12 09, 2014

Ford Tours F-150 To Show Off Aluminum-Built Toughness

2017-01-26T23:37:29+00:00September 12th, 2014|

Ford knows that there are skeptics out there regarding the aluminum-built F-150 despite good numbers and strong buzz. To help get dealers ready for the big launch, the company is bringing the F-150 around the country to prepare dealers for questions and concerns from a curious public. From Fox Business:

Ford Motor Co. (F) is putting its new aluminum-bodied F-150 to the test.

FOX Business got an exclusive look at a demonstration event featuring the 2015 F-150, which is expected to go on sale later this year. Ford is visiting 26 cities to introduce the pickup truck to sales personnel.

The aluminum truck has been the talk of the auto industry since it was introduced at the Detroit auto show in January. Few production cars are made almost entirely of the lighter metal. The F-150 will be the first truck to use an aluminum body.

By switching from steel, Ford cut 700 pounds from the nation’s best-selling pickup. While the company has yet to release fuel economy estimates, analysts widely expect the 2015 F-150 to get better gas mileage than previous versions.

At the demonstration in Romeo, Mich., Ford pitted its F-150 against the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra from General Motors (GM), plus the Ram 1500 from Chrysler Group.

“We want our sales consultants to have confidence that this new truck is just as capable,” Eric Peterson, Ford’s F-150 marketing manager, told FBN’s Jeff Flock. “It’s got great performance and great capability just like the current truck. That’s what they get to experience firsthand.”

The F-150 is set for public launch later this year. Expect to see official numbers regarding MPG shortly before the launch.

19 02, 2014

GM Looks To Aluminum For Manufacturing Overhaul

2015-06-18T15:33:05+00:00February 19th, 2014|

Tesla was just the start. Ford was the next domino to fall. Now, America’s other big auto manufacturer is ready to follow suit. General Motors must think aluminum is a good idea, because a report from the Wall Street Journal states that the company wants most of their truck fleet to have aluminum bodies by 2018.


General Motors Co. GM +0.66%  is accelerating efforts to field a largely aluminum-bodied pickup truck by late 2018, under pressure from federal fuel efficiency standards and archrival Ford Motor Co. F +0.17%  , according to people familiar with the matter.


The No. 1 U.S. auto maker recently locked-in supply contracts with Alcoa Inc. AA +4.56% and Novelis Inc., which are now working to increase their aluminum sheet production to supply the next-generation GM pickup, the people said. Aluminum sheet for automotive bodies is in such high demand that companies need to order it years in advance.


The push to develop what the industry calls an “aluminum intensive” large pickup marks an apparent change of direction for GM, which has pursued smaller and lighter weight steel-bodied trucks.


The article goes on to state that Chrysler, the other member of Detroit’s Big Three, is looking to increase fuel efficiency by looking at other options: transmission mechanics, axle efficiency, and gasoline options. From our perspective, though, we’re inviting them to come take a look at the aluminum revolution — we think they’ll be pleased with what they find.

21 08, 2013

Aluminum Slims Down Next-Gen iPads

2017-01-26T23:37:29+00:00August 21st, 2013|

Here’s a bit of juicy news for you Apple fans out there. While the new iterations of the iPad and iPad Mini haven’t been officially revealed, sneak-peak photos show a thinner back body. Why would Apple slim down its tablet line? The only reason you’d want to reduce a form factor is if the material composition can be structurally sound while minimizing weight and bulk. According to this spy report from The Full Signal, that’s exactly what Apple did — and, not surprisingly, they chose aluminum to make it happen:

New photos of Apple’s iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 have popped up online, showing off the rear shell for each device. While much of this similar to the leaks we’ve already seen for these tablets, the iPad 5 actually looks closer in size to the iPad mini, likely due to its thinner bezel.

Current rumors indicate that Apple’s iPad 5 will be both thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and will also include a faster processor. The newest tablets will run on Apple’s newest version of its ever popular operating system; iOS 7.

The iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 launch dates haven’t been pegged yet, but it’s likely we’ll see them both sometime this fall. It’s very unlikely that they’ll launch with the newest iPhone, so an October release is more likely — perhaps just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Head on over to The Full Signal’s report to take a closer look at the new iPad body shells. Of course, as spy reports go, you didn’t hear this from us.

16 08, 2013

Attention Criminals: When Not To Use Aluminum

2015-06-18T15:33:07+00:00August 16th, 2013|

At Taber Extrusions, we’re a major proponent of being creative when it comes to aluminum. Lightweight, strong, and flexible, it’s the perfect material for do-it-yourselfers and artists alike.

But credit card fraud? First off, we don’t recommend doing anything illegal. Second, we don’t have any idea where these men (appropriately from Jupiter, Florida) got the idea for their shenanigans. From WPTV.com:

Jupiter Police are investigating an attempted fraud