Automotive Industry and its impact on Metal and Metal Parts Suppliers

Metal, Metal parts and the automotive industry – a close-up overview:

The close relationship between metals, metal parts and the automotive industry is the biggest influence of the mobility lifestyle of the entire world. But, where did this start? How did it work? and what’s more that’s waiting to serve the evolution? Let’s take a closer look!

CONTENT

  • When and how did the metals (metal parts) enter the automotive industry?
  • What is the role of metals in the Automotive industry?
  • Which metals are used for automotive manufacturing?
  • Which metal parts complete the structure of the automotive industry?
  • Automotive, metals and metal parts – Looking ahead
  • Conclusion
  • Resources

When and how did the metals (metal parts) enter the automotive industry?

Mobility and Migration have been the biggest driving factors of the human evolution till date that surges development of lifestyle from era to era. The movement of humans from one place to another have seeded constructive demands in terms of trade, infrastructure and eventually technology. Bringing the automotive industry in our focus, the timeline of inventions amazingly demonstrates the radical achievements of professionals offering tech-friendly lifestyle to the world.

When we look back at the history of the mobility designs that humans created, wheels made of wood can be traced as perfect evidences. However, with the expansion of human ideas, metals stepped into the mobility/ transportation infrastructure. Metalworking professionals started using metals to build wheels. Initially, the designs constituted 2-3 wheels. With the addition of different functional parts to the design, the transformation rooted to the construction of 4 wheeled wagons and cars that run on fuel input.

German inventor Karl Benz patented his Benz Paten-Motorwagen in 1886. This year is regarded as the birth year for the practice of using modern cars for transportation. With the awake of car usage among people. 20th century witnessed a rapid and wide availability of cars for use. The 1908 Model T was one such celebrated example for the mass usage of cars. This car was manufactured by the Ford Motor company in America.

With the increase in popularity among people, the production of cars, trams, trucks, buses and trains started to gain attention for infra-improvements. They are customised in accordance with growing customer requirement in terms of design, comfort, mileage, safety and what not!

These demands are crucially intertwined with metals and metal part availability. Almost all automotive demands influence the need for metal and metal parts in direct proportion. This specifies that metals share a huge part of the key drivers of an automotive industry.  

What is the role of metals in the Automotive industry?

To understand the role of metals in the industry, it is highly necessary to understand that the units it comprises beforehand. The primary products of an automotive industry are the passenger automobiles and trucks. The key focus of the industry’s functions includes design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of the motor vehicles along with their components like engines and bodies.

To manufacture the key components and parts, metalworking machineries are employed. Different types of machineries like stationary gas engines, milling machines and machine tools are commonly found in the part-production facilities.

Primarily, the reason for choosing metals for automotive production is to build cars or trucks that are safe, affordable and reliable. To achieve the same, light weight and strong metals are highly preferred. The best and the commonly used metals that satisfy the requirements are steel, aluminium and magnesium. However, these metals altered in their properties through alloying, in order to meet the car make requirements.  The common alloying elements are nickel, chrome and cobalt. The metals are also considered for their energy absorption properties.

Further reasons extend to the durability of the metals, their corrosion resistance, conductivity and maximum resistance to pressure and stretching. Metals being good conductors of heat and electricity, facilitates metalworking operations and feature installations. They are para-magnetic in nature and are estimated to become a super conductor at -273 degrees.

The environment regulations in the manufacturing sector also highly impact the industry. Owing to growing threats to the nature due to pollution, radiation and scrap decays, the industry is subjected to considerations that satisfy the safety of humans and the environment.

This is crucially accelerating due to rapid changeovers in technology implemented by the competitive automobile companies. Each technology is tested and tried to meet the requirements in a comprehensive scale and then is adapted to build automotive.

Which metals are used for automotive manufacturing?

Various low-density and strong metals are used in car manufacturing. However, in this article, we will cover about the most commonly used metals like,

  1. Aluminium
  2. Steel
  3. Iron
  4. Magnesium
  5. Titanium
  1. Aluminium

Endurance is the key property of Aluminium in automobile construction. They are easier to shape and are comparatively lighter and stronger than steel. The rust resistance is another important advantage of Aluminium for car manufacturing.

