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Ford F-150's aluminum body
Other models may get the fuel savings of lighter weight thanks to aluminum

There are many ways that automakers can increase the fuel efficiency and performance of their vehicles. One way to achieve better fuel economy is to downsize engines, while another is to add hybrid componentry. Automakers can also choose to make their vehicles lighter to allow for improved fuel efficiency.
 
Ford took the “lightweight” route when it unveiled its all-new 2015 F-150, which replaced its steel body with extensive use of military grade aluminum. The move to aluminum shaved about 700 pounds off the F-150. Ford executives said this week that they are considering using more aluminum across the entire range of SUVs and other vehicles in the line.
 
"Obviously this is our first shot (at using aluminum in) a big volume vehicle and there's absolutely no reason why we couldn't think about taking it elsewhere," Executive Chairman Bill Ford told reporters after the press conference.
 
The copious use of aluminum in the new F-150 also makes the popular truck CAFE-positive for Ford for the first time. That means rather than counting against Ford for its overall fleet fuel efficiency standards by lowering the average fuel economy, the new truck works for the automaker. That is very important as manufactures work hard to meet CAFE standard that will only get tougher in the future.


2015 Ford F-150
 
By going full-bore with its most high profile, best-selling vehicle, Ford is hoping to quickly recoup its investment into aluminum. The next vehicles that would likely see aluminum infusions would be the company’s large SUVs like the Expedition and Expedition XL since they would benefit greatly in fuel economy from reduced weight. Where the company goes from there is anyone’s guess.
 
Ford also says that the new aluminum panels are more than just lighter than steel, they are tougher than steel and more resistant to dents.
 
Ford's new aluminum F-150 will go into production in Q4 2014 and will be in showrooms by the end of 2014.

Source: Reuters



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progress
By PaFromFL on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
RE: progress
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/15/2014 11:28:22 AM , Rating: 3
I don't quite understand this line of thought. Correct me if I'm wrong, but when we're talking about trucks, isn't it the actual FRAME that is the main point of discussion (other than the powertrain) when it comes to towing/hauling/etc.?

In the case of the '15 F-150, the frame is still made completely steel (mostly high-strength steel). The body of the vehicle is just sitting on top of the frame. If you're towing something, it's the ladder frame that's pulling your load, not aluminum.


RE: progress
By Rukkian on 1/15/2014 11:47:47 AM , Rating: 5
But it is different, so it must be bad! /s


RE: progress
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 12:41:16 PM , Rating: 2
The body is irrelevant on a truck. It's not the weight bearer. Ever seen a cab and chassis truck? You can put any body you want on those or none at all. I've seen cab and chassis with just a hitch on the frame. It's all about frame and axle strength and load rating on the tires.


RE: progress
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 12:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think he's talking about further incorporation of aluminum into the frame as well as the body. But he is right, if they started looking at structural components then you're looking at a certain life expectancy.


RE: progress
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/15/2014 1:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you'd ever see a work truck going to aluminum for structural members of chassis. It doesn't make sense.

Ford put the AL where it mattered most -- in the parts that DON'T matter.


RE: progress
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 1:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. But As long as you didn't have too much torque from a larger engine, I could see some of the cross members being changed out to aluminum. A lot of low end torque could easily twist a frame with aluminum cross members.

But I'm pretty sure the 'C' channels couldn't; unless they went to titanium.... Give me a titanium framed F-550 or F-750 and I'd be waiting with cash in hand.


RE: progress
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 1:32:35 PM , Rating: 3
The fact is that Ford isn't going to make their primo vehicle any less than what it is. The pseudo panic is ridiculous. The car DIRECTLY affects their bottom line AND their brand image. Any mistake here is death to the company. Put your tin foil hats away.


RE: progress
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 2:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you 100%. I'm all for weight savings anywhere they can get it. Shoot, my F-350 when full of fuel sits at close to 11000lbs. I'd love to get some space age materials in there to put her on a diet.

