The Prospect of Aluminum in Automotive Manufacturing
As an automotive manufacturing material, aluminum has the advantages of light weight, high strength, good tensile properties, and corrosion resistance. It is a good material for automotive manufacturing and parts processing.
The biggest advantage of aluminum alloy is that it is light enough. The density of steel is 7.8g/cm³, while the density of aluminium is only 2.7g/cm³. This means that under the same volume, the weight of aluminum is only about one-third of that of steel, even lighter than the 4.5g/cm³ of the ultra-light titanium alloy in everyone's impression.
Lightweight automobiles have become the trend of automotive progress all over the world.
With the vigorous promotion and application of sustainable development strategies, automotive light weighting has become the trend of world automotive progress. Vehicle lightweight mainly includes three categories: body lightweight, chassis lightweight and engine lightweight. In the process of light weighting of automobiles, aluminum alloy profile materials are particularly important, which are mainly used to transform and replace car body raw materials. In recent years, aluminum alloy profiles have been widely used in the automotive field.
Aluminum is increasingly used in automotive production. Nowadays, with the concept of lightweight, the application of aluminum in automotive manufacturing has gradually expanded, from the early radiator and wheels, to the cylinder block, engine cover, body and other parts, and then to the current aluminum alloy body and chassis suspension and other parts.
Brief introduction of aluminum and aluminum alloys.
Aluminum and aluminum alloys are divided into deformed aluminum alloys and cast aluminum alloys; in terms of shape, they are mainly divided into aluminum rods, aluminum ingots, and flat ingots. Aluminum rods are also called aluminum alloy round ingots. They are mainly used for extrusions, mainly civil aluminum materials (building profiles). The most used ones are 6063. There are two types of aluminum ingots, one is a00 pure aluminum ingots, which are mainly for remelting processing, there is another kind of aluminum alloy ingot, such as adc12, which is mainly used for die casting; and there are various types of plates, which are mainly processed from flat ingots.
Aluminum alloys applying in automotive
Aluminum alloys for automobiles are generally mainly concentrated in three aspects: automobile wheels, automobile engine gearbox casings, and automobile frames. Of course, there are also some such as interior trim, bottom plate and so on.
Aluminum alloy materials for automobile body mainly include 2000 series, 5000 series and 6000 series alloy plates, profiles, pipes and high-performance cast aluminum. Different types of aluminum alloy materials are used for different stress parts. Skeleton part: The part that bears the most force on the body is made of 2000 series or 7000 series materials, which can be strengthened by heat treatment. Skin part: The secondary stress part of the body is made of 5000 series or 6000 series materials. Door part: 5000 series or 6000 series materials are used. Bottom part: 5000 series or 6000 series materials are used. Interior parts: 1000 series or 5000 series materials are used, without heat treatment strengthening. Seat part: 2000 series or 6000 series materials are used, which can be strengthened by heat treatment. Castings: High-performance cast aluminum alloys are used, which can be strengthened by heat treatment. Aluminum alloy sheets mainly include 2000 series, 5000 series and 6000 series alloys.
2000 series alloy is a kind of aluminum alloy that can be strengthened by heat treatment. It has excellent forgeability, high strength and good welding performance. It has a good baking strengthening effect, but its corrosion resistance is worse than other series of aluminum alloys. . Currently, 2036 and 2022 alloys are partially used in automotive body panels.
5000 series alloy is a kind of aluminum alloy that cannot be strengthened by heat treatment. It has good corrosion resistance and welding performance, but it may produce Ludes lines and delayed yielding during processing deformation in the annealed state. Therefore, it is mainly used for shapes such as body inner panels. complex parts.
6000 series alloys are heat-treatable-strengthened aluminum alloys with high strength, good plasticity and excellent corrosion resistance. Compared with the steel plate, the yield strength and tensile strength of the 6000 series 2T4 plate are similar, and the hardening coefficient even exceeds that of the steel plate. At present, 6009, 6010 and 6016 aluminum alloys are used in the outer and inner panels of automobile bodies due to their good plasticity and the ability to achieve high strength through artificial aging during the paint-baking process after forming. The body panels of the Audi A8 are made of this series of aluminum alloys. In addition, in order to enhance the buffer capacity and fatigue strength of automobiles, German VAW, Japanese KOK, and China Southwest Aluminum have all developed and developed high-performance aluminum plates and aluminum profiles for automobiles based on this series of alloys. Currently, 6000-series alloys are the main body panels.
The benefits of using aluminum alloys in vehicles
1. Light weight
At the driving level, the lighter the weight of the car, the smaller the inertia it has, so whether it is accelerating, decelerating, or cornering, the resistance of the vehicle to change its current state will be smaller, and the response speed will be improved. In addition, the weight reduction of the vehicle can also significantly reduce the fuel consumption of the vehicle. For every 100kg reduction in the curb weight of the vehicle, the fuel consumption per 100 kilometers of the vehicle can be reduced by 0.3~0.6L. Now that the oil price is rising and the air pollution is serious, the lightweight of the vehicle is undoubtedly an inevitable trend. .
2. Good corrosion resistance
Aluminum can react with oxygen in the air to form a dense aluminum oxide film, thereby preventing the aluminum alloy from continuing to react with the outside world. Therefore, compared with steel plates, the corrosion resistance of aluminum alloys is significantly better.
3. Better energy absorption effect
According to experiments, aluminum absorbs twice as much energy in a collision as steel of the same weight. This means that if two identical cars, one uses aluminum alloy at the longitudinal beam responsible for the collision at the front of the car, and the other uses steel, then at the same collision speed, the vehicle using the aluminum alloy longitudinal beam will the energy absorption effect of the beam is better.
The Prospect of aluminum for automotive manufacturing
Because the density of aluminum is lower than that of most metals, it can reduce the weight of automobiles, and the strength of aluminum alloys is also in the forefront of most common alloys, and with the development of productivity, the production cost of aluminum is further reduced, and the more Tighter vehicle crash-testing standards and increasing consumer focus on vehicle safety are also driving manufacturers to use aluminum.