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Aluminum Engine Blocks

Steel Investment Castings - Lost Wax Castings - All Popular Metal Casting Alloys

 
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Aluminum engine blocks are gradually replacing iron and steel engine blocks in American cars. One reason is that an iron engine block adds twice the weight as a 44 pound 4 cylinder engine block cast out of aluminum.

Richard Schultz, a researcher for the market intelligence firm, Ducker Worldwide, estimates that 85% of all North American cars are being built with aluminum engines. He expects that to grow to 90% in five years.

On the other hand only 25% of light trucks contain aluminum engine block, but Schultz believes that within 5 years that percentage will grow to 55%.

Automotive engines contain the most aluminum components with aluminum cylinder heads, aluminum blocks, manifolds, etc. In North American cars the overall aluminum content adds 114 lbs. to a vehicle, compared to 89 lbs in Europe and 101 lbs in Japan.

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One important reason for the growing use of aluminum in motor vehicles is the weight factor. Misha Riveros-Jacobson, president of Alco Advance Transportation Systems points out that a savings of 10% in weight can translate into an almost equal percentage (9%) fuel consumption improvement.

While the cost of aluminum is almost three times the cost of processed steel, the aluminum industry believes that by using more aluminum in the construction of new hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV), consumers will see savings at the pump that will offset the initial upfront cost of a new energy-efficient HEV.

Even with aluminum engine blocks and other aluminum components steel is still the number one material used in the manufacture of motor vehicles. Currently the average motor vehicle is comprised of about 1,800 lbs. of steel.

For more information on Aluminum Engine Blocks and investment casting.


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