Use of aluminum growing faster than any other automotive material

A new survey reports that the use of aluminum is growing faster than that of any other automotive material, and is expected to grow to content levels of 514 pounds per vehicle (PPV) by 2026, up 12% from 2020 levels.

The survey, conducted by DuckerFrontier, analyzes the latest information on material content for North American light vehicles from the full automotive value chain, including automakers and their suppliers. It credits the increase in aluminum content penetration to the metal’s growing use in vehicle closure parts, body-in-white parts and chassis applications in traditional vehicles, as well as the growth of EVs.

“As consumer pressures and environmental challenges increase, so too does the use of automotive aluminum. This demand is accelerating as low weight, high-strength aluminum is helping automakers adapt to new mobility trends, and we’re bullish on the growth potential of the metal in the fast-emerging EV segment,” said Novelis VP Ganesh Panneer, who chairs the Aluminum Transportation Group. 

According to the report, the aluminum flat-rolled sheet remains a key solution to replace heavier steels and help automakers achieve mass reduction goals. Doors represent the single highest net growth application of aluminum content per vehicle—penetration is expected to reach 30% by 2026. By 2026, aluminum hood penetration is expected to reach 81%, and liftgates/tailgates to reach 44%. By 2030, total aluminum content is estimated to reach 570 PPV, a 24% increase over the course of the decade. 

As electrification grows, the analysis predicts that demand for aluminum extrusions and high-pressure aluminum die-cast parts will grow due to increased use in applications such as battery housings, motor housings and body structural components. Aluminum also plays an increasing role in vehicle safety—extrusions for crash management system applications are projected to increase by 10% from 2016-2022.

Source: Drive Aluminum