Monday, June 18, 2012
Aluminum Car Bodies Coming To American Manufacturers
Today, all-aluminum automobile bodies remain mostly in the realm of a few limited production European models but, according to a recent report from Automotive News, the need to boost fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year is now forcing car makers to consider much more intensive use of aluminum than ever before.
In fact, "Every carmaker in the United States is actively looking at an all-aluminum body-in-white," said Randall Scheps, Marketing Director for the aluminum manufacturer Alcoa. Scheps tole automotive News that within three years, an Alcoa customer in North America will build a vehicle with an aluminum body-in-white, but declined to identify the automaker. "We are working on a variety of projects ranging from production contracts to advanced development," he told Automotive News.
Now they are using more aluminum sheet for hoods, liftgates, fenders and doors. And they are starting to design aluminum bodies-in-white, Scheps said.
Scheps told Automotive News that automakers are expected to triple North American use of aluminum sheet by 2015 and Alcoa expects that growing demand from the auto industry to cause aluminum shortages by next year. In September 2011, Alcoa announced plans for a $300 million expansion of its aluminum sheet plant in Davenport, Iowa to meet demand already secured.
Copyright 2012 CollisionWeek (www.collisionweek.com) – reprinted by permission from the publisher