Aluminum vs Steel Cars: Challenges in the Automotive Industry

The war between cost efficiency and weight reduction has the automotive industry pushing for advancements in high-strength classes of steel.

Steel plays a very comprehensive role in the automotive industry. It makes up almost 65% of an automobile truck – from the exterior to the interior. With such an astounding number of demands coming from automotive industries, the production of steel remains extremely high.

The standards set in these large industries for top quality, strength, and cost-effectiveness pave the way for more advancements in steel crafting.

Steel Consumption and Aluminum Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is one of the major consumers of steel and till now, the demand for steel is continuing to rise. This has been a challenge for metallurgists and metal manufacturers to continue to boost the production of steel to support the rigid requirements coming from large automotive industries.

Steel has been the material of choice for almost all types of manufacturing applications – be it for car parts, turbine engines, chemical plants, hydraulic motors, etc. But with the major concerns of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, the manufacturing of this metal comes with an ever-increasing list of factors to consider. In the vehicles we have today, fuel efficiency and automobile emissions are monitored closely. Thus, weight reduction in automobiles is a major factor for automakers. This is just one of the reasons for the push for innovations by the auto industry to make light and eco-friendly cars.

Steels in Racing Vehicles 

There are specific metals and steels used especially in racing vehicles. For speed and low density, titanium is the most recommended material because of its lightweight and high-strength mechanical properties. The drawback with titanium is that it is generally much more expensive than other metal types, hence its special use for racing vehicles.

Aluminum in the Automotive Industry

For automobile manufacturers, one of the most pressing areas in manufacturing is compliance and adherence to the rigid regulations of the automotive sector. This involves matters of environmental friendliness, fuel efficiency, and emissions reduction. With an eco-friendly target in mind, automobile manufacturers sought to make cars lighter to lessen carbon dioxide consumption per hour.

There has been a great speed bump in the steel industry since metals like aluminum and titanium are clearly best when it comes to lightweight and high strength. And with the high prices of titanium, aluminum has emerged as a clear opponent to the steel industry.

With their model F-150 pickup truck, Ford has aggressively implemented this strategy. This one move has corresponded to an increased percentage in the contribution of aluminum to automotive manufacturing industries.

With its favorable mechanical properties, the chances of aluminum leading all metals is increasing. However, aluminum is still more expensive than steel, and steel is still preferred by some because of that. A weight reduction at low cost is the ideal situation for automotive manufacturers, a goal that has stimulated ideas for innovations in the classes of steel.

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