A study commissioned by the Aluminium Association and Detroit-based Aluminium Transportation Group (ATG) revealed that automakers will continue to use aluminium in the construction of new cars and trucks at a faster pace than at any time in the automotive industry. Because of this growing trend, additional volumes of aluminium scrap will be processed in facilities in the coming years.
According to a survey made by Michigan-based market research team Ducker Worldwide, in 2015, the total aluminium content in cars was 397 pounds per vehicle (PPV). By 2028, it is expected that 565 PPV will be used to represent 16% of total vehicle weight. Compared to other materials, aluminium is experiencing an unprecedented growth stage because it can be combined with other automotive materials.
Auto manufacturers no longer default to a single material and they use the design approach wherein the best material is used for a specific application so that they can improve fuel economy, battery range, safety and overall driving experience. As automotive customers embrace the multi-material approach in vehicle design, increased amounts of aluminium parts are being used every year. This translates to a higher level of sustained growth for the metal.
According to Heidi Brock, the president and CEO of Virginia-based Aluminium Association, the aluminium industry has invested more than $2 billion since 2013 so as to ensure increased capacity in the United States. The industry is also prepared to continue making investments in domestic manufacturing jobs as demand continues to grow.
About 50% of the total growth in aluminium content in North American light vehicles from 2015 to 2020 will be driven by auto parts that include closures, crash management systems, steering knuckles and structural vacuum die cast. Vacuum die cast parts are expected to grow from less than 3 pounds per vehicle today to 14 PPV by 2020.
Fuel economy is very important in new cars. This is the reason why car manufacturers use aluminium frame to save weight and improve fuel efficiency. New car models use a significant amount of aluminium in construction of outer door panels, hoods and roofs to create a relatively lightweight car. Sometimes, aluminium is mixed with other materials to form the main part of the car’s frame.