Albany, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/27/2014 -- The automotive industry is committed creating a generation of vehicles that offers superior fuel efficiency without compromising safety, performance, or comfort. Aluminum offers automakers the opportunity to design and manufacture safe, high-performance, energy-efficient, corrosion resistance and environmentally friendly vehicles that are much lighter in weight. In addition to taking advantage of the lighter mass of aluminum compared to steel for the body of the vehicle, further weight reduction is possible through secondary weight savings in the engine, transmission, brakes, wheels, tires, fuel tank, and other systems.
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Substituting one pound of aluminum for steel parts, the auto designers can remove 2.0 to 2.5 pounds of cast iron, making the use of aluminum very attractive. The majority of this aluminum is used in automotive and light truck applications. Aluminum used in cars and trucks are segmented depending on their used as aluminum casting, as aluminum extrusion, as aluminum Flat Rolled Products (FRP) aluminum sheets. Cast products contribute more than half of the aluminum used in cars.
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Cast aluminum transmission housing and pistons have been virtually universal in cars and trucks throughout the world. Aluminum sheet is currently used in two classes of automotive applications including auto body frame and closure panels. Heat exchanger fins and plates and aluminum sheets for chassis are some of the applications in it. Extruded aluminum is the material of choice for countless applications such as sun roof channels and roof rails. Various alloys can be readily formed into complex shapes. Two wheeler industry mainly used aluminum for manufacturing alloy wheels.
One of the major factors driving this market is continuous growth in automotive production and sales. Government regulations on environment are also enhancing the growth of this market as 90% of aluminum can be recycled. Increasing fuel price is also boosting the usage of aluminum as reduction in weight of vehicles saves 5 to 7% of fuel. The availability of other lightweight material (reinforced plastic and magnesium) could pose a challenge to the growth of this market. Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for automotive aluminum industry due to the rapid industrialization in China. Europe dominates the market with largest car manufacturers followed by APAC, North America, Latin America and rest of the world.
Some of the major companies in this market are Alcan, Alcoa, Aluminum Precision Products, Grupo Metalur, Kaiser Aluminum, Lorin, Novelis, Rio Tinto, Sapa Group, Superior Aluminum Alloys Inc. and others.
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