Pickups Will Use More Aluminum, But at What Cost?

Posted on 19. Jun, 2012 by in Auto News

In a market where engineers hope every ounce of weight savings are directly attributable to improved fuel economy, increased use of lighterweight materials seem to be the logical choice. What this means for the future of design is to see overall strength and long term durability of our pickup trucks.

We have been talking for years about how car manufacturers are using more and more exotic materials to reduce weight, to do with Ford. The best job of spreading the technology in its range Early reports, as far back as 2007, the F-150 team had experimented with aluminum and magnesium, as much as £ 750 to store in full-size pickup trucks. At that time, Ford CEO Alan Mulally went on record he wanted. The weight of all its vehicles by 250 pounds, which we believed to reduce small cars, to 750 pounds, we assumed that the larger full-size pickups

Ford, like many other manufacturers deep store already in extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel to reduce weight to recent premium (Lincoln), mainstream (Ford) and commercial vehicles (especially in Europe), but we expect more aggressive use of aluminum-magnesium compounds such as the push to squeeze out more and more 10ths of one mpg is necessary. The problem arises when one considers that most of these lighter compounds are also softer and more expensive, so that the body part and engineers need to be careful exactly where and how to use much of the material.

Automotive News recently reported that some manufacturers like Audi and Jaguar were using aluminum extensively in body and unibody construction for many years, but with more aggressive Corporate Average Fuel Economy numbers on the horizon in 2016, 2018 and finally 2025, you can bet is there more to get more use of the aluminum industry. This is great news for aluminum producers such as Alcoa, who expect that the auto industry is aluminum consumption to double in just over 10 years. In fact, Alcoa says that the average amount of aluminum per car from today's current level of 343 pounds to 550 pounds in 2025, and probably more for the larger pickups.

To some degree, the use of these softer, lighter materials is sense for smaller cars, but how they will affect issues such as durability, safety and spare parts costs remains to be seen. Just about every vehicle, including some of the commercial trucks like Ford Transit Custom, have unibody design and relatively light drivetrain. There is no doubt that engineers must be careful with ladder frame construction, suspension components and firm surfaces. Likewise, more extensive use of aluminum / magnesium / graphite wheels, engine blocks and framework could also prove rewarding, but risky and expensive.

Materials such as magnesium, but quite frequently (some have it listed as the eighth most abundant element on earth) could natually affect construction costs and possible transaction prices of pickup trucks. Already some are reporting that aluminum supplies are getting tighter, with the average price of aluminum already significantly higher than mild or high strength steel, and that price is likely to continue to rise with demand.

Richard Schultz, CEO of Ducker Worldwide, a global consulting firm said, Automotive News that each pickup would probably shed as much as £ 800, to meet the upcoming EPA regulations. Schultz went on to say if he would be the producers able to meet this goal by 2020.

Whether all this is more design exercises in the vein of the Honda Ridgline or something like the Ford F-100 concept, which we listen to remember my also remains to be seen. No matter what happens, every truck maker is going to have to do a lot of work to truck buyers to convince them that all this will reduce weight negative no impact on their trucks, especially the reduction of the amount of load that he situation in the to drag will be, how much it can tow trialer, and how confident they can do it.

We already have the 2013 Ram 1500, seen with its aluminum bonnet, the drive train housing, doors and arm, but it would not surprise us to the new GM hotel page again with plastic composites, carbon fiber and high-strength play steel, as well. But, as already mentioned, such as Ford's leading this race to save weight at the moment, with more advanced experiments is shown in their future commercial truck offers.

Our advice: Do not blink, because this might exciting.