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Ford's Trade-In: Truck to Use Aluminum in Place of Steel
WSJ ^ | 07/26/2012 | MIKE RAMSEY

Posted on 07/27/2012 2:33:00 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd

Edited on 07/27/2012 2:39:50 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

ALLEN PARK, Mich.—In this suburb just west of Detroit, Ford Motor Co. is working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history: a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.

The radical redesign will help meet tougher federal fuel-economy targets now starting to have wide-ranging effects on Detroit's auto makers. But Ford will have to overcome a host of manufacturing obstacles, plus convince die-hard pickup buyers that aluminum is as tough as steel.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: aluminum; automakers; cafe; energy; energypolicy; ford; fordmotor; fordtrucks; greenreligion; manufacturing; physics
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To: ozzymandus
You are confusing ships. The Graf Spee was a pocket battleship that engaged British ships in the Battle of the River Plate. Damanged the German Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew and the Captain committed suicide in Montevideo,
Uruguay.

The Bismarck was of course sunk by the British Navy in the Atlantic ocean.

41 posted on 07/27/2012 3:26:10 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: UCANSEE2

Don’t they use aluminum powder in rocket fuel?

Powder vs solid form makes all the difference when burning it.


42 posted on 07/27/2012 3:26:37 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Looks like I’ll need to get a few more years out of my ‘79 F-250 and my ‘93 F-150.

That’s prolly ok ‘cuz I planned to anyway.


43 posted on 07/27/2012 3:27:16 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
The first thing that should be addressed in the concept of 'aluminum'. Most material we see, use, are familiar with is not 'aluminum' but aluminum alloy. Various alloys perform differently, and have different strengths.

Car wheels now are mostly an alloy of magnesium and aluminum. Which were developed for race cars to reduce weight, and gyroscopic force.

44 posted on 07/27/2012 3:27:47 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: yarddog
"... Didn’t Land Rover use aluminum bodies?"

Yes, they at least certainly did on the Defender 90 series.

The problems with those vehicles (and all applications where steel surfaces meet with aluminum surfaces) is that the materials do chemically react with one another, especially when exposed to salt and water. Defender 90s seem to have interesting rust problems where steel meets aluminum.

I think that this Ford concept will work, but there are going to be issues with ownership of these vehicles. I expect most noticeably if bodywork is ever needed. You really can't repair mangled aluminum, only replace it. All in all that's probably not a huge issue.

45 posted on 07/27/2012 3:29:04 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: cripplecreek
Don’t they use aluminum powder in rocket fuel?

I know they use it in fireworks.

46 posted on 07/27/2012 3:30:18 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Renegade

people around here collect anything metal as its worth 200 bucks a ton at the recycler. I forsee guys coming out to the new ford and seeing its missing its bumpers


47 posted on 07/27/2012 3:31:42 PM PDT by mriguy67
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan
If those things crash and catch on fire, I bet they will burn hotter than the surface of the sun.

IIRC, I read somewhere a long time ago where the early M-113 APC's had aluminium as armor so when they got hit during the Vietnam War, they burned at a higher temperature and causes a lot more casualties. If they want to make a rustless car, why not stainless steel?
48 posted on 07/27/2012 3:32:04 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (June 28th, 2012, the Day America Jumped The Shark.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Using just aluminum is inferior to using an aluminum alloy, which might be much harder. The trick is to find an alloy with something not very expensive.


49 posted on 07/27/2012 3:35:44 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: UCANSEE2

IIRC the aluminum armor of one of the British warships was set off by anti-ship missiles during the Falklands war, so you can get solid aluminum burning but it takes temps higher than you can produce with any kind of petroleum fire to do it.


50 posted on 07/27/2012 3:36:31 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
@strong aluminum alloy

It depends on what they go with. There have been some great advances with aluminum alloys, though I don't expect they'll use the @transparent aluminum that has been invented.

51 posted on 07/27/2012 3:38:51 PM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: null and void; Sacajaweau; cripplecreek; Responsibility2nd

This is especially good news since the United States currently mines and produces, like, 483% of the world’s aluminum.


52 posted on 07/27/2012 3:38:51 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: Responsibility2nd

Aircraft are made of aluminum, and they’re plenty strong. It all depends on the design. A hood, for example, probably doesn’t contribute much, if anything, to the rigidity and durability of a truck. Aluminum could probably replace plenty of steel parts without compromising the “toughness” of a vehicle.

Chrysler experimented with aluminum parts in the 70s (look up Plymouth Feather Duster). From what I understand, the problem with aluminum wasn’t so much toughness as cost.


53 posted on 07/27/2012 3:48:01 PM PDT by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: Nowhere Man

Right down to the Tracks. When you look at Soldiers riding in Viet Nam, they are riding on top of the track. The damned things were mine traps and fire traps. An RPG would eat through the side armor like it wasn’t there.


54 posted on 07/27/2012 3:48:49 PM PDT by Little Bill
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To: cripplecreek
Don’t they use aluminum powder in rocket fuel?

Ya, IIRC, the space shuttle boaster rockets burned a propellant that contained a large amount of aluminum. I've built amature rockets using aluminum powder.

My '99 F-150 4x4 V6 step-side 5-Speed Tranny has an aluminum hood, heads, intake manifold, oil pan, and gearbox case. Rear step-box is mostly fiberglass. The paint is in excellant condition on the hood with almost 200K miles on these Louisiana bug filled roads.

It has been the best little truck that I've ever owned. Doubt I'll ever part with it...

55 posted on 07/27/2012 3:53:53 PM PDT by Errant
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To: Responsibility2nd

However...aluminum is a tad more expensive than steel and that means higher prices for the truck. How much higher? Who knows?


56 posted on 07/27/2012 3:54:54 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Hodar

Compared to steel, painting and welding aluminum is more difficult. Still, aluminum has many advantages. As with all things engineered, there are always tradeoffs. I’d love to have some of the steel components, things like hoods, trunk lids, and fenders, changed to aluminum on my vehicles. One place where they better pay close attention is anywhere where aluminum and steel parts connect.


57 posted on 07/27/2012 3:56:48 PM PDT by CitizenUSA (Why celebrate evil? Evil is easy. Good is the goal worth striving for.)
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To: cableguymn
It’s not... steel and aluminum don’t mix. Salt eats it worse than steel.

The last Ford I bought (Expedition), the section of frame that supports the engine rusted out by the time it was five years old. Mechanic told me the engine would likely fall right out while driving. Also said this was a common problem with that particular model.

Before that I owned an F-150, and by the time it was 2 years old, the paint on the roof and hood was bubbling and peeling in large swathes. To be fair, Ford did repaint it at no charge.

No way I'll be lining up to buy their newest tin can innovation.

58 posted on 07/27/2012 3:57:14 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
I read somewhere a long time ago where the early M-113 APC's had aluminium as armor...

They still are, including M109 howitzers and many other combat vehicles including some of the newer lightweight, air transportable tanks.

Btw, many navy ships are now being built of aluminum.

59 posted on 07/27/2012 3:58:10 PM PDT by Errant
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To: All


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60 posted on 07/27/2012 4:03:57 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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