The auto industry is under pressure to lighten its vehicles to reduce emissions and boost fuel economy. That’s a potential boon for aluminum producers and a possible bust for the steel industry.
According to an article in Automotive News, high-strength steels will “likely…dominate in Europe” while aluminum, at one-third the weight of steel, will likely be used more extensively in the United States to cut down on the weight of our larger vehicles, especially trucks and SUVs. The article added, “Conventional steel will be the big loser in both areas.”
Why go with a complex steel alloy when simpler aluminum could do the job at even lighter weights? The article said, “Cutting one lb. of car weight with advanced high strength steel costs about 50 cents while using aluminum costs four times as much.”
Aluminum, the article said, has made “extensive inroads” on some car components– engine blocks, heat exchangers, transmissions, and wheels, to name a few– but still comprises just 8% of the weight of a typical car versus 60% for steel.
Source : Technologytell.com