When it comes to auto parts manufacturing, a variety of different metals can be used in the production process. Each metal has its own unique set of properties that make it ideal for specific applications. Here we’ll look at some of the most common metals used in auto parts manufacturing and their advantages and disadvantages.
Whether you’re a car enthusiast or just curious about how your car is made, read on to learn more about the metal materials that go into making it!
Benefits of Metal Materials for Car Parts
Metal materials have long been used as reliable and durable materials for car parts due to their strength, durability, and low cost. Metal parts are generally easier to manufacture than other materials, making them particularly attractive for the mass production of car components.
As metal is an excellent conductor of heat, it helps keep sensitive electronics in the engine bay cool and prevents them from overheating. Metal parts are also resistant to damage from oil, fuels, and other chemicals meaning they require very little maintenance over their lifespan.
Suitable for Complex Designs
Metal materials can be easily shaped and formed into complex shapes for intricate designs that would not be possible with alternative materials. This makes them ideal for use in all sorts of car components such as fuel systems, brakes, and suspension. Metal car parts are also incredibly strong and lightweight making them safe and reliable for all types of vehicles.
Cost-effective and Recyclable
In comparison to other materials, metal is often cheaper to work with as it requires fewer specialized tools, machines, and processes to create a finished part or component. Furthermore, many metals such as aluminum, steel, or iron can be recycled or upcycled for use in other parts, making them an environmentally friendly option for car owners.
In addition, metal materials tend to have a longer lifespan than other types of material and are much more resistant to wear and tear from everyday use. As such, they can help reduce the overall cost of replacement over time.
Metals Commonly Used in Auto Parts Manufacturing
Manufacturing companies face several challenges, including keeping costs down and raising product quality. In addition, they must also ensure that their products meet the highest standards for quality and reliability. When it comes to auto manufacturing, this means using materials that are strong and resistant to corrosion but that are also affordable and easy to work with. The auto manufacturing industry relies on many different types of metals to meet these needs.
Below is a list of common metals used in auto parts manufacturing, along with specific examples of how each is utilized in the process. Keep reading to learn more about each metal and which autos use it most frequently.
1. Aluminum for Car Parts
Aluminum is an essential metal in auto manufacturing and is used in everything from engine blocks to wheels and other auto parts. It’s a light, strong, easily workable metal that’s also highly corrosion-resistant. The most common applications for aluminum car parts in the auto industry include engine blocks, wheels, transmission housings, suspension systems, body panels, and interior trim. It is also often used as a reflector or heat shield in car headlights and taillights.
The most common type of aluminum used in auto manufacturing is called alloys, which are mixtures of different metals that are melted together to form a new, unique kind of metal with specific properties. Aluminum can be either soft or hard, depending on the alloy used. Soft aluminum is used in many auto parts, including wheels, engine blocks, transmission housings, and engine mounts. More rigid aluminum is used in other parts, such as the car’s chassis. Each metal has different uses and is combined with other metals to create the desired properties.
2. Steel for Car Parts
Steel is one of the most common metals in auto manufacturing and is found in everything from engine blocks to car seats. It’s a strong, durable metal that can be easily formed into desired shapes and sizes. There are many different types of steel, each with different properties that make them suitable for various purposes. The 9- and 10-carbon steel alloys are the most common types of steel in the auto industry and are used for many different components and parts.
Depending on its intended use, engineers can select the type of steel and its grade to create a part with the exact properties needed. Some examples of steel used in manufacturing automobile parts are high-strength low-alloy steels, advanced high-strength steels, and ultrahigh-strength steels. These types of steel are used to improve vehicles’ safety and performance. High-strength low-alloy steels are used in body panels, while advanced high-strength steels are used in suspension components. Ultrahigh-strength steels are typically found in roll cages or other safety features.
3 Titanium for Car Parts
Titanium is a corrosion-resistant metal that’s extremely strong and durable. It’s a complicated metal to work with, but technological advancements have made it easier to process and work. This metal is used to make parts that need to be strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant.
Some common uses for titanium in the auto industry include brake rotors and wheels. Titanium parts are often used in place of steel or aluminum parts to reduce the vehicle’s overall weight. This can result in improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Titanium parts are also used in the construction of racing vehicles.
