Sapa teams with Ford F-150 to create new aluminium solution
Sapa, the world leader in aluminum extrusions, has announced its partnership with Ford to supply the all-new F-150 with structural aluminum tubing, and provide ongoing development support for future aluminum extrusion applications.
The 2015 Ford F-150, which Ford calls its “toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever,” features a high-strength, military grade, aluminum-alloy body, and is about 700 pounds lighter than the 2014 model. Despite lighter weight, engineers indicate that a truck body using aluminum can equal or outperform steel in overall strength and dent resistance, depending on the type of material used, its thickness and how the structure is designed and assembled.
For the F-150, a global team of Sapa engineers and metallurgists rigorously tested and analyzed the extruded aluminum before Sapa began production for Ford.
Resources like Sapa Technology, the company’s advanced R&D group, and Sapa’s North American Technical Center support customers globally with world class engineering, metallurgy, product design, and fabrication expertise. The highest level of control on material properties and dimensional tolerances is critical to developing new applications for aluminum extrusion.
“Our metallurgy and production teams were really excited by this opportunity to show our development and manufacturing capabilities to a major automaker like Ford,” says Jack Pell, vice president of commercial sales for Sapa’s extrusion operations in the Americas. “Sapa is the world’s largest aluminum extrusion company, with tremendous resources for aluminum extrusion research, development, and production. We work hand-in-hand with automakers to help them make informed decisions when designing vehicles with aluminum.”
The use of aluminum in all vehicles, not just automobiles, is growing as improved performance, fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability become increasingly critical. Lighter vehicles can accelerate faster, stop sooner, tow and haul more, and consume less fuel than products that weigh more. The savings are even greater when you consider that aluminum is virtually perfect for recycling. According to the U.S.-based Aluminum Association, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
Anticipating continued market growth, Sapa is prepared for increased demand for aluminum extrusions thanks to a 2013 joint venture with Hydro Aluminum. In North America alone, Sapa now has 23 facilities and 68 extrusion presses.