However, the downside is the cost of the metal when compared to steel. Giants like Audi and Jaguar are well known for auto-making using Aluminium.

  • Steel

This readily available metal for auto-construction is the most commonly preferred choice of manufacturers. Pros like cost-efficiency, strength, easy-to-use ability of this metal provides benefits to auto-makers. In addition, the different grades of steel make it an advantage for auto-maters to choose different grades for different parts according to the best match of the requirement. They are also durable, flexible and are the metals that bend instead of breaking.

  • Iron

Iron is known for its strength due to heavy weight. This enhances the durability of the cars which on the other hand is not a feasible option for the modern cars. This metal which was commonly used in the past is now getting its role only in specific part manufacturing.

  • Magnesium

This metal is lighter and stronger than steel, is also easier to use than Aluminium. It started to spread wide in the automotive manufacturing facilities in the 1970s.

  • Titanium

The exclusive property of Titanium is to expel rust, chemical and salt-water damage. Properties like high strength, high-corrosion resistance, high-temperature resistance and light-weight gets listed as pros of the metal in auto-making while its downside is that it is hard to manufacture. However, it’s exotic nature has made manufacturers like Porsche choose Titanium for specific metal parts in their automotive.

Which metal parts complete the structure of the automotive industry?

Below specified are the metal parts of an automotive and the metal used to manufacture them:

  • Chassis – Steel
  • Body In White (BIW) – Steel
  • Bumpers – Steel
  • Car set frame – Magnesium
  • Engine parts – Steel/ Iron/ Steel
  • Engine Blocks – Aluminium/ Steel
  • Brackets – Steel
  • Transfer case – Magnesium
  • Body panels – Aluminium
  • Cable – Steel
  • Fasteners – Steel
  • Exhaust – Steel
  • Pistons and cylinder heads – Aluminium
  • Inner door structure – Magnesium
  • Brakes – Steel
  • Wheels – Steel / Aluminium
  • Steering door structure – Magnesium
  • Steering Column – Magnesium
  • Roof – Steel
  • Bolts – Steel  
  • Intake and exhaust valves – Titanium
  • Hinges – Steel
  • Engine pumps – Titanium

The choice of the metal completely depend on the requirement. In most cases, each part is made of different metal types.

Automotive, metals and metal parts – Looking ahead

Advancements are a never-ceasing culture of the automotive industry. In support to the fact, several innovations in the pipeline of the industry are taking the automotive industry to new heights. Recently, adaptations to the idea of E-mobility production has been made by several active players in the industry. Owing to this reason, the metal industry is proportionally getting prepared for the amendments to the new changeovers expected in the automotive sector.

Demands in the automotive infrastructure for charging and energy storage may highly revolutionize the automotive sector directly impacting the metalworking and battery manufacturing. On the other hand, the industry is also in preparation for a boost in the recycling and reuse business. It is expected to emerge as a key unit of the industry with respect to the introduction of electric vehicles. The replacement of the internal combustion engines by the Electric vehicles. The replacement of the internal combustion engines by the electric vehicles is expected to reach its peak around 2040.

Conclusion

This article has given factual explanations on the direct connection between the automotive industry and the metal and metal parts sector. The co-dependent nature of these both units of the manufacturing industry is therefore expected to have a proportional and positive change, as per the inferences made by the industry experts. E-mobility, as introduced earlier stands as a perfect example for one such change. We will cover the future predicaments about the same in another article.

Also, if you’d like to find suppliers for any of your metalworking needs, please visit https://www.metalworkingsuppliers.com

Resources

https://itstillruns.com/kind-metals-cars-made-from-7331288.html

http://www.metalsurfacetreatment.com/metals-used-automobile-industry/

http://article.sapub.org/

https://www.britannica.com/technology/automotive-industry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_automobile

https://www.asminternational.org

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