Standard: AA AT7


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Automotive aluminum use has been growing for years (from an average of 87 pounds per car in 1976 to 248 pounds in 1999), mainly to reduce weight and improve fuel economy. Each pound of aluminum used can reduce vehicle weight as much as 1.5 pounds. Automotive frames and bodies can make even further use of aluminum's unique combination of strength, light weight, crash-energy absorption, corrosion resistance, and thermal and electrical conductivity.

As new car prices increase (they roughly quadrupled between 1978 and 1999), durability and corrosion resistance take on new importance. Buyers want vehicles that will retain their appearance and keep a high resale value. That is something that aluminum can provide, as automakers offer longer warranties against component failure and body rust-out.

Aluminum - even unpainted and uncoated - resists corrosion by water and road salt and, in noncosmetically critical parts, its use can avoid the substantial extra costs of galvanizing, coating and painting required for steel. Aluminum does not rust like steel if the paint is scratched or chipped. Nor is it weakened or embrittled, as some plastics may be, by desert heat, northern cold, or the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. For its new delivery vans, the U.S. Postal Service specified aluminum bodies designed to last 24 years!

Finally, when a car must be scrapped aluminum is readily recycled with a high residual scrap value, providing both economic and environmental benefits.

Aluminum, with its wide choice of alloys and tempers, offers a wealth of advantages to automotive engineers developing new car designs of the future.

Organization: The Aluminum Association Inc.
Document Number: aa at7
Publish Date: 2001-05-01
Page Count: 28
Change Type: STCH
Available Languages: EN
DOD Adopted: NO
ANSI Approved: NO
Most Recent Revision: YES
Current Version: NO
Status: Inactive

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