Aluminum Growth In The Automotive Industry
For the first time, shops with the right tools, equipment, training and facilities have the ability to distinguish themselves from those that do not have what it takes. The requirement for specific manufacturer training, knowledge and repair repetition will be imperative with the technology that is utilized in the building of the cars and trucks of today and the future. At this time only about 15% of the collision repair companies across the US have the proper equipment and training to make some of these repairs!
The average mid-size car today with internal components made of aluminum can be 24 percent lighter than one with components made of steel. This will allow fuel consumption to be reduced by 1 gallon per 125 miles.
Car manufacturers first started to use aluminum over a hundred years ago. Back then aluminum was a poorly explored metal, but its light weight and resistance to corrosion gave the metal great potential for the future of the automobile.
Aluminum first became popular among race-drivers in the mid 1960’s. It was light and allowed for a considerable advantage during acceleration. During that time Mickey Thompson drove a car with an engine made of the light-weight aluminum during the ‘Indianapolis 500’, the engine demonstrated tremendous performance capabilities. Over the next few years numerous companies improved the design of the engine and it was eventually used in mass-produced models, race cars and Formula-1 cars.
In the seventies manufacturers had to search for ways to reduce fuel consumption due to the escalating cost of fuel. The most logical way to do that was to figure out how to reduce the weight of the automobile. To do this, the manufacturers started replacing certain components throughout the vehicle with those made of aluminum, reducing the total weight of vehicles. Today, an average of 320 pounds of aluminum is used in the average car, and this continues to grow with every year.