For many years now, the old argument about steel vs. aluminum has been a popular topic amongst car people, and especially more recently with Chevy’s latest ad campaign that demonstrates the differences between steel and aluminum by dropping huge loads on Chevy and Ford truck beds.
Here is a comprehensive list of the main differences between steel as opposed to aluminum car bodies, provided by Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA As aluminum has become more and more prevalent in cars and we can see it every day in Santa Clara, CA we feel that this blog is both informational and timely.
In Chevrolet's campaign for steel vs. aluminum, the carmaker compares the Silverado’s advanced high-strength steel (AHHS) bed to a Ford’s truck bed. The use of AHHS in Chevrolet models and in a wide range of other brands like Kia and Volkswagen, utilizes a thinner sheet of steel to be used than previously resulting a lightweight model with high safety ratings.
Aluminum cars like Fords and Land Rovers offer drivers the myriad benefits of aluminum bodies and the claim to being the “material of choice” in the automotive design industry of the future.
Benefits of Steel
Easy to shape. With new and innovative processes for forming steel for today's vehicle models, steel has become easier to work with than aluminum.
Simple to repair. By and large, steel is less costly to repair and can often be fixed through spot welding.
Simple to recycle. Both aluminum and steel are equally recyclable, but steel is much easier to handle throughout the entire recycling procedure.
Much stronger than aluminum. Newer vehicles now have sophisticated advanced high-strength steel components, which are considerably stronger than conventional steel and aluminum.
Benefits of Aluminum
More lightweight. Vehicles constructed with aluminum have been traditionally lighter, thereby offering drivers drastically improved fuel economy ratings.
Infinitely recyclable. Aluminum is easy and inexpensive to recycle and that's why carmakers like the green aspect of the substance.
Better for the environment. Aluminum has lower carbon emissions resulting in a less severe impact on the planet, making it greener than high-strength steel across the board.
As car manufacturers further aggressively develop aluminum and high-strength steel (AHHS) and incorporate them into many of their new designs, we will see new and exciting uses that will enhance their strength and durability over time. Either way, either steel or aluminum are here to stay as we enter an age of new, high-tech cars, whether they are EVs, hybrids or even autonomous vehicles.
Sources: Wikipedia, Forbes and eBay Motors