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Aluminum Body




Function

We already know about the corrosion resistance of aluminium. In addition, despite the rising weight of the components in the area of the car body which enhance the comfort of the car, the production costs must be kept on an even keel. Whereby, crash security and stability must not only be kept at a high level, ideally in fact, they should even be increased. Taking only the car body into consideration, the fuel saving effect begins, when using primary aluminium, (production from bauxite) only within the first 100,000 km. Using recycled (Secondary) aluminium the fuel saving effect and the reduction of CO2 emission starts immediately.

How it works

The picture shows car bodies which are made completely out of aluminium, Previously, aluminium car bodies produced in rather small series got by with a substantially lower level of automation. The aluminium technology differs fundamentally from the customary technology. The car body attains its stability from extruder profiles and casting knots. Dot welding is no longer used, also because this procedure does not offer the same success when repairing. Nowadays MIG welding (with argon as a protective gas) takes a backseat, more important is the use of punch riveting, and of course, more and more laser welding is used. Extruder profiles originate, when aluminium is heated to a certain viscosity and then pressed through a contour. Even though ligaments hold the inside part of the contour together, afterwards the material flows together again. The most simple result is a box profile of almost any length. The profiles can however, also have several chambers. Compared with rolled parts the wall strength is easier to vary. Also the predetermined breaking points in case of accidents can be programmed more precisely.

Not only the construction of such a car body, also the repair work means a lot of changes. The cost of an additional workplace for aluminium car bodies is estimated at more than 25,000 Euros. Because of the corrosion threat no steel tools may be used any more. This is valid of course also for all connecting elements. No steel screw or washer may come into direct contact with an aluminium car body. This is also valid for all accessories. For this reason, all connecting elements in aluminium car bodies are provided with a coating and are marked accordingly in colour. 06/08


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