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aluminium alloys used in automotive applications

1.1 Aluminum cylinder block, cylinder head
It can be seen on modern vehicle water-cooled engines or air-cooled engines that the aluminum cylinder block has an all-aluminum type and a cast iron cylinder liner type embedded in the cylinder bore. In order to reduce costs and further light weight, the use of all-aluminum type is advocated. In this regard, it is necessary to develop an aluminum alloy with excellent wear resistance and resistance to piston ring sliding. The American GM company adopts all-aluminum cylinder liner, the French car's aluminum steam, the cylinder head has reached 100%, and the aluminum cylinder block has reached 45%. American Ford NGT truck engine cylinder head, Zeta4 cylinder engine, Modular V6/V8 engine, Chrysler's new V6 engine cylinder block and cylinder head all use aluminum alloy materials. Chrysler's Jeep engine, 3.8 LV6 and Dodge van engines use aluminum alloy cylinder heads. Japan's Nissan Motor Company (Nissan) uses the new VQ series V6 engine in the Maxima. It is characterized by the use of high pressure die casting (HPDC) in the manufacture of the cast aluminum block of this engine. This process can improve casting and increase strength, and is especially suitable for thin-walled cylinders, which are more than 50% lighter than the original cylinder. In addition, the use of aluminum in powertrain components is also expanding. The use of cast aluminum oil pans in Japanese and European engines improves rigidity and reduces NVH. Both Nissan's VQ and Toyota's Lexus IMZ-FEV6 engines use cast aluminum oil pans. GM also uses this sump on the 5.7LCorvette V8 engine. In addition, Nissan's VQ cylinder also uses aluminum valve lifters. Due to the remarkable recycling effect of aluminum, Honda's manufacturing plants in the United States will also recycle aluminum for the manufacture of engine parts.

1.2 Aluminum heat sink

Almost 100% aluminum is used for condensers, evaporators, and air-cooled oil coolers in heat exchangers such as automobile air-conditioning equipment (condensers, evaporators), oil coolers, radiators, and heaters. The difficulty with aluminum heat sinks is durability and heat dissipation. Durability is mainly a problem of water leakage due to corrosion, which is caused by internal corrosion caused by coolant and external corrosion caused by salts. Adding rust inhibitors to cooling water can prevent internal corrosion, and external corrosion caused by salts can be prevented by surface treatment and corrosion-resistant alloys.

1.3 Aluminum alloy wheels

Wheels are important components to ensure safety, and have high requirements for their safety. It is quite common for cars to use various styles of aluminum alloy wheels. Aluminum alloys for wheel rims require high strength (fatigue strength, flash weldability, roll formability, etc.); aluminum alloys for casting require good castability and sufficient strength. Features of aluminum wheels: light weight; good heat dissipation, preventing overheating of the tire; high dimensional accuracy, reducing longitudinal and lateral vibration. Wheels are rigid parts that support the tire in the center and should have high strength and stiffness. Wheels are closely related to various performances of automobiles, and the safety and reliability of the whole vehicle depend to a large extent on the performance and service life of the wheels and tires used. Therefore, the wheels are required to have: sufficient load capacity and speed capacity; good adhesion and cushioning characteristics, wear resistance and aging resistance and good air tightness; good uniformity and mass balance; small rolling resistance and driving noise; beautiful The appearance and decoration, small quality, low price, easy disassembly and assembly, good interchangeability. Compared with steel wheels, aluminum alloy wheels can better meet the above requirements. Wheels and tires are used together, so they have the characteristics of high standardization, serialization and generalization. As far as the classification of wheels is concerned, the connection structure can be divided into 1-piece, 2-piece and multi-piece; according to the material, it can be divided into light alloy wheels, steel wheels and non-metal wheels; the connection manufacturing method can be divided into cast wheels, Roller wheels and profiled steel wheels; the spoke state can be divided into deep groove rim wheels, semi-deep groove, rim wheels and 15° deep groove rim wheels; the spoke structure can be divided into spoke plate type, spoke type, etc. Since the United States began to use aluminum alloy wheels in 1964, aluminum alloy wheels are gradually replacing steel wheels due to their light weight, good balance, beautiful appearance (various forms), better strength, and fuel saving. Since the 1980s, my country has started to produce, promote, use and export aluminum wheels.
1.4 Aluminum bumper
Bumpers have been generally installed on cars as buffers to absorb impact energy. But this increases the weight of the car. For this reason, aluminum bumpers and plastic bumpers appear at the same time to achieve the purpose of lightweight. At present, plastic bumpers are the mainstream, and aluminum is only used as a reinforcement.

1.5 Aluminum body outer panel

Rolled aluminium for exterior body panels brings a new phase of aluminisation of automobiles. The United States has used aluminum for many parts of body panels. However, the conditions of the outer body panel and other parts are very different. In addition to the mechanical strength and functional appearance, the quality and feel are also very high. From this point of view, coating and surface quality issues are prominent. Therefore, it is rarely used in Japan. In addition to cost reasons, there are several concerns: elongation is not as good as steel. The elastic coefficient is only 1/3 of the steel plate, and the rebound is large. Therefore, the stamping formability is lower than that of steel plate; the weldability is not as good as that of steel. Compared with steel plate, it has high electrical conductivity, low melting point, and it is easy to form oxide film, especially the welding with steel is more difficult; due to the different coating properties of aluminum and steel plate, uneven coating is easy to occur between aluminum plate and steel plate; In addition, due to its softness, it is easy to generate small scars, not only processing defects such as tensile slip lines, wrinkles, and cracks, but also dents during use (dents caused by impact) are inevitable.

1.6 Chassis Parts

When it comes to reducing a car's mass, there's nothing more potential and easier to do than undercarriage. In the suspension system, the preferred material to replace the steel material is aluminum. General Motors has used aluminum alloy components in the Cadillac's suspension system, and has also increased the scale of replacing cast iron with aluminum in the manufacture of suspension knuckles. Ford used aluminum alloy brake discs. The mass of the brake disc is only 2.27kg, which is 1/3 of the original cast iron disc, and the service life is three times that of the cast iron disc despite the higher cost. Chrysler's NeodLite chassis uses a large number of aluminum alloy components, which reduces the weight a lot, such as the weight of the steering gear universal joint is reduced by 3kg, the lower control arm is reduced by 2.6kg, the steering casing is reduced by 1.36kg, and the steering shaft is reduced by 1. .9kg, the rear brake drum is lowered by 3.6kg, and the front brake pedal frame is lowered by 0.8kg.

1.7 Aluminum test car

The weight reduction rate of the energy-saving ESVAR car and the safety-oriented SVAR car trial-produced by the Italian company Alfa Romeo is 9% for the former and only 3% for the latter. British BL Teknorki has developed an ECV3 made of aluminum alloy for load-bearing parts, non-load-bearing parts and GFRP for outer panels, and the body weight is 45% lighter than that of an all-steel car.