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Use of Aluminium and Its Alloys in Automobile & Health Industry

Contributed by: Anonymous
March 01, 2021

As the AUTOMOBILE industry started to focus on fuel efficiency, reducing CO2 emission and design, Aluminium is playing a pivotal role in modern cars. Let us look at some of the applications of Aluminium or its alloys in this sector.

  • Aluminum is the most used material in automobiles and commercial vehicles as it provides excellent safety and durability coupled with increase in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
  • Aluminium is 100% recyclable and can be recycled indefinitely without loss of quality. For all these reasons different car parts are being made from this material: wheels, radiators, and body parts.
  • In the electric vehicle (EV) market, the biggest factor that drives consumer preference, aside of high but falling costs, is driving range. To achieve a high range for a given battery size and weight, weight reduction of EV is needed. And again, the preferred material in EV lightening is Aluminium.
  • All future automobiles will need to satisfy stringent emission standards and the best way to do it with exciting technologies is to reduce their weight. Various Aluminium alloys are being used for this purpose.
  • Since its lower density, Aluminium components in cars are thicker compared to the AHSS components for the same purpose.
  • Aluminium is very good at absorbing shock: in fact, it's twice as effective at it as steel. For this reason, automakers have long been using Aluminium in bumpers.
  • A variant of 6000 Al-Mg-Si is heat-treatable alloy with good corrosion resistance, hence used in ABS, crossmembers, wheels, propeller shafts, arms, links, air bags, joists, and receiver tanks.
  • Another variant of same is a lead-free high-machinability alloy, hence used in AT valves.
  • Aluminium and its alloys are being used as heat insulators because of their excellent processability and surface treatability.
  • The 2000 Al-Cu alloy, because of its relatively higher copper content and inferior corrosion resistance, is used in shock absorbers, handles, spokes and conrods.
  • This alloy possesses high strength at high temperatures, hence used in compressor wheels and pistons.
  • The 4000 Al-Si alloy is used in power steering housing and compressor scrolls because of its excellent abrasion resistance and forgeability.
  • The 5000 Al-Mg is the strongest of the non-thermally treated alloys, hence used in tanks and gas cylinders.
  • It also has good processability and corrosion resistance. Thus, dust covers, seat frames etc. use this alloy.

In sectors like HEALTHCARE, advancements in technology are an extremely important aspect. Progresses in metal industry also contributed to the improvement of such sector, always ensuring safety and hygiene. Aluminium is an example of the metals that the industry has recently started to use.

  • Aluminium has proven its versatility in design, recyclability, lightness and low production costs and the strength to weight ratio in the healthcare area.
  • Aluminium is commonly used in equipment for orthopedic, endoscopic, craniomaxillofacial, spine, trauma, surgical instruments and for general hospital equipment. Surgical cases, containers, trays and kits and other devices made from Aluminium are preferable to stainless steel or plastic counterparts.
  • In the healthcare sector, Aluminium proved to be good for its design flexibility, recyclability, lightweight, low manufacturing cost, and its strength-to-weight ratio. The metal is easy to manufacture and its good thermal conductivity ensures that tools dry quickly, minimizing the spread of bacteria through wet surfaces.
  • With the addition of other metals for better coating, Aluminium can accept many types of finishes, improving corrosion and allowing for better identification of the tools. In other words, Aluminium allows for the control of instruments’ costs without sacrificing quality.
  • Cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization used in clinics and hospitals can be highly corrosive to Aluminium due to the high alkaline content of detergents. Reusable tools are constantly subject to detergents and acids, but Aluminium is not exceptionally resistant to alkaline. Thus, the manufacturing of alloys is needed.
  • The metal is simple to produce and its strong thermal conductivity ensures fast drying of instruments, which minimizes bacterial dispersion across wet surface areas.
  • Aluminium is used for field hospitals and disaster zones because of its corrosion-resistant, strong, and light weight characteristics.
  • Due to its durable characteristics, Aluminium is used in walkers, wheelchairs, crutches and canes.
  • Equipments of patient care such as beds, patient positioning system, surgical lights, equipment stands, service panels and many more uses Aluminium.
  • Aluminium is present in the ceiling track and lift components are used in motorized lift systems for the physically challenged.
  • Aluminum extrusion plays a part in many advanced healthcare technologies, but the patient repositioner is one of the best examples demonstrating an innovative way in which aluminium extrusion can be utilized in the medical equipment industry.