But I'm am also of the belief that the general design of the truck has perhapse stagnated. There are some design technologies and materials that could be brought into play, if they could so so without incurring more cost. Could you image what would be possible if titanium production cost could match steels? We desperately need the next generation of Bessemers'.


RE: progress
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
The design has definitely stagnated but their core customer really won't stand for a major design change. They would have to spend an ungodly amount of money just to test the waters on that IMO.


RE: progress
By Keeir on 1/16/2014 6:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think you'd ever see a work truck going to aluminum for structural members of chassis. It doesn't make sense.


Huh. Sorry, I have to disagree slightly here. While High Strength Steel is more suited for the current method of -construction-, aluminiums in and of the themselves would still provide a significant wieght savings when sized appropriately for the load/deflection requirements of a frame. In the long run, switch of construction methodology (significant additional cost) to something more suited to aluminum would open up the ability to use composite materials, which would provide even more wieght savings. Composite material use in automobiles look like the will pass the cost barrier before the requirement to lighten the frame will occur. Relatively likely in the 10 year time window there will be a truck maker with a frame with some composite structural elements and some steel elements.


RE: progress
By villageidiotintern on 1/15/2014 1:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
The floor of the pickup bed needs to remain steel.


RE: progress
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 1:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The floor of the pickup bed needs to remain steel.
Why?


RE: progress
By Mint on 1/15/2014 9:49:11 PM , Rating: 3
Because look at his username


RE: progress
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/16/2014 12:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
Just as a point of reference, here is a list of all the car makers that use aluminum body panels in their vehicles:

http://www.paintgages.com/List-of-Car-Manufacturer...

The use of aluminum is NOT a new thing nor is it all that uncommon.

So quit whining guys!!


"military grade" LMAO
By Argon18 on 1/15/2014 11:03:52 AM , Rating: 3
"all-new 2015 F-150, which replaced its steel body with extensive use of military grade aluminum."

And LMAO on the "military grade" aluminum alloys. Talk about marketing baloney!

The alloy of aluminum that is commonly used for aircraft is 7075, although there are a half dozen others. The only alloys used in exterior automotive body panels are 6111, 2036, 6016, and 2008, with 5083 and 5754 used for inner body panels. There is no such thing as "military grade" aluminum. Let me guess, the workers who assemble these trucks also breate "military grade" air, and wear "military grade" cotton underwear?




RE: "military grade" LMAO
By SublimeSimplicity on 1/15/2014 12:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
They didn't say "US Military grade"... could very well be Haitian Military grade.


RE: "military grade" LMAO
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 1:10:05 PM , Rating: 3
If the alloy is rated to a 'Mil Spec' then they can say that. Usually anything mil spec'd is not only designed to a more rigid standard but also subjected to far more quality assurances and testing. Some mil spec's even mandate that the grain structure be set in different patterns.

Even some processes for forming a mil spec alloy can be classified. So there could be many more alloy designations that you'd know nothing about.

And yes there are specific 'mil spec'd aluminums for military aviation that have to endure environmental conditions that normal aviation wouldn't dream of.


RE: "military grade" LMAO
By gppinky on 1/15/2014 1:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
This remind me of the movie "Pentagon Wars" where they "test" "Military Grade" Aluminum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pentagon_Wars


RE: "military grade" LMAO
By inperfectdarkness on 1/16/2014 4:40:29 AM , Rating: 2
What about 6061? If we're talking about body panels and the like, I'd rather have 6061 over 7075; it's more flexible and the MFG costs are cheaper because it can be machined.


Military Grade Aluminum
By rawyman on 1/15/2014 12:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
While "Military Grade Aluminum" is definitely a spin on words, it is only to deter idiots from believing that the body panels are akin to a Coke can. The chemical composition of the aluminum certainly is not unique to the military. Rather the thickness of the body panels are durable, as used on many military vehicles and definitely not flimsy as an ordinary soda can.




How sad
By Argon18 on 1/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: How sad
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/15/2014 11:03:43 AM , Rating: 5
Ford will probably sell more aluminum F-150s in 2 or 3 years than Audi has sold A8s and A2s combined in the past 20 years.

