As more and more Americans struggle with finding ways to lower fuel costs each month for the operation of cars and trucks, the benefits of aluminum products and their influence on the transportation industry are becoming more apparent. Most of the major manufacturers have created vehicles that take advantage of aluminum extrusion and fabrication to create lighter weight parts that are just as strong and durable as their steel counterparts. Substantial increases made to fuel efficiency benefit everyone, as they also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.
The Facts: Aluminum Parts & Components
When it comes to using extrusions created in American aluminum fabrication shops, the transportation industry has seen some pretty significant gains. The best way to determine whether or not aluminum extrusion solutions are right for you is to have all of the facts with regard to actual numbers associated with the use of aluminum parts, products and in the creation of aluminum-intensive vehicles.
Some examples of statistics regarding aluminum in the transportation industry include:
- mass can be reduced significantly by replacing steel with aluminum
- one pound of aluminum parts can replace 1.6 pounds of steel
- a vehicle that is considered “aluminum-intensive” can reduce 20 percent in total life cycle energy consumption and an approximately 17 percent reduction in CO2
- primary aluminum production energy requirements have been reduced by over 25 percent since 1995, equal to 37 million barrels of oil saved
- carbon emissions for production of primary aluminum is down to nearly 40 percent since 1995, equal to over 25 million tons of CO2e reduction per year
- over 90 percent of automotive aluminum is recovered and recycled each year
- nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced since 1888 is still in use today
- recycling aluminum requires only eight percent of the energy required for primary aluminum production and saves over 90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
The Truth: How Aluminum Extrusion Works
When you look at the techniques used to create aluminum extrusion and fabrication products and components, the sustainable energy savings become obvious from the very moment of creation. The aluminum billets used to create the extrusions are made from 99.9 percent recycled materials at Silver City Aluminum. So before we even make a single product, we are already doing good for the environment. More benefits of aluminum products can be found in the extrusion process itself, which is designed to minimize waste. Any scrap metal that is produced during extrusion is collected, recycled, and reused in another future project. This not only helps to reduce dependency on raw aluminum products but also helps clients to lower costs by significantly reducing wasted materials.
To further minimize waste, the aluminum billets that come from our suppliers are cut based on the length and weight of the profile. Each billet is seven inches in diameter. It is then heated to a specific temperature in a long oven before it reaches the extrusion press machine. Approximately ten million pounds of pressure is used to push the metal through the standard or custom die profile. The malleable metal flows through the design and comes out in the exact shape that was chosen or designed by the client. Once the shape has been created, the piece is cooled down on a 160 foot long table. Once it cools, the metal can be pulled into the desired shape to create the perfect dimensions while it is still warm.
The warm metal is then cut into the requested length before being heat-treated. This process helps to further harden the aluminum so that it reaches its maximum capacity. Aluminum fabrication shops like Silver City Aluminum are able to provide one stop shop services that include design, extrusion, and fabrication all in one. Because we do everything in-house, we are able to provide optimal quality control through every step of the process. The aluminum extrusion solutions that we create for the transportation industry are used in consumer vehicles, municipal transportation, mass transit and even aerospace technology.
Industry Solutions for Extrusion and Fabrication
If you would like to place an order for standard or custom aluminum extrusion solutions, call Silver City Aluminum at 508-542-7200. Our team of highly trained and experienced engineers and technicians can help you to take advantage of the benefits of aluminum products to create products and compoenents that will stand up to the test of time. Call today for a FREE estimate on your transportation industry project.