Aluminium in transport and transportation: for lightness of movement
As soon as we embark on any type of journey nowadays aluminium is usually there with us. Whether it be 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. Over a third of the total demand for aluminium in Germany is used in the transport and transportation sector. Photo: Ranger Rover Velar, © Jaguar Land Rover Germany
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 thereby save considerable amounts of fuel. A weight reduction of 100 kg saves about four litres of fuel per 1000 km. The emission of pollutants is reduced accordingly. 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. On top of this there is aluminium’s outstanding corrosion resistance: unlike ferrous materials, for example, aluminium does not rust.