Its about scale, and I don't think anyone has done aluminum on this scale in the auto world.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: How sad
By Rukkian on 1/15/2014 11:50:26 AM , Rating: 2
Not saying you are wrong, but can you point to some research to show why that would be? Since this is for body panels, I am not sure why it would effect longevity. With no rust issues, I would think the body would stay looking good longer.


RE: How sad
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/15/2014 11:56:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm still trying to figure these comments out. This isn't a case where we have a unibody space frame like the Audi A8. This is a separate body and frame.

The actual "work" part of the truck hasn't really changed.


RE: How sad
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 12:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't really matter Brandon as 60k+ of these trucks will be sold in the first month right after release date. The 1/3 of 1% of the market people here represent doesn't mean squat. I myself will be picking up one of these bad boys within 5 years if Chevy or Ram doesn't come up with something more compelling. I'll get back to you guys in 15 years after I buy one on the "wear" issues.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: How sad
By Rukkian on 1/15/2014 5:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
What durability do you need from the body? If you get in an accident, get it replaced. This is not the frame, it is is the body.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
RE: How sad
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/15/2014 8:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
Um you do realize body panels are designed to crumple on impact, right? The only part of the car that is not designed to crumple is the egg-shaped cage surrounding the passenger compartment. The body panels themselves are not designed to take any kind of stress.

Have you seen the steel hood from a Honda Civic or even a Ford Focus? You can literally take each end of the hood - front to back and fold it in half by hand.

You walk past the steel car body of just about any car made since 1980, give it a swift kick and you will dent it in - much to the owner's annoyance.

So how much more 'durable' does an aluminum body panel really need to be?

Oh. And Aluminum doesn't get that cancer called ... rust. Sure it corrodes from stone chips, but a quick sand & repaint and it doesn't come back.


RE: How sad
By troysavary on 1/16/2014 7:40:34 AM , Rating: 3
The body of an aircraft goes through far more stress than a body of an car or truck, yet they manage with aluminum. As usual, you have no idea what you are talking about.


RE: How sad
By robertgu on 1/15/2014 5:15:32 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Aluminum is a fantastic material, but it's simply a fact that it does not hold up long-term.


Again please provide research, links, or references to your statement.

For one the aluminum isn't being used for load bearing aspects of a truck and secondly aluminum alloys have greatly improved over the decades to eliminate natural issues of aluminum from ages past.

I guess you would never fly in a plane. You know, since they use aluminum for load bearing aspects of the plane instead of stuff like steel. With planes being in service for decades who in their right mind ever use aluminum in it since it's not durable according to the material expert Reclaimer77.


RE: How sad
By Mint on 1/15/2014 8:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again please provide research, links, or references to your statement.


LOL good luck with that.

Actually, I think he has a fatal allergy to facts and research, so it's best we don't prod him any further.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/2014 8:09:34 PM , Rating: 1
Mint you would be dumb enough to need a link proving that aluminum is a softer less durable metal wouldn't you?

Anyway it's not on me to back up my statement. HE has the issue with it, so it's on him to prove me wrong.

Good luck!

And what you call "research" gives credence to the quote 'there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics'. You'll find a statistic on the Internet for any point you are trying to make, too bad they're biased BS half the time.

But nice job making a post entirely just to slam me. At least I know I'm getting to ya. See you on the next EV article, chump :)


RE: How sad
By Mint on 1/15/2014 9:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
Why is the onus on him to prove wrong your ludicrous assertion that "there will be no more 15+ year old Fords"?

You don't know jack about mechanical engineering, so STFU. A half-weight aluminum alloy body panel will be MORE stiff than a steel once, because the Al panel will be thicker and have much higher second moment of area. That more than makes up for Al being "soft".

Ford isn't using the basic aluminum you find at Home Depot, genius. Alloys with Mg, Si, etc have vastly different properties.


