Aluminium



Related Links



Site Search

Transport


Aluminium is increasingly being used in various transportation sectors – including automotive, rail, air travel, and marine. Its unique range of properties mean that more environmentally sustainable transportation solutions can be employed without compromising safety, lifespan, or design.

Contents:


Properties

Aluminium is the material of choice for the transportation sector due to its unique range of properties. Aluminium is:

Durable
Specially developed aluminium alloys used in transportation are weather-proof, corrosion-resistant and immune to the harmful effects of UV rays, ensuring optimal performance over a very long lifetime.

Flexible
Aluminium’s combination of properties mean that it can be easily shaped by any of the main industrial metalworking processes, including rolling, extrusion, forging and casting, guaranteeing virtually unlimited design potential.

Light-weight
Aluminium’s light weight has great advantages in transportation – lighter vehicles, be it trucks, cars, trains, boats or planes, require less work to achieve movement without compromising safety or comfort. If a vehicle is lighter, it can be moved more efficiently or it can carry more cargo – either way, this means less carbon emissions.

Strong

Alloyed aluminium can be as strong as steel at only a third of the weight, making it a suitable material for many of the different components within vehicles.

Corrosion Resistant
Aluminium’s natural oxide coating provides an effective protective barrier against elements that wear other metals. Specially developed alloys allow marine equipment to be produced from aluminium with less concern about corrosion.

Recyclable
Aluminium is 100% recyclable using only 5% of the energy used to make the original product. Approximately 95% of aluminium in cars is currently collected and recycled and accounts for over 50% of the material value of the vehicle at the end of its life.

Aluminium’s unique combination of high strength to weight has earned it an important place in the design and production of modern transport. It has been found that 2kg of steel components can be replaced with 1kg of aluminium components – that 1kg saving equates to a 20kg reduction in CO2 emissions over the life of the vehicle. Jaguar is one car manufacturer that has realised these benefits and is leading the way in revolutionising the automotive industry with its series of new models – the new Jaguar XJ weighs up to 150kg less than similar class models; this equates to a saving of 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the life of the vehicle.

And of course non-motorised transport – bicycles, scooters and roller blades, as well as mobility aids – wheelchairs, walking frames and chairlifts, all benefit from the properties of aluminium.
back to top

General Information

Aluminum in Transportation website – by Aluminum Association (USA)
The Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) communicates the benefits of aluminium in transportation applications to help accelerate its penetration through research programs and related outreach activities. This website contains a summary of the benefits of aluminium in transportation; videos; information on safety; fuel economy; emissions; case studies; resources – glossary, repair, and downloadable literature; and news.

Transport section of the European Aluminium Association website
The European Aluminium Association (EAA) represents the aluminium industry in Europe. This section of the website contains a brief summary on the use of aluminium in transport; the Alu Transport Newsletter; brochures and manuals; information on road safety and truck recycling; further information on aeronautics, marine and railways; and links.

Automotive and Transportation section of the Novelis website
Novelis has operations on four continents comprised of 33 operating facilities in 11 countries. This section of the Novelis website has dot points on the benefits of using aluminium in transport; product list; further menu items for Automotive, Bus and Rail, Heat Exchangers, Marine, and Truck and Trailer; as well as videos and images.
back to top

Aluminium in green transport

Transport website by the International Aluminium Institute
The International Aluminium Institute released its Transport website in 2010 and contains a wealth of information on aluminium in Transport, as well as images, videos, downloadable reference material and links to external sites and more.

Improving Sustainability in the Transport Sector through Weight Reduction and the Application of Aluminium – by the IAI
This paper written by the IAI has 5 pages of information, including charts and references.

The Story of Aluminium page of the Jaguar website
The benefits of light, stiff, recyclable aluminium are central to the design of the all new XJ and to Jaguar’s commitment to environmental responsibility. This page contains extensive information on the sustainable use of aluminium in automotive transport, as well as links, images, and videos.

