the automotive sector. Many molded pieces have already been used for years, as well as various types of sheets, bars and profiles. Internal components are already commonly made with aluminum, while aluminum parts are gradually increasing in the chassis, because steel is the most common metal for this part of the car, due to its technology considered more suitable for producing series.
Why use aluminum for the automotive sector
The automotive sector already began to consider aluminum as an alternative in the early 1900s. As production techniques consolidated, the use of aluminum became more and more common, creating new applications and opportunities.
Currently, the average aluminum content per vehicle is approximately 150 kg, in contrast to only 40-60 kg a few decades ago. These are data to consider with a grain of salt, but they represent how this sector is progressively changing the rules of the game. Why has aluminum enjoyed such success in the automotive sector?
- Above all, aluminum is very light and proportionally reduces the weight of the automobile, increasing performance in terms of speed and fuel efficiency.
- Its mechanical and physical characteristics render it perfect for guaranteeing longer durability of internal components, preventing the risk of premature wear.
- Aluminum is totally recyclable and environmentally sustainable, aligned with modern industrial demands. Furthermore, it also results in savings thanks to the possibility to reuse the same material several times.
- Aluminum is far less costly than many other metals used in the automotive sector. Its use is therefore preferred over more costly materials, which continue to be used less and less.