RE: How sad
By troysavary on 1/16/2014 7:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
He probably doesn't even know what "second moment of area" means, you likely you are wasting your time.


RE: How sad
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/15/2014 9:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Bro, you didn't answer the question:

If Aluminum is so lousy at durability, why are bodies of Boeing's 7x7 models (except the 787) body made out of it?

You would think that the body a jet airliner that costs about a billion dollars to build and entrusted with the lives of thousands of passengers per year would be made out of something tougher like titanium. Yet the majority of the structural parts of any jet airliner is aluminum. And yes, titanium is used for some of the super-high stress structural parts.

Frankly if aluminum is good enough to be used in commercial airliners, it should be a no-brainer to use it in cars bodies as well. After all an airliner body will be put to a bazillion times harsher stress than any car body.


RE: How sad
By FaaR on 1/15/2014 12:31:04 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, those all-aluminium audis quite literally fall apart as you drive them down the road after just a few years! ...not.

What the F is it with you? Anything and everything that is the slightest bit modern (or, environment-conscious) related to cars, you crap on knee-jerk style. You're the most dogmatically close-minded fool on this site (and there's no lack of contenders either), for sure.


RE: How sad
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 12:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
Those Audis don't handle a fraction of the stresses that an F150 could potentially undergo.

________

Environmentally conscious?

Do you realize how much more energy goes into separating Aluminum out of the bauxite? It is absolutely immense, especially when compared to extracting iron.

You, out of the Gene pool.
________

I think he's talking about further incorporation of aluminum into the frame as well as the body. But he is right, if they started looking at structural components then you're looking at a certain life expectancy. Aluminum just doesn't handle the stresses over the long term as well as steel will. The stress that a truck, that does actual work, 'could' endure would quickly fatigue aluminum.

Aircraft have this issue all the time and for the same reasons. They are designed to last only so many flight hours. At that point they have to be completely overhauled or literally scrapped.

Could you see having to literally scrap your truck every 10-15 years?


RE: How sad
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 1:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Could you see having to literally scrap your truck every 10-15 years?
Where does this 10-15 years come from? Do you really think automakers are as dumb as some of you guys are? Do you think they don't understand their own market?


RE: How sad
By bupkus on 1/15/2014 1:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
Just one of many ways consumer driven trucks will never make the 10-15 year scrap heap.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdT5dEnCW0


RE: How sad
By ebakke on 1/15/2014 2:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
http://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/ca...
http://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/ca...
http://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/ca...

That mangled pile of steel is a 2001 Ford Ranger. So *technically* she did hit the lower end of the 10-15 range.

It's quite remarkable that she survived.


RE: How sad
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 2:25:05 PM , Rating: 3
Spuke,

You're right, 10-15 years is a little arbitrary at this point. But I'll throw a bit of material engineering out to rough out the argument. I do have a background in this as I hold a BS in aerospace engineering from USAFA and a Masters from USAFIT in the same field. Along the way I picked up a BS in Materials engineering.

Now I do not know off hand what an aluminum framed F150's life expectancy would yield.

But another rule of thumb for aluminum is that it does have very little elastic strain recovery. So every time you put a stress on it. the plasticity doesn't fully recover to it's original cast and then creates what is a termed a yield point (AKA a permanent strain). The next load then starts at that new yield point. Each progressive yield point brings it so much closer to its fracture and final fail points

Aluminum is also far more susceptible to both shear and torsion deformations.

Basic rule of thumb that if I cast a piece of aluminum in the same shape and size as one in steel. It will not hold up anywhere near as long as the steel will. Often to get the same performance values as you would in a steel component, it would negate the intended savings in weight (as per this case). i.e to get the same component in aluminum would gain you a weight savings but trade off on life expectancy of the part.

So when you look at designing in aluminum, you actual start with load and stress with life expectancy being front and center in your calculations. So a piece of aluminum cast to the same as one in steel will only do its job for so many hours before expected to fail. Of course we'd need decent analytical findings to get actual life expectancy, but IMHO, 10-15 years is a good ball park for just such a casting.



