2. Drivers & Automotive Applications of Aluminum
汽车工业是最具活力的行业之一，不断面临着各种技术挑战和激烈的市场竞争。车辆现在必须符合日益严格的排放法规和燃油经济性要求的公司平均燃油经济性（CAFÃâ€°）标准以及其他新兴的要求性能的提高，质量提高，更好的安全比强度需求，消费需求等造型，（铝业协会公司，7，2001）。主要是这种情况迫使汽车设计师探索选项，以减少车辆的总重量随着发动机技术的创新。钢和铁，传统的汽车应用材料具有较高的密度和重量不在降低汽车重量而具有密度只有2.7克/立方厘米，这是1 / 3号钢铝而言，任何进一步的好处留下多少空间，容易提供本身是在这种情况下，一个更好的选择，而这最终打开的门使用铝在汽车上的应用。因此，严格的监管和燃料效率的要求，导致轻量材料的偏好是鼓励使用铝合金汽车应用的重要推动力。车辆的重量直接影响到其燃油经济性和任何节省燃料消耗的方式转化为整体车辆的排放量减少。这是示出的数字：A和B显示，减少车辆重量100公斤，使用铝组件允许节省约0.6升/ 100公里，整个车辆寿命节省燃料约3000升。
The automobile industry is one of the most dynamic sectors continuously confronting various technological challenges and steep market competitions. Vehicles are now required to comply with increasingly stringent exhaust emission regulations and fuel economy mandates like the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÃâ€°) standards along with other emerging requirements like performance improvement, quality enhancements, needs for better safety & weight-to-strength ratio, consumer styling demands, etc. (The Aluminum Association Inc, AT7, 2001). Primarily this situation compelled the automotive designers to explore options for reducing total vehicle weight along with innovations in engine technologies. Steel and iron, the conventional automotive application materials having higher density and weight do not leave much room for any further benefits in terms of vehicle weight reduction whereas aluminum having a density of only 2.7 g/cm3 which is just 1/3 rd of steel, easily offers itself to be a better option in this case and this eventually opened the gates for aluminum use in automobile applications. Thus, stringent regulatory and fuel efficiency requirements leading to preference for light weight materials are the important drivers encouraging use of aluminum alloys for automobile applications. The weight of a vehicle has direct impact on its fuel economy and any saving in fuel consumption in a way translates into overall vehicle emission reductions. This is illustrated in Figures: a & b which reveal that reducing vehicle weight by 100 kg using aluminum components allow fuel saving of approximately 0.6 liters/100 km and throughout vehicle lifespan fuel saving is about 3000 liters.
A variety of automotive components have made successful transitions from cast iron and steel fabrication designs to aluminum. At present, as much as 80% of the total aluminum requirements of a vehicle are met by cast aluminum (EAA). Aluminum castings are increasingly finding use in different vehicle performance critical components such as power train, transmission, steering system, brakes, suspension and wheels. Other prominent aluminum alloy cast components are intake manifolds, cylinder heads and engine blocks. As per projections of the European Aluminum Association (EAA), total aluminum content in a car is expected to rise to 130-150 kg by 2005. Along with the obvious rise in use of cast aluminum products in vehicles, there will be further requirements for other extruded and rolled aluminum products mostly for vehicle body structure applications. Aluminum is currently making smooth progress towards the goal of substituting conventional automotive steel however; initially it faced minor resistances which have ceased to exist now with the advances in design and development of optimized aluminum casting procedures. Aluminum is already making inroads in various automobile applications and holds the promise for extended use in the near future. To seize this opportunity, major companies like Ford, Chrysler, etc. have already worked out a road-map with comprehensive plans for a greater uptake of aluminum based components for vehicle production. Ford, the world’s largest user of automotive aluminum, has also experimented with a concept called Aluminum Intensive Vehicle, AIV (Mark Phillips, 2001) which is aimed to reduce vehicle weight further by 21% to 688 pounds/car. Also, there is a promise for aluminum in the field of electric vehicles which are sure to become popular very soon. Thus, with its unique attributes and advantages, aluminum is all set to emerge as the most viable substitute to automotive steel in the coming years.