Skip to comments.Ford's Trade-In: Truck to Use Aluminum in Place of Steel
Posted on 07/27/2012 2:33:00 PM PDT by Responsibility2ndEdited 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.
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The Bismarck was of course sunk by the British Navy in the Atlantic ocean.
Don’t they use aluminum powder in rocket fuel?
Powder vs solid form makes all the difference when burning it.
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.
Car wheels now are mostly an alloy of magnesium and aluminum. Which were developed for race cars to reduce weight, and gyroscopic force.
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.
I know they use it in fireworks.
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
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.
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.
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.
This is especially good news since the United States currently mines and produces, like, 483% of the world’s aluminum.
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.
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.
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...
However...aluminum is a tad more expensive than steel and that means higher prices for the truck. How much higher? Who knows?
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.
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.
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.
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