RE: How sad
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 3:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the informed reply and the lesson. My issue is that I just don't see Ford shooting themselves in the foot here which a few people here are implying. Like the people who design and build these things are clueless or do these things by accident. And I have a REALLY hard time with 10-15 years being the absolute numbers (I know you said it's too early to make this determination) for how long this trucks body will last especially with vehicles with aluminum intensive structures in use (although not in this scale) and they're all still with us intact. What the hell makes Ford different here? I would think there design would be superior considering the vehicle that this material is being used on. I expect 100's of thousands of miles just like their present trucks. I expect to see the aluminum trucks 20-30 years from now just like I see their older trucks.


RE: How sad
By Rukkian on 1/15/2014 4:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand, this is really only for the body panels, so I see no reason to think it would lower the life expectancy.


RE: How sad
By Samus on 1/15/2014 4:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
My Mazda CX-5 uses aluminum subframes and cross members that need to be re-torqued to spec every 30k.

That's the maintenance of aluminum. <1 hour every 30k. Sound's pretty fair considering the nearly 200lb weight savings advantage and no concern about rusting (one of my primary concerns with vehicles manufactured in Japan)


RE: How sad
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/16/2014 12:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
But yet again, ford is not using Aluminum for the subframe or crossmembers. They are using it for the BODY PANELS.

So again, what does the material used for car's body panels that have to do with the expected life of the car?

I know a guy with a 1962 Corvette. Fiberglass body. It is still running and has never need more body work than a paint job.


RE: How sad
By robertgu on 1/15/2014 5:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now I do not know off hand what an aluminum framed F150's life expectancy would yield.


Note they are not using these aluminum alloys in the load bearing frame, they are using it in the body. The load bearing frame is using steel. In fact they are using more high strength steel in this F150 vs. the F150 its replacing.


RE: How sad
By Mint on 1/15/2014 8:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
I've done a lot of material science courses as well, and I don't know where you're getting your info to make such a general statement about all or even most aluminum alloys, which have very different stress-strain curves.

In fact, common Al alloys (I've looked up 3000 & 6000 series) have a higher yield strain than most common steels, owing to having 1/3rd the Young's modulus but much closer yield stresses.

On top of that, material properties are almost all characterized in terms of stress. However, aluminum is ~1/3rd the density of steel, so even if you use half the weight on an Al body panel vs a steel one, it's 50% thicker. So equal real-world loads give you less force per unit area for Al, the second moment of area for that panel increases by a factor of 3.4, etc.

If you're talking about fatigue limits, sure, steel has an advantage when you're looking at millions of cycles, but we're talking about body panels here. Unless your kid is banging his head on your truck's door 100 times each and every day, that's not going to matter.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/16/2014 11:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I do have a background in this as I hold a BS in aerospace engineering from USAFA and a Masters from USAFIT in the same field. Along the way I picked up a BS in Materials engineering.


Well Mint clearly your "material science courses" you took at community college trump his credentials.

Could you be a more obnoxious know-it-all prick?


RE: How sad
By sorry dog on 1/15/2014 1:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Aircraft have this issue all the time and for the same reasons. They are designed to last only so many flight hours. At that point they have to be completely overhauled or literally scrapped


Not so sure that comparison is very valid. Aircraft are designed to much much demanding criteria (F150's aren't designed for 4g's) and margins of weight versus strength. Another reason airframe have a lifespan is the consequences of a failure are a bit different. Also, consider that many airplanes flying today are 40 years old or older. Of course, corrosion and fatigue must be checked but that would be the same with steel construction.


RE: How sad
By ven1ger on 1/15/2014 1:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the fact that airports are usually along ocean fronts or bodies of water. Anything close to large bodies of water can expect to have a higher corrosion factor.


RE: How sad
By superflex on 1/15/2014 2:07:27 PM , Rating: 1
The stupidity of this statement is staggering.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: How sad
By michael67 on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
RE: How sad
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/15/2014 8:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that I specified the A8 and the A2, right? The two vehicles the OP mentioned. This discussion wasn't about Audi as a brand.

