Development of Aluminum Auto Body Sheet Alloys – A HistoryWednesday (06.11.2019) 14:15 - 14:35 Part of:
The use of aluminum sheet on automobiles dates to the early 1900’s but current issues with automotive emissions and CO2 emissions are driving automakers worldwide to adopt aluminum sheet in larger volumes. The increased demand has forced significant changes in the aluminum rolling industry to supply the quality and quantities of sheet needed by automotive customers. Currently 5xxx and 6xxx alloys make up the largest portion of aluminum body sheet production, but 2xxx alloys were critical in early applications and 7xxx alloys have entered the picture where strength is most critical. This paper will review the key developments and inflection points in alloy development and manufacturing capabilities over the past 100 years. Key contributions from aluminum companies in Europe, North America, and Japan have brought aluminum sheet to its current position as an economically viable solution for high volume auto production.