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GM plays catchup in the aluminum game

We’ve all heard about the 2015 Ford F-150 and the fact that its aluminum diet allowed it to lose 700 pounds. While the ladder frame of the all-new F-150 is still constructed of high-strength steel, 95 percent of its body structure made of “high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys” according to Ford.
 
So Ford has gone to aluminum to reduce weight and thus improve fuel economy. Chrysler has gone a completely different route by providing a new V6 diesel engine for the half-ton Ram 1500. So that leaves the industry looking to General Motors to provide a counterpunch in the full-size pickup fuel efficiency wars.
 
We are now learning that General Motors will take the Ford approach by using aluminum for the body of its next generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks. According to The Wall Street Journal, GM’s hand has been forced by increasingly stringent fuel economy standards (and of course market pressure from rivals).


2014 Chevrolet Silverado
 
According to the WSJ report, GM is partnering with both Alcoa and Novelis to supply aluminum sheets for its next generation trucks. As we reported earlier this month, Ford has already inked a deal with Novelis to supply aluminum sheets for its F-150.
 
“There’s isn’t an automotive manufacturer that makes vehicles in North America that we’re not talking to,” said Tom Boney, head of North American automotive business for Novelis, in an interview with The Detroit News. “Our customers will be making announcements fairly regularly over the next six years that will transform the automobile industry.”
 
GM last redesigned the Silverado/Sierra in 2013 for the 2014 model year.

Source: Wall Street Journal/Reuters



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RE: Mistake
By Solandri on 2/19/2014 6:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The military doesn't test that your aluminum or capacitors has to be made of blah. It has to pass the torture tests, the heat tests, the flammability tests, the durability tests, and the dirt tests. But these tests are for the product as a whole.

It's probably referring to mil spec. The different aluminum alloys all have a numerical designation depending on composition and how they're formed. The military frequently adds some additional requirements (most notably, anodizing) in the form of a mil spec.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_alloy#Alloy...

So yes it is just marketing, but it does require testing the material to make sure it meets the designated specification. Some of the military standards are for the product as a whole, some are for components (especially with a construction material like aluminum).


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