The R8 and TT are the only other models with significant amounts of aluminum in the body/structure. The other vehicles you mentioned are all steel unibodies for the most part (the A7's bodywork is only 20% aluminum -- the F-150 is 95%). Look it up :)

This is NOT about who has the better brand, you're going off on a tangent. This is about the mass production of aluminum on a LARGE scale. The A8, TT, and R8 are all small fries in production compared to the F-150. The A2 -- mentioned in the OP -- isn't even produced anymore.


RE: How sad
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/15/2014 9:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be a little challenged at reading Brandon's comment:

quote:
Ford will probably sell more aluminum F-150s in 2 or 3 years than Audi has sold A8s and A2s combined in the past 20 years.


He is not comparing the sales of Ford's F150 to all of Audi's sales - only the A8 and A2. And I would pretty much agree with him on that.

Ford's F150 is without doubt the highest selling pickup truck in North America. And the aluminum ones will sell like hotcakes.

Why? 1) they don't rust. 2) They make the truck lighter and use less gas.

Two very compelling reasons to buy one of them.


RE: How sad
By michael67 on 1/15/2014 10:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
I am all up for aluminum cars, but ware do you get the notion that they dont rust?

They rust almost as hard as galvanized steel, aluminum is specially reactive with salts, and need just as much protection as a steal body.


RE: How sad
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/16/2014 12:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is that there are many aluminum allows that do not corrode to the degree that pure aluminum does. There are corrosion-resistant steel as well, but there are very few choices beyond stainless steel and they are ALL obscenely expensive.

Corrosion-resistant aluminum is fairly common and cheap these days to the point that I really can't see car companies like Ford and Audi choosing them for their car bodies.

Remember that car companies are using aluminum to save weight & use less gas. It is much more viable for them, to put a more expensive corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy body panels on newer cars than equally expensive, but heavy stainless steel body panels on.

After all they will simply pass on the cost of these costlier materials to us.


RE: How sad
By michael67 on 1/16/2014 6:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
Actually you right, but your also wrong,yes you right that there are corrosion-resistant aluminum allows, problem is only that they are softer then the military grade (damn i hate that term) 7075 aluminum alloy, that Ford properly is using.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7075_aluminium_alloy?

And 7075 aluminum alloy has a corrosion problem if not protected proper.
I used it many times and if not protected against the elements it will rot almost as fast as steel, maybe even faster.

So corrosion wise aluminum has no benefits over galvanized steel, tho it still has plenty other benefits to still use it.


RE: How sad
By Vertigo2000 on 1/15/2014 11:07:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's about cost and keeping it down while still maintaining a profit margin.

By your logic, all cars should be made of titanium or carbon nanotube panels but still only cost the same as one manufactured out of regular materials.

And why only attack Ford? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see GM, Chrysler, Toyota or Honda using this much aluminum in their vehicles. Let alone any of the smaller companies like Hyundai or Kia.


RE: How sad
By FaaR on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
RE: How sad
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 12:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We're wrecking this place we live in and most of us don't even care.
Please state evidence of this. My air is clean, my water is clean, my forests are green and so are MANY other places I've lived and visited. I have yet to see the "wrecking" that you people keep mentioning. Have we over forested or over farmed or polluted the air or water in the past? You bet! Have we and do we continue to clean up our mess? You bet! But you people make it seem like we live in a sh!thole. I don't live in such a place nor does my family on the east coast nor some of friends in the south. Maybe you need to move to a place that isn't so crappy or spend some time cleaning up the place you live in.


RE: How sad
By sorry dog on 1/15/2014 1:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please state evidence of this. My air is clean, my water is clean, my forests are green and so are MANY other places I've lived and visited. I have yet to see the "wrecking" that you people keep mentioning.


I have. It's called China.

