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Aluminium use in cars to almost double in the coming decade

Aluminium Electric Motor Shell

As we’ve reported on several occasions, fuel consumption reduction is on the minds of all carmakers, and the approach to this constantly shifting horizon differs, from focusing on electric vehicles, developing hybrids, working on new battery technology, smaller engines for smaller cars, but possibly one of the easiest ways of increasing a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is just making it lighter.

This approach has been taken up by many carmakers, who have started focusing much more on their smaller car models, or developing new ones, and smaller more efficient engines meant to make those small cars run faster and longer, however now there are some clear signals from within the industry that many carmakers are looking into using aluminium more in their designs.

We are all very familiar with aluminium, it is what soda cans are mostly made of, and we’re also tangentially familiar with the notion that aluminium is generally used where lightweight yet strong materials are necessary, such as the aerospace industry, and aluminium-alloy components have been in use in the automotive industry for quite a while, but now carmakers are looking for ways of increasing the amount of aluminium they can build into their designs.

At the present time the average car incorporates about 115 kilograms of aluminium, but the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminium says that that quantity is expected to increase to up to 250 kilograms by about 2025, with the overall rate of aluminium consumption doubling in the process, from 11.5 million tons to about 24.8 million tons.

Carmakers are looking into a variety of ways of increasing their models’ aluminium content, they’re starting new research and development projects to look into how they can transition from steel bodies to aluminium ones, and also how to convert hoods and doors from steel to aluminium.

The demand for aluminium is definitely on the rise, and while modern cars use the metal in greater proportion than the average example we used earlier, it should be noted that there are some other alternatives out there such as using carbonfibre and carbonfibre reinforced plastics.

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