NATURE OF MATTER 8
Natureof Matter: Aluminum vs. Steel vs. Titanium
Presently,there are over seventy types of metals that are used for variedmanufacturing functions. Metals are naturally occurring minerals onthe earth’s surface that humans extract for using in variousfunctions. Majority of the metals occur in impure forms that requireindustrial purification to make them useful. The special metals thatare extracted in their pure forms from the earth’s surface includecopper, gold, and silver. Other varieties are found in the form ofcarbonates that can be broken using advanced technology. However,only a few of the large variety of metals are used for numerousapplications. The characteristics of each metal vary significantly,hence the reason each is best suited to specific functions. Theobjective of this research is investigating the most appropriatemetals for car manufacturing. I was inspired to focus on this topicbecause the automobile industry is one of the major consumers forvarious types of metals. Over 90% of the components used inassembling cars are metal. However, some manufacturers have beenusing alternative materials such as plastics in car manufacturing forvarious reasons such as aesthetics, the preferred weight, cost, anddurability of the car. This research will investigate the best metalfor car manufacturing among steel, aluminum, and titanium.
Sincethe invention of cars, over a century ago, the vehicles weremanufactured using metals. Despite the fact that car-manufacturingmaterials have evolved to include rubber, plastics, and glasses,metal remains an essential component for the manufacturing process.However, manufacturers have various types of metals that they can usein the manufacturing process. Different manufacturers use distinctmetals depending on various targets such as price, overall weight,aesthetic, and durability. In order to determine these features,automobile manufacturers should have a comprehensive understanding ofthe different characteristics of the common metals used in the carmanufacturing process. This research will analyze the nature ofmatter of aluminum, steel, and titanium, and then determine which oneis the best material for car manufacturing.
Theresearch will use qualitative research approach to investigatingvarious metal characteristics that influence their suitability todifferent applications. According to Sharma (2003), the main featuresthat determine car manufacturing metals include such as Tensilestrength (ultimate tensile strength), stiffness, compressivestrength, brittle ductile, elasticity (elastic plastic), young’smodulus, yield strength, and shear strength. The study will alsoevaluate Harvey and American Society for Metals (2002) thatsummarizes the key features of steel, as well as its applications.Hatch (1984) research will provide essential knowledge regardingaluminum material. On the other hand, Leyens and Manfred Peters(2006) will provide fundamental information concerning titanium andits alloys.
Datacollection and literature review
Thequantity of metal used in car manufacturing depends on the model andthe size of a car. Big vehicles consume large amounts of metal. Thethree commonly used metals in car manufacturing include steel,aluminum, and titanium. According to Sharma (2003), the metals haveproperties that make them suitable for car manufacturing. However,determining the most suitable material can be challenging since eachvariety provides a car owner with unique benefits.
Harvey& American Society for Metals (2002) argues that steel is thebest material because it is both tough and stiff, but it can beeasily designed into the desired pattern, thus making it the firstchoice for many automobile manufacturers. In addition, steel is quiteaffordable compared to other metals such as aluminum, thus makingsteel cars affordable to a larger population. The author claims thatthe average car is constructed with an average of 2400 pounds. Theresource also claims that steel is a durable metal, especially,stainless steel. Automobiles that are manufactured using steel canoutlive others made using carbon metals because they are vulnerableto quick wear and tear caused by abrasion, as well as chemical agentssuch as rust. The study also notes that steel is readily available inseveral places across the world (Omar, 2011). Automobilemanufacturers can conveniently acquire steel from different suppliersacross the world. Affordability, durability, and high tensilestrength are key qualities when choosing an appropriate metal for carmanufacturing, and steel readily provides all the qualities. In fact,the authors also add that the malleability of steel allows mechanicalengineers to create aesthetic cars. Nonetheless, pure steel is heavy,corrodes easily, and it is too flexible therefore, unsuitable forcar racing (Harvey & American Society for Metals, 2002).
Onthe other hand, Aluminum is the second most commonly used metal incar assembling. An average car will use 327 pounds of the metal. Thisis a small portion of the total weight of the car considering thatthe metal is quite light (Hatch, 1984). Aluminum has been used forhundreds of years. It started as scantily explored metal, but itsnon-corrosive properties necessitated its use in the automotiveindustry. Apart from making the chassis, aluminum is used inconstructing assorted car units. It reduces fuel consumption due tothe general lightweight of the vehicle. Hatch (1984) notes that thealuminum creates lightweight and easy to drive cars, which arespecifically suitable for hybrid engines. Besides, the cars arestrong and durable. The metal is malleable, thereby making itpossible to design it into aesthetic shape. Lastly, the author notesthat it is more affordable than its alternative car-manufacturingmaterials such as carbon fiber. Unfortunately, the metals are lessfrequently used in car manufacturing because its joints are weak, andrepairing broken aluminum parts is quite challenging.
Titaniumis a high strength and a low-density metal that is resistant tocorrosion. It is used in making important accessories in the enginesuch as valves, connecting rods, valve springs, and retainers. Theuse of titanium is limited to racing cars and top car models becauseit is extremely expensive. Only the wealthy people can afford carsmanufactured with titanium. One of the key benefits that distinguishit from aluminum and steel is that it absorbs shock better. Titaniummetal is bullet proof, and this makes it outstanding among others.Its density can be described as between aluminum and steel thismakes it absorb shock despite being stiff. Moreover, it is longlasting and does rust resistant. The key drawbacks associated withthe metal, as a car manufacturing material is that it is veryexpensive, thus cars manufactured using the metal cost a fortune.Besides, repairing titanium is difficult because it is extremelystiff (Leyens & Manfred Peters, 2006).
Insummary, steel is the dominant metal in the car manufacturingindustry. It has passed the test of time as the “mainstay ofcommercial produced automobiles (Omar, 2011).” However, thecontemporary steel is stronger and several times advanced the varietyused half a century back. The modern steel is available in up totwelve distinct grades and strengths that make them safer and moresecure than the outdated variety.
Sharma,C.P. (2003). EngineeringMaterials: Properties and Applications of Metals and Alloys.Phi Learning Pvt. Ltd.
Harvey,P. D., & American Society for Metals. (2002). Engineeringproperties of steel.Metals Park, Ohio: American Society for Metals.
Hatch,E.J. (1984). Aluminum:Properties and Physical Metallurgy.ASM International.
Leyens,C. & Manfred Peters. (2006). Titaniumand Titanium Alloys: Fundamentals and Applications.John Wiley & Sons.
Omar,M.A. (2011). TheAutomotive Body Manufacturing Systems and Processes.John Wiley & Sons.