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    Don't Expect Aluminum Ford Cars Says Ford Executive


    • Ford Isn't Planning To Do Aluminum Cars At The Moment

    Ford's decision to use aluminum on the F-150 has paid off in big dividends in terms of weight, fuel economy, and performance. Now you would think that Ford would use aluminum in other vehicles. Not so fast says Ford's president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs. At the Automotive News World Congress, Hinrichs says that aluminum will stick with the trucks.

    “One of the big benefits you get from light-weighting ... you can tow more and haul more. You don’t get those same benefits to a customer on the car side. Truck buyers will pay for more capability, car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car without the need to provide more capability," said Hinrichs. “I don’t think we’ll see a dramatic increase in all-aluminum cars.”

    That said, Ford is looking at ways to decrease the weight in their vehicles. One of those ways could be carbon fiber.

    "There’s a lot of costs associated with aluminum. But if the industry can find ways to reduce costs then there’s a point in the future where we’ll see more aluminum in more standard vehicles,” said Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

    Source: The Detroit News

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    The future will be interesting as we see increased use of Carbon Fiber, Aluminum and Balsa as we see in the Corvette.

     

    If also makes one wonder if we will see the return of the plastic panel auto like what Saturn used to do.

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    plastic saturns still look good today.......except for gaps.........

     

    ford is too cheap to use aluminum en masse on the volume selling cars.......

     

    although, my five hundred and taurus X had alum hoods at least.

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    Are they still using aluminum for hoods, trunk lids, calipers, subframes and bumper re-enforcements? I'm sure there are other lighter weight materials they could use if they wanted to.

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    Not enough based on the weight.

     

    I see the aluminum being restricted in the cheaper smaller models as there is less profit to absorb as in the trucks. Also the cost of the cars is a more important factor vs. what weight would be saved. Even in a Focus there is little weight savings on a car that size and also crash standards that would be difficult as more structure that would be needed.

     

    Look around and no one is doing a small all aluminum car that is low cost.

     

    As for plastics by the time you add the steel supports the weight savings go away. Also I know on my Fiero the panels move a lot as you can hear them pop on a hot day in the sun at a car show.

    My gaps are enough I can get a little finger in some.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    I think Carbon Fiber will be the future for the core of the auto's with steel, aluminum and other materials for the hoods, trunks, crash zones. I do believe they could with scale get some of the much tougher weight reducing materials into auto's and still have them as safe as they are today.

     

    What I see is auto's that truly end up destructing to save the people inside and you just buy a new auto no more repairs for accidents.

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    I think Carbon Fiber will be the future for the core of the auto's with steel, aluminum and other materials for the hoods, trunks, crash zones. I do believe they could with scale get some of the much tougher weight reducing materials into auto's and still have them as safe as they are today.

     

    What I see is auto's that truly end up destructing to save the people inside and you just buy a new auto no more repairs for accidents.

     

    Easier to replace a car than a person.

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    I think Carbon Fiber will be the future for the core of the auto's with steel, aluminum and other materials for the hoods, trunks, crash zones. I do believe they could with scale get some of the much tougher weight reducing materials into auto's and still have them as safe as they are today.

     

    What I see is auto's that truly end up destructing to save the people inside and you just buy a new auto no more repairs for accidents.

     

    Easier to replace a car than a person.

     

    Very true and I agree with that line of thought, if they can make em light enough to give outstanding performance and efficiency then make them recyclable and not bother with repairing them. :)

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    is carbon fiber recyclable? 

    Yes, currently recycling out paces use but here are two links. The first one covers what can be done with recycled Carbon Fiber.

     

    http://www.adherent-tech.com/recycling_technologies/carbon_fiber_reclamation_faqs

     

    The second link is a story about Recycled Carbon Fiber.

     

    http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/recycled-carbon-fiber-update-closing-the-cfrp-lifecycle-loop

     

    Over all, Carbon Fiber would end up radically changing the auto industry just as they see it change the airplane industry. The ability to grind it up and reuse the material will save from having yards filled up with plans or auto's.

     

    I think we could clean up the planet if we just took the time to collect all the rusting metal and recycle it. I see so much old metal sitting around just rusting away rather than being recycled. 

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    is carbon fiber recyclable? 

    Yes, currently recycling out paces use but here are two links. The first one covers what can be done with recycled Carbon Fiber.

     

    http://www.adherent-...eclamation_faqs

     

    The second link is a story about Recycled Carbon Fiber.

     

    http://www.composite...-lifecycle-loop

     

    Over all, Carbon Fiber would end up radically changing the auto industry just as they see it change the airplane industry. The ability to grind it up and reuse the material will save from having yards filled up with plans or auto's.

     

    I think we could clean up the planet if we just took the time to collect all the rusting metal and recycle it. I see so much old metal sitting around just rusting away rather than being recycled. 

     

    I pass by a couple Junk yards every day and it amazes me how many old cars are sitting out there rusting. Is it really so difficult to melt down old cars or what is the reason cars aren't recycled all that much? Or are they recycled and these junk yards are just keeping them for spare parts?

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    is carbon fiber recyclable? 

    Yes, currently recycling out paces use but here are two links. The first one covers what can be done with recycled Carbon Fiber.

     

    http://www.adherent-...eclamation_faqs

     

    The second link is a story about Recycled Carbon Fiber.

     

    http://www.composite...-lifecycle-loop

     

    Over all, Carbon Fiber would end up radically changing the auto industry just as they see it change the airplane industry. The ability to grind it up and reuse the material will save from having yards filled up with plans or auto's.

     

    I think we could clean up the planet if we just took the time to collect all the rusting metal and recycle it. I see so much old metal sitting around just rusting away rather than being recycled. 

     

    I pass by a couple Junk yards every day and it amazes me how many old cars are sitting out there rusting. Is it really so difficult to melt down old cars or what is the reason cars aren't recycled all that much? Or are they recycled and these junk yards are just keeping them for spare parts?

     

     

    they typically will sit there for a set amount of time to allow for people to come grab the good parts off, then they go to the melting pot.

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    This statement from Ford makes me think they believe if they had it to do all over again, they would not have gone aluminum on the trucks.  Dude should have kept his mouth shut.  The whole truck program is tainted now.

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    This statement from Ford makes me think they believe if they had it to do all over again, they would not have gone aluminum on the trucks.  Dude should have kept his mouth shut.  The whole truck program is tainted now.

     

    The trouble for Ford is now they have significantly less wiggle room on price because the cost to build the F-150 has gone up using aluminum.  Ram, GM, Toyota and soon Nissan with their F-150 impersonation will all have an easier time undercutting Ford on price.  Ford is betting that F-150 buyers are a loyal bunch and can't be swayed by a couple grand.... but we'll see if that bet plays out.

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    Carbon Fiber will play a growing part but do not put all your bets on it.

     

    The coming parts are just now coming and will be smaller molded carbon Fiber parts.

     

    the issue is not scale but time. It is still very labor intensive and takes time to make these parts and that is where the cost is.  You just can just stamp them out.

     

    The molded process is progressing but not yet to the point of doing fenders etc.

     

    Aluminum, and light weight high strength steel is still going to be cheaper for the near future.  GM is showing it is the careful use and application of parts to cut weight as in the Alpha and Omega. Neither use exotic parts other than magnesium in some areas or Boron steel with some aluminum.

     

    The more development time GM has been taking has been more about engineering the weight out vs. just slapping some higher cost material all over.

     

    You can get away with the expensive stuff on a CTS but not so much on a Trax or Sonic,

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