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Materials Used in Body Panels
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Over the course of time, automobile manufacturers have used various materials in the manufacturing of body panels. Steel, aluminum, plastic, fiberglass, and composites have all been used. The reasons for the different materials vary from durability to cost.
According to Tom McGee, CEO of Inter-industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, the growth of aluminum will be a challenge. Because aluminum is a lighter material than steel, it is used by automakers to reduce the weight of the vehicle, and in turn improving fuel economy and performance. It is also used to add additional features without adding a great amount of weight to the vehicle.
Within the industry, there is some disagreement over the safety of aluminum. Although the Audi A8 is considered one of the safest cars in a crash because of the design of its aluminum skeleton, Mercedes-Benz has a preference for high-strength in areas such as roof pillars and other critical areas. Even though the rest of the bodies of
All aluminum bodies are customarily found on high-priced cars, whereas aluminum hoods, fenders, and tailgates are more provincial to trucks because of their need in meeting targeted fuel economy. Aluminum also lightens the hoods of trucks and lift gates of sport utility vehicles, which makes them easier to handle. It is predicted that within the next five years, the extensive use of aluminum body panels will find their way into the economy vehicles as well.
A major disadvantage of using aluminum at this point is the lack of enough technicians to handle ...
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