The choice of materials is probably the first and foremost important task in the automotive industry. Manufacturers have to take a range of features into consideration when designing a model and selecting the right materials, including lightweight, safety, economic effectiveness, lifecycle, and recyclability. Fortunately, all of these characteristics can be found in metals. In this article, we’re going to show you 5 most common types of metal used in car frames and their benefits.
Steel is undoubtedly the most common material used in car manufacturing. Almost every model is designed with some steel simply because it is cheap, strong, readily available, and easy to work. Generally, you can find this steel in parts like brakes, engine, exhaust, wheels, chassis, and roof.
Steel is available in a variety of grades with the lightness increasing proportionately with the expense of making the parts and producing the material. Therefore, car-makers will often utilize more than one kind of steel during the production process – prioritizing better steel where they need more reinforcement.
Another common metal in the automotive industry is aluminum, which is much stronger and lighter than steel. More importantly, it is completely rust resistant. The downside of aluminum, however, is that it is often much harder to work with and more expensive than steel. Thus, you won’t often see it on cheaper models. Audi and Jaguar are the two manufacturers that are associated with aluminum-constructed cars.
Magnesium gained its popularity as an auto manufacturing material in the 1970s. It is basically easier to work with than aluminum, as well as stronger and lighter than steel, which provides a great middle-ground between carbon fiber and steel.
Iron is also a common option to build cars. However, this metal was widely used in the past when it was still difficult to find other materials with better qualities and prices. Nowadays, iron has been utilized less in contemporary models mainly because it is relatively heavy and difficult to work with. That being said, its weight often comes to a great durability, which is the reason why it still used for some engine parts.
Titanium is basically an exotic material which is extremely lightweight, strong, and resistant to corrosion from weathering saltwater and chemical. It is hard to manufacture this metal, so it is often used sparingly in sports exhaust systems of high-end models. Compared to metals with the same density, titanium comes with the highest strength, making it an ideal option for reducing the overall weight and creating a tougher part in luxurious cars like Porsche.