The automobile industry is the largest consumer of raw materials globally for production. An automotive component manufacturer uses several materials in the design of a vehicle. Such materials affect the vehicle’s durability, look, and sometimes its speed. Here is the list of 10 materials most used to manufacture various automobiles.
Steel is required for different parts of a car during product assembly. For example, a major component of door panels, automobile chassis, and support beams is steel. Moreover, it is also widely used in automobile exhaust systems and catalysts.
The most common application of steel is in the chassis of automobiles. It is because steel is strong and more effective at absorbing the impact than any other material. On average, a car consists of 2400 pounds of steel. In short, this material is a critical component of a vehicle’s safety, as they provide the weight and support needed to keep the vehicle moving.
Automotive plastics are manufactured using petroleum by-products and have become a significant competitor to steel in the automotive industry. Its strength is enough to maintain the structural integrity of the vehicle. In addition, plastics are durable, versatile, and lightweight, making them ideal for various applications. Thus, almost half of all auto parts are plastic, including door handles, hoses, and ventilation systems.
Aluminum is one of the lightest and strongest metals available, ideal for certain automotive components. It accounted for 2% of a car’s overall parts in 1970, but it makes up 15% of all auto parts today. For example, a crucial part of the vehicle, the wheel, is made from aluminum rather than steel.
Aluminum is also commonly used for engine blocks. While it does not have the same durability as iron, its lightweight property is more beneficial.
From the wedges in the engine to the wiper blades, seals on hoses, and belts, a car’s small yet valuable components are made from rubber.
Rubber is a low-cost, durable, and versatile material, making it suitable for many applications. In addition, it can withstand high temperatures if the car gets hot. Thus, a significant portion of the rubber produced is used in the manufacturing of automobiles.
Presently, glass is used as a component for navigation screens, backup cameras, and mirrors in automobiles. Furthermore, windshields are manufactured by an automotive component manufacturer using laminated glass.
Glass laminate provides the greatest level of safety for users, especially in collisions. In addition, glass aids the driver’s vision while driving and navigating.
Glass and fiberglass are often mistaken as the same material, but they are distinct. Fiberglass is created by using thin, flexible glass wires. Many automotive component manufacturers also brush a small piece of glass with resin on top of these small layers for more minor works.
Several advantages can be attributed to the use of fiberglass in the automotive industry. For example, its non-corrosive properties are ideal for replacing steel in areas where steel is easily corroded. Fiberglass is also fire-resistant, making it perfect for application on the front bumper, doors, roofs, and enclosures, which enhances the safety features in a car.
As lead is a heavy metal, it serves as a reliable balancer for the car. It is why most wheel designs consist of lead, aluminum, and fiberglass components. Besides this, lead is also used in vehicles’ batteries to provide protection when the vehicles heat up.
Copper is primarily used in the wiring of automobiles and other electronic devices. It means that copper wires are used in various systems throughout the vehicle, including radios, alarm systems, and charging ports.
Titanium is a costly metal with the primary function of enhancing the aesthetics of vehicles. As a result, most manufacturers avoid using titanium in their manufacturing processes. But, some use it as a metallic component in place of steel or aluminum.
Since 1930 magnesium has been used in an automotive’s body, structure, and components of the engine. With over 75% and 33% less weight than steel and aluminum, it is only applied in small areas during product assembly to maintain the vehicle’s balance.
Manufacturing automobiles is a complicated process. It involves the incorporation of different materials in various ratios during product assembly. These materials are also used in conjunction with the others to improve results in multiple parts. Thus, their varying quality and variety play an important role in determining the weight and price of an automobile component.