Well, maybe not the whole country, but generally there are plenty of places there that don't smell so nice. Unfortunate, when you work 60 hours a week to make $250 a month I can understand it might be kinda hard to give a rat's ass about it.


RE: How sad
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 1:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
Touche. But that's not something we can do something about (we meaning people that don't have any power there). And Faar isn't talking about China, he's talking about the US I'm betting and his comments are just plain wrong.


RE: How sad
By FITCamaro on 1/15/2014 2:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and no one here is advocating for the US or any nation, including China, to be like China.

But the US is not China. Not even close. We haven't been for over 40 years at least. But we still get new regulations that try to make some tiny improvements that its hard to measure any real benefit from them. We only see the negative impacts from it as they kill industries in developed countries like the US and move them over to countries like China where there is no controls.


RE: How sad
By theapparition on 1/15/2014 1:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
Aluminum has been used by many other manufactures.

For example, the Corvette uses extensive aluminum. The Z06 model even uses an aluminun frame. The corvette has higher percentage aluminum/steel ratio than any other production car (sans exotics), including this Ford.

But you are correct that concerns using aluminum are mostly unfounded. However, it is more expensive.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
RE: How sad
By theapparition on 1/15/2014 6:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
Wow.

You really don't have a clue, do you. Depreciation is much lower than other cars in its class. Its also one of the most reliable cars.


RE: How sad
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
RE: How sad
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2014 12:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's also about the manufacturing issues.

Welding on aluminum is quite a bit trickier than steel. Not to mention that you have to have slightly different welding equipment. In case of robotics, you'd also need to extensively retrain the programs to perform the different welds techniques mandated by aluminum.

Also, presses & forming machines have to be redesigned as aluminum grains flow much more differently than does steel's.

Plus, with what Brandon mentioned about scaling, along with combining these other issues applied to retooling the lines to handle both types of materials consecutively. That becomes a pretty big change for Ford to undertake.

But I'm all for letting the green arcs fly...


RE: How sad
By toffty on 1/15/2014 2:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
I just hope people start using the IUPAC's standard for the element Aluminium instead of Aluminum.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fil...


RE: How sad
By FITCamaro on 1/15/2014 2:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
Aluminum costs far more than steel. This is likely a hit to their bottom line that is being forced on them by the government since the other choice is leave them heavy and make consumers pay more to cover the fines they'd receive from not meeting the CAFE standards.


RE: How sad
By Spuke on 1/15/2014 3:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
It might be cheaper for them to make an AL truck and jack up the price then to make us pay for the fines. At least this way we get something for the price increase. It's kinda scary that there's not even a rumor on pricing.


RE: How sad
By donxvi on 1/16/2014 6:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
"...truck marketing chief Doug Scott says the F-Series will stay within its current price range even though aluminum costs more than steel."

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/aluminum-...


RE: How sad
By Rukkian on 1/15/2014 4:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
However, it it gets them to steal some business from the competition, it may make it worthwhile. If you can show a big difference in MPG, which 700 lbs probably will, they will probably get some new customers. Increase the price a little, along with increased demand, and probably some awards from press, and they may have a winner on their hands.

While not everybody cares about gas mileage, most people do, at least to some extent.


RE: How sad
By Mint on 1/15/2014 10:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Over 200k miles consumers will save way more in gas than it costs upfront.

700 lbs is up to 15% of a F150. If that results in even 5% better MPG (and it's probably more), you're looking at 500+ gallons of gas saved over its lifetime. Aluminum costs around $0.80/lb.


RE: How sad
By robertgu on 1/15/2014 5:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Pretty pathetic that it's 2014 and only now has Ford discovered this magical new wonder-metal called Aluminum.


That is very narrow minded of you. All the companies know about these advanced materials. Hell Ford has used aluminum alloys and carbon fiber in their halo supercars of old. The big difference between now and then is volume and cost.

Audi could get away with the higher cost materials due to smaller volume and higher margins. But putting widespread use of aluminum alloys in a mainstream vehicle which will eventually sell in the millions is an industry first.

Lets give credit where credit is due.


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