4. Iron for Car Parts
Iron is more affordable than many other metals and can be quickly melted, molded, and forged. The low cost associated with iron compared to other metals makes it an attractive option for carmakers looking to remain competitive in price while still delivering quality products. Many parts of a car can be made from iron, such as the frame, axles, wheels, and engine components.
Iron-based alloys are widely used in the auto industry. They’re created by mixing iron with other metals such as copper, zinc, or nickel. This adds properties to the iron, such as corrosion resistance and increased strength. Iron alloys are used in various auto parts, from cylinder heads to crankshafts, connecting rods, gears, and bearings.
5. Magnesium for Car Parts
Magnesium is a strong, durable metal that’s also corrosion-resistant. It is difficult to work with, so it’s not often used in parts that require molding and forging, like iron. Instead, it’s most often used in high-end sports cars like the Corvette and Lamborghini. It’s used to make the car lighter while maintaining its desired strength and durability.
While magnesium does have some disadvantages relative to other materials (such as cost and difficulty of fabrication), its overall benefits make it an attractive option for many automotive applications. It is one of the metal materials for a car chassis, doors, and hood. Also, magnesium can be easily cast into complex shapes, making it ideal for creating custom automotive components.
6. Copper for Car Parts
Due to its inherent properties, copper is a popular choice for manufacturing automobile parts. Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, making it ideal for electrical components and engine cooling systems. Copper-based alloys are commonly used in the auto industry. They’re created by mixing copper with other metals such as zinc, nickel, and silver. This adds properties to the copper, such as corrosion resistance and increased strength.
Copper-based alloys can be used in various applications, including exhaust systems and brake pads. In addition to their superior strength and durability, copper-based alloys offer excellent thermal conductivity, making them ideal for high-heat applications.
Future Trend: Lightweight Metal Automotive Parts
In the future, cars will continue moving towards lighter metal parts. This trend is driven by a desire to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Many carmakers are already using lightweight metals such as aluminum and magnesium in their vehicles, which is likely to continue. In addition, composite materials are expected to grow, as these can further reduce weight while maintaining strength.
Composites are made from various materials, including carbon fiber, glass fiber, and Kevlar® fibers. Composites offer several advantages over traditional materials such as steel or aluminum; they are lighter weight, stronger, more corrosion resistant, and have better thermal properties (meaning they conduct heat better or insulate against heat better).
The move towards lighter-weight cars will have a significant impact on electric vehicle part manufacturing. That’s because EVs tend to be heavier than equivalent gas-powered cars due to their battery packs. So, making EVs even just 10% lighter would significantly affect range and performance. As such, we can expect that EV manufacturers will increasingly emphasize using lightweight metals and composites in their vehicles.
Get Metal Auto Parts at WayKen
If you need custom machined auto parts for your automobile business, WayKen is the company you can trust. With over 10 years of experience in machining, such as CNC machining, 3D printing, die casting, Injection molding, etc, we have the knowledge and expertise to produce the best metals used in auto parts and prototyping.
With advanced equipment and technologies, our team ensures that every auto part we provide meets your specific requirements. And because we offer competitive prices and fast turnaround times, you can be sure that you’ll get the parts at a cost-effective.
Contact us today to learn more about our machining capabilities and car metal materials list.
What are the four common metals used in car manufacturing?
Some of the most common metals used in car manufacturing include steel, iron, aluminum, and magnesium. All four metals are durable and have a long lifespan, which is why they are often used in car construction. Each metal has unique properties that make it ideal for different vehicle parts.
Which steel is used in automobile parts?
A range of steel can be used in automobile parts, depending on the required properties. For example, high-strength steel is often used for body panels and suspension components, while more ductile steel may be used for engine and transmission parts. Some common steel grades used in automotive applications include SAE J1392 hot-rolled high-strength low-alloy steel and SAE J2340 cold-formed steel.
What metal is most commonly used for car bodywork?
There is no definitive answer to this question as different metals can be used for car bodywork depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as personal preference. However, some of the most common materials used for car bodywork include aluminum, steel, and fiberglass.