Transport and Transportation & Aluminium: for Lightness of Movement
As soon as we embark on any type of journey nowadays aluminium is usually there with us. Whether by car, rail, sea or air. High stability coupled with light weight ensures transport is economical and environmentally friendly. In the age of mobility, aluminium is thus the material of choice.
Ecological and Economic Mobility
It is possible to reduce the weight of a vehicle by up to a third by using aluminium in car-making, and thus save considerable amounts of fuel. The material’s light weight also results in other tangible benefits: for example, modern buses with aluminium bodies are several hundred kilograms lighter than those built using conventional methods of construction. This increases the number of people that can be transported for a given maximum permitted weight and reduces running costs, the benefits of which are reaped to the full given the large distances buses travel and the frequent stops and starts they make at bus stops; in view of the chronic financial shortages faced by local authorities, this is an important aspect when acquiring new vehicles.
With a truck and trailer, it is possible to save up to several tonnes in weight by material substitution in the driver's cab, frames and crossbeams, hubs, wheels, engine parts and gearbox casings and thus achieve correspondingly higher payloads. With tipping semi-trailers, using aluminium for the body and chassis allows payloads to be increased by 1.5 tonnes, and even by 2.5 tonnes in the case of large volume tippers. For owners, aluminium pays for itself.
Highest possible Loading for the Aerospace Industry
In the manufacture of aircraft, aluminium offers a happy medium between manufacturing costs, low density, high strength and corrosion resistance. Aluminium components withstand the highest possible loading: thanks to special aluminium alloys, the fuselage, wings and stabiliser are resistant to fatigue and failure even after many years of operation despite the large number of take-offs and landings with the extremely demanding acceleration and braking this involves. With innovative composites such as GLARE, which is being used in the ultramodern Airbus 380 wide-bodied aircraft, aluminium is involved in interplay with fibre-glass layers. This extremely light but strong and tough material clearly shows that even in the 21st century aluminium and aerospace are closely linked.
Rail Travel is faster and more modern
In the early days, railways were referred to as ‘the iron way’. A bygone era. Because today many load-bearing elements of a train as well as, for example, the carriage bodies of the ICE, are being made completely from aluminium. It is this that makes speeds of over 350 km/h by rail at all possible. Four out of every five carriage bodies for underground and local trains in Western Europe are now manufactured from aluminium. Perhaps the term ‘aluminium way’ would now be more appropriate.
Also fulfilling the highest Demands in Shipbuilding
Modern ships are fast and manoeuvrable while being light, stable, able to withstand stress and durable. These requirements can be met unreservedly with the aluminium alloys used today to build ships and yachts. Thanks to intensive research and development efforts, modern aluminium-based materials are even stronger, more resistant to corrosion, even in seawater, and defy rain, wind and weather, regardless of whether it is a sailing boat, a yacht, a ferry or a luxury liner.
Aluminium – a sustainable Material
Aluminium lasts for several generations. And even when it is scrapped, future generations can recycle it without any loss or deterioration in quality and then use it in a new application.