In recent years, the automotive industry has turned to the aluminum extrusion industry to create cost-effective, safe, effective, and fuel-efficient alternatives to heavier materials like steel. As more automotive companies look for solutions that will help them to increase fuel economy, reduce carbon emissions, and lower manufacturing costs, many are placing their focus on aluminum. While aluminum can be used in many ways to reduce the overall weight of a vehicle while still maintaining strength and safety for passengers, one of the most exciting uses of aluminum in manufacturing continues to be extrusion.
Companies like Ford, Jaguar, and Toyota have all made the move to include aluminum parts and components in their consumer vehicles. The high strength-to-weight ratio of aluminum alloy makes it extremely attractive to developers. The market for using aluminum in the design of auto bodies has increased considerably, making up as much as a third of the automotive industry aluminum market. Aluminum truck beds are just the beginning when it comes to the automotive industry, as engineers find new ways to integrate aluminum into auto body design.
Aluminum Extrusion Growth
Studies reveal that the total aluminum content found in vehicles today is roughly 400 pounds per vehicle (PPV). That number could grow as high as 565 PPV by the year 2028, providing as much as 16 percent of the total vehicle weight. This information comes from a study that surveyed automakers who have reaffirmed their continued interest in using aluminum for consumer-based vehicles. While the auto industry stuck with steel as the primary material used in the construction of cars and trucks, a new multi-material design approach is now being embraced across the board, helping the use of automotive industry aluminum to grow.
While the primary interest in aluminum extrusion solutions for automotive industry design was fuel economy, engineers are finding that there are other benefits as well. Aluminum has become the fastest growing automotive material in the industry and growth is not expected to slow down. The aluminum extrusion industry has proven advantageous for designers who want to improve safety and driving performance in addition to fuel economy and battery range. Lighter weight vehicles help to achieve all of these goals and provide consumers with a safe and efficient car to drive.
Something else that has helped to drive growth in the use of automotive industry aluminum is consumer interest. As consumers continue to embrace the multi-material approach of the automotive industry and learn more about the benefits of aluminum parts and components concerning safety, fuel economy, and performance, demand for these products has increased. Aluminum extrusion solutions for automotive industry design has surpassed the initial changes, which included aluminum truck beds and lighter, aluminum alloy wheels. The aluminum extrusion industry, which has experienced 40 years of growth due to its use in other industrial manufacturing, is now seeing a higher level of growth than anticipated.
Consumer awareness of the benefits of aluminum, such as its ability to be recycled again and again without losing its inherent qualities, has also increased interest. Crash management systems, closures, structural vacuum die-cast parts, steering knuckles, and extruded collars are just some of the ways that engineers are including aluminum in automotive design. More significant use of aluminum body content is already being implemented in future models by major manufacturers. The enhanced performance, improved safety, and affordability of aluminum is making it extremely attractive to consumers, which makes it easy for auto makers to continue using it to achieve their fuel economy goals.
Looking to the Future
The aluminum extrusion industry has become valuable to designers and manufacturers across many different industries. Aerospace, military and defense, marine, consumer goods, automotive, mass transit, and public transportation needs is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in learning more about extrusion solutions for automotive industry development or designing custom extrusions for consumer goods and other product manufacturing, contact our team by calling 508-542-7200. Silver City Aluminum has many years of experience providing top quality standard and custom aluminum extrusion right here in New England and all around the globe. Our goal is to meet or exceed the expectations of every customer we serve. We can answer any questions that you might have or help you get started in the design of your own custom profiles.