Alcoa Responds To The Aluminum F-150 Story
December 12th, 2013 2:08 PM Share
We received a note from Alcoa, a supplier of aluminum, regarding our story on delays with the next Ford F-150. Alcoa’s Monica Orbe sent us this note
While details of future programs and timelines should come from automotive OEMs themselves – regardless of the platform — we can say that Alcoa does not have any issues with its automotive production lines. It is important to note that aluminum is the second most used material to build cars today. Automakers have successfully used Alcoa materials to produce aluminum-intensive vehicles since the mid 1990s.
Published December 12th, 2013 2:08 PM
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Well, I look at TTAC as car entertainment site. Since this 'scoop' was not concurred by 'legit' news sources, I see it as another 'tabloid car news' story.
Aluminum is simply an awesome material... I am an engineer so maybe a geek but aluminum has 70 years of history as a preferred advanced material and there's plenty of expertise out there. Get yourself a chunk of aluminum just to own and admire, I say (seriously). So I could see some problems popping up with tooling, but not fundamental problems with the material. Ford is making a bold move, in my books a good one, and they should and will get some accolades for it. Besides now that aerospace is moving to composites (which are a long way off for major components of mass market vehicles), the auto industry might be able to lock in reasonable commodity prices.
For strenght and heat resistance, I choose Inconel 600. I also keep a chunk at home just to admire.
This conversation is hilarious. I have completely restored three NA Miatas, which come with aluminum hoods and trunk lids. All body work and paint was done by the guy working out of his modified garage down the street, with mostly standard hand tools. He reports that repairing aluminum is really not much different than working on steel parts. He would die and go to heaven with the robots and controlled environments employed by Ford.