See also all links in General Information – all contain some information on the sustainability and environmental benefits.

back to top

History of aluminium in transport

Aluminium in Transport fact sheet by the European Aluminium Association
This fact sheet, produced by the European Aluminium Association, contains timelines for the development of various transportation sectors using aluminium – rail, marine, automotive, trucks, buses, and air; and some images.
back to top

Automotive

Aluminium in the Automotive Industry
This page has extensive information on the history of aluminium applications in the automotive industry. The text contains information on car manufacturers and models, milestone dates, names of developers, some statistics, as well as images.

Automotive section of the Kaiser Aluminum website (USA)
Kaiser Aluminium is a premier supplier for the automotive industry. This section of the website contains downloadable literature, alloy specifications and applications, and some images.

Automotive section of the Alcoa Worldwide website
This section of the Alcoa Worldwide website contains a brief overview on aluminium in automotive transport, news, a blog, market trends, engineering information, business contacts, a products showcase, images, and links.

Innovation, Imagination, Intelligence page in the Jaguar website
Aluminium has become a valuable addition in the design and production of modern Jaguar cars. This page contains extensive information on the benefits of using aluminium in automotive applications, as well as images, links and videos.
back to top

Rail

Rail Transport page of the AluMatter website
aluMATTER is a freely-accessible, award-winning website that provides innovative and interactive e-learning resources for aluminium science and technology.  This section of the website contains brief information on aluminium in rail transport, some images and references.
back to top

Aviation

Aluminium in Aircraft Construction
This page has extensive information on the history of aluminium applications in aviation. The text contains information on alloys, milestone dates, names of developers, as well as images.

Aerospace and High Strength section of the Kaiser Aluminum website (USA)
Kaiser Aluminum creates aluminium plate, coil and sheet for aerospace, as well as specialized rod and bar products for high-strength goods such as race cars and military applications. This section of the website contains diagrams, technical specifications, downloadable literature, alloy specifications and applications, and images.

Aluminium and its alloys used in aircraft – Engineering Studies, Charles Sturt University
This page has a worksheet on aluminium and its alloys used in aircraft for the Engineering Studies unit at Charles Sturt University. Above the worksheet is some brief information on the aluminium alloys used in aircraft.
back to top

Marine

Aluminium in Shipbuilding
This page has extensive information on the use of aluminium in shipbuilding. This text contains information on alloys, milestone dates, names of developers, as well as some images.

Aluminium – Large Aluminium Extrusion in Marine Applications, AZO Materials website
This webpage contains information on the background use of aluminium in marine applications, the market influences, properties of large extrusions, joining methods, and design; as well as diagrams, tables, and images.
back to top

Articles and videos on aluminium in transport

Improving Sustainability in the Transport Sector through Weight Reduction and the Application of Aluminium – by the IAI
This paper written by the IAI has 5 pages of information, including charts and references.

All new Jaguar XJ Teaser – Aluminium Body, YouTube
1:36 minute video by Jaguar on use of aluminium in the new XJ model.
back to top

Publications relevant to aluminium in transport

Auminum Association bookstore – transportation search results (USA)
The Alumium Association’s bookstore has a number of publications that could be of use:

  • Global Transportation GHG Study
  • Aluminium Applications in the Rail Industry

As well as other listed items.

The Aluminium Automotive Manual (AAM)
This website is referenced by a number of websites, as it contains a long literature list – however, it does not appear possible to download/access resource material listed.
back to top

Aluminium suppliers

Commercial Transportation section of the Alcoa Worldwide website
Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial transportation markets over the past 120 years. This section of the website contains an overview on aluminium in transport, a product catalogue, news, the “calculighter” – calculates potential savings for switching to Alcoa wheels, presentations, market trends, business contacts, links, and images.

Transport Extrusions page of Ullrich Aluminium website
Ullrich manufacture a range of transport extrusions. This section of the website contains a downloadable file of transport extrusions, contact information (Australia and New Zealand), and an extrusions diagram.

Automotive and transport section of Hydro website
Hydro supplies lightweight applications to the automotive industry in the fields of:

  • heat exchange tubing
  • power train
  • suspension parts

This section of the Hydro website contains an overview of Hydro’s transportation products; contact information; related pages; more detailed information on automotive products, Truck and Bus, and Marine applications; as well as images and links.
back to top