Custom Solutions: How the Auto Industry Uses Extruded Aluminum

auto-industry-extruded-aluminumOne of the most successful metals used within the automotive industry is aluminum. In fact, it has been used within this industry now for over one hundred years. At that time, aluminum was a very costly material and was difficult to use. However, today it is now widely used within the transportation industry as a whole, due to its high strength to weight ratio, which aids in increasing fuel efficiency. There are many reasons to choose aluminum over other metal materials.

Aluminum is popular with race car drivers and other types of motor sports where lightweight car designs are ideal for faster speeds and reduced fuel consumption. In fact, today aluminum is now the second most used material in the automotive industry. Studies reveal that for every pound of aluminum used in the construction of automobiles, more than two pounds of steel are saved, reducing the weight of the vehicle considerably.

Traditional Aluminum Frames
History shows us that the first aluminum body was produced back in 1899 to create a sports car that was showcased at the Berlin International Motor Show. The first aluminum car engine was designed and constructed by Carl Benz in 1901, who later went on to be one of the co-founders of Mercedes Benz. However, it wasn’t until 1961 that the first mass produced aluminum engine was released, the Buick 215 V8 by Land Rover. As fuel consumption became more important to consumers, Audi began production of aluminum body cars in 1997, with many major manufacturers now following suit.

There are many manufacturing methods used to bring aluminum to the automotive industry. Extruded aluminum makes the creation of traditional aluminum frames, parts and products simple and cost-effective. Even custom designs for extruded aluminum are more affordable than other methods that require expensive secondary operations to get the parts just right. Custom aluminum coating solutions can be added to increase the natural anti-corrosive nature of aluminum at one stop shop fabrication and finishing facilities like Silver City Aluminum. There are many advantages associated with choosing aluminum for automotive parts and frames.

Why is Aluminum Different?
There is a huge difference between aluminum and other top metals used in the automotive industry. The first big difference is weight. Aluminum is very light. In fact, the density of aluminum is one-third the density of steel, which is the most commonly used metal in auto manufacturing. By replacing steel parts with aluminum, manufacturers are able to reduce the weight of their vehicles considerably, making them more fuel efficient and cost-effective to create.

The lightweight nature of aluminum wouldn’t be as valuable if it weren’t for its strength. Aluminum is very strong. Some alloys have extreme tensile strengths. This high strength to weight ratio is what makes aluminum the metal of choice for many manufacturers. Aluminum also does not become brittle at very low temperatures. Unlike steel, which can actually break in freezing temperatures, aluminum actually increases its strength when cold.

Flexible and malleable, extruded aluminum can flex under a load and then bounce back from the force of the impacts. Its malleability is what makes it perfect for standard or custom extrusion at our one stop shop fabrication facility. It can be extruded hot or cold and then further manipulated through bending and forming secondary operations. Traditional aluminum frames and other extrusions can also receive custom aluminum coating solutions for even more added protection.

Conductive and reflective, aluminum is an excellent conductor of both heat and electricity. Its lightweight nature makes it even lighter than copper, which allows for a much lighter aluminum conductor with the same conductivity as copper. It is very reflective, which allows it to be used to reflect both light and heat in industrial situations. Our one stop shop fabrication facility can help you every step of the way from basic design for custom extruded aluminum on to choosing custom aluminum coating solutions that are right for your product and your budget.

Where to Get Quality Extruded Aluminum
If you work in the automotive industry or any other industry where aluminum would be an asset, contract Silver City Aluminum by calling 508-542-7200. Located in Taunton, Massachusetts, we provide our one stop shop fabrication and finishing services for clients all over the world. From traditional aluminum frames to intricate and custom extruded aluminum, you can count on Silver City Aluminum to provide you with the results you require. Call today for a FREE estimate on any of our services or to learn more about the services we provide at Silver City Aluminum.