Aluminum Alloys 101 for Automakers

 

Source: Aluminum Insider

 

The use of aluminum has rapidly increased in the manufacturing of automotive and commercial vehicles, thanks in part to the speed with which aluminum producers are developing stronger and more ductile metals from advanced alloys recently hitting the market.

Goran Djukanovic at Aluminum Insider has handily set up a guide to aluminum alloys applicable to use in the automotive industry.

We know aluminum is lighter (and therefore more energy efficient) and durable and offers superior corrosion resistance. But which alloys are best for the production of vehicle parts and components? Djukanovic wades past the marketing hype and assesses the metals on the market to provide this “Aluminum 101” basic overview of the products available to automakers, reviewing in particular:

  • Aluminum alloy series 6xxxx v 5xxxx;
  • Main alloys used in the industry, such as AA6016A, AA6111, AA6451, AA181A, AA6022, AA6061, AA5182, AA5754, RC5754; and
  • Alloys currently being developed or in the testing phase.

An excerpt:

New, superior and improved aluminum alloys have become – and are likely to stay – the main lightweighting materials in vehicles. The only obstacle remains their relatively high price compared to steel, but still affordable compared to carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs). What’s more, prices are expected to decrease in the future thanks to increased use, new recycling procedures, and techniques as well as lower input costs (Sc,Zr,Li etc). 

 

Read more: “Aluminium Alloys in the Automotive Industry: a Handy Guide”

Photo credit / caption: Novelis via Aluminum Insider / Aluminium alloy sample under a scanning electron microscope

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