Why Are Luxury Cars Abandoning All-Aluminum Bodies?

Aluminum, in the metal industry, is very important. It was electrolytically reduced in the laboratory in 1808. This metal, which was more precious than gold at that time, became a weapon of the upper class. At that time, people did not wear gold. Chains, all with an aluminum chain swayed through the city. However, the reason why aluminum became an ornament at that time was not only because it was rare, but also because it was light and soft, and it was really impossible to do it. 

But later, aluminum found the object, and there are several, such as magnesium, copper, silicon, manganese, these elements are immediately combined with aluminum, since then the aluminum alloy was born, changed its soft The problem, and retaining the light characteristics, has played a vital role in industrial development. Of course, in this long river of industrial development, in addition to providing advice for the aerospace industry and the construction industry, aluminum alloys are also a liver and brain for the development of automobiles. At this point, we found a lot of “all-aluminum body” used by luxury cars.

All aluminum body is not 100% aluminum alloy

When it comes to the all-aluminum body, many people will have a misunderstanding. They are all aluminum. It must be a 100% aluminum foil alloy body. But this is not the case, because in addition to the concept car, there is no 100% aluminum alloy body car in the world.

The so-called all-aluminum body actually refers to the main structure of the frame that bears the weight of the car body. As the name suggests, the components covering the surface of the car body, such as the door and the machine cover, are not in the range of the all-aluminum body.

In addition, it is said that aluminum alloy is a product of various metal elements of aluminum and magnesium, copper, silicon and manganese, so there are various combinations, and different kinds of N alloys produced by different ratios, and different aluminum alloys. The strength is also different. Take the example of the body structure of the Weilai ES8. It calculates the different degrees of force according to different parts of the car, and selects aluminum alloys of different materials.

The advantages of the all-aluminum body

When we have an idea of what an all-aluminum body is, let’s explore its advantages. First of all, I don’t have to say much about the “light” thing, because the low density of aluminum alloys satisfies the car designers’ pursuit of lightweight cars. After all, “one white covers all ugliness, one destroys everything.” Therefore, the advantage of “light” can bring us stronger power output and lower fuel consumption. However, the all-aluminum body has no other advantage besides “light”? In fact, there are still some.

For example, the material problem of the all-aluminum body will cause the gas to form an oxide film on the surface, which improves the corrosion resistance. In terms of plasticity, the aluminum alloy is more able to produce a perfectly rounded surface. Let’s take a look at the Jaguar, which advocates the all-aluminum body. It can be understood that the E-Type, the most beautiful sports car in its history, benefits from the plasticity of the all-aluminum body, and it uses a sleek curve to force the crowd.

The disadvantage of the all-aluminum body

Audi, our recognized leader in all-aluminum bodywork, used the Audi ASF all-aluminum frame on the A8 and TT, which has greatly improved the fuel economy and driving experience of the vehicle. The evaluation is a forward-looking move. However, when the new A8 met us, we found that the A8, which combines many cutting-edge technologies, abandoned the application of the all-aluminum body. What is this?

First of all, the process of the all-aluminum body is very complicated, and processing and welding are not difficult, which leads to the thief. Of course, this also leads to a substantial increase in maintenance costs. If a major accident occurs, the vehicle is obviously deformed. You can send it directly to scrap, because it costs you enough to buy a new car.

Of course, the luxury car like the A8 abandoned the all-aluminum body is definitely not because of cost, but because of safety. No, when the concept of the all-aluminum body is out, isn’t it true that the strength of the all-aluminum body is safer than our ordinary steel body? Although in theory some aluminum alloys are indeed stronger than steel, the fact that the Audi R8, which used an all-aluminum body a few years ago, has shrunk in a car accident tells us that in some extreme cases it does not guarantee Safety.

In recent years, the frequency of hot-formed steel has far exceeded that of aluminum alloy, and its appearance has made the defects of the all-aluminum body more obvious. The strength of ultra-high strength thermoformed steel has exceeded 1800 MPa, far exceeding that of ordinary steel and aluminum alloy. The density is also lower than normal, so it is lighter. But the lightness of aluminum alloys is irreplaceable, so cars start to balance between strength and lightness. Therefore, we have seen more and more models, using high-strength thermoformed steel on important cage-type structures, and using aluminum alloys on the collapsed structure to achieve both lightweight and safety.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the all-aluminum body still plays an irreplaceable role in the new energy field. We can see that the Tesla Model S uses an all-aluminum body, although the quality of the whole has reached 2.2 tons. This is because the battery pack of the new energy vehicle is too heavy, so it can only reduce weight on the body, thus saving energy and maximizing the cruising range. Of course, combined with cost considerations, the Model 3 uses a mix of steel and aluminum. Therefore, whether the future is still the world of all-aluminum body, the current trend has given the answer. Of course, human research on industry will not stop. Perhaps tomorrow we will not study aluminum alloy but titanium alloy.

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