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Forged Steel vs. Forged Aluminum in Automotive Production

The automotive industry has greatly benefited from the forging process, specifically either hot or cold forging, thanks to their high-demand for complex shapes. Some specific forging parts used by the automotive industry include: engine parts, steering parts, automatic and manual transmission systems, etc.

Most of the automotive parts are made from forged steel or forged aluminum. Steel has always ruled when it comes to automotive production. Forged steel is strong and when you forge it, it becomes stronger yet. However, forged steel is heavy and tends to corrode with road chemicals. There has been a push of late to reduce vehicle weight and reduce corrosion on equipment caused by road chemicals. One solution to these problems is the more extensive use of aluminum components.
Main advantages of forged aluminum for automotive production are weight reduction and corrosion resistance.

Forged steel automotive part is two and a half times denser than an equivalent forged aluminum part. So, there is a huge advantage when purchaser want to reduce the weight of an automotive part. There are other factors that must be considered, but size for size, aluminum wins in the weight category.

Corrosion resistance has become an issue for any manufacturer selling road going equipment in areas where snow and ice are prevalent. The use of calcium chloride and magnesium chloride on roads increase the corrosion of steel to the point where manufacturers are considering aluminum to gain a higher resistance to corrosion.

Aluminum has two main advantages for automotive production, but it doesn’t mean a contractor can just change out a forged steel component for a forged aluminum part of the same shape, size and thickness. Although forged aluminum provides great weight reduction, it also takes away strength. Although there are stronger series of forged aluminum, the cost implications of these higher grades limit their use for most applications. Thus, when deciding where to use forged aluminum, consideration must be given to the strength requirements. 

So, we can summarize that forged steel can offer good strength and low production cost, while forged aluminum has the advantages of light weight and good corrosion resistance.  Any inquiry on forged steel or forged aluminum automotive parts, pls feel free to let us know!

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