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+ - Ford plans to use Aluminum body panels in its F-150 trucks->

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Bob the Super Hamste
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ford is planning on using aluminum body panels in its F-150 trucks. By using these panels they expect to be able to cut about 750 pounds from each vehicle. This move is being driven by the need to meet new EPA fuel economy standards. The article also points out that this will add approximately $1500 dollars to the material cost of each F-150. This may eat into the profit on each vehicle or may be passed along to consumers. Additionally there are manufacturing difficulties in switching from steel to aluminum body panels such as aluminum having more of a tendency to return to its original shape, requiring suction instead of magnets to lift, bonding to other panels. Additionally bonding and welding panels together requires different techniques and the dies that stamp the parts will need to be kept cleaner to prevent scratching the metal. The presses that stamp the panels will need to be run at a slower speed as well to prevent tearing the sheet metal. The article notes that biggest challenge facing Ford in doing this may actually be convincing truck buyers that aluminum is just as tough as steel. This isn't Ford's first time working with aluminum bodies for vehicles as they have in the past produced a small fleet of aluminum bodied Tauruses as well as producing aluminum bodied Jaguars while they were owned by Ford. Several other manufacturers are currently making use of aluminum in vehicles as well as having been used in the past."
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Ford plans to use Aluminum body panels in its F-150 trucks

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