Whether for autos, busses, trucks, trailers, or rail, engineers are increasingly turning to aluminum extrusions to improve fuel economy, enhance performance and increase load carrying capacity. Each pound of aluminum that replaces two pounds of steel or iron in a car can save 3.1 gallons of crude oil, and 20 pounds of CO2 emissions, over the life of the vehicle. The use of automotive aluminum in 2006 model year vehicles alone has saved 14.5 billion gallons of gasoline or about 350 million barrels of crude oil. And with new mileage standards for both passenger and commercial vehicles, additional extrusion use — and environmental benefits — are expected. It is estimated that the US commercial vehicle fuel standards announced in 2011 will cut crude oil consumption by over 500 million barrels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 300 million tons annually.
At the same time, aluminum extrusions offer vehicle developers a corrosion free material with the design flexibility to combine multiple functions in one part, and optimize the application of strength to where it is really needed. For additional information on the use of aluminum in both consumer and commercial vehicles, go to: www.aluminumintransportation.org
Images: Hydro, Honda Newsroom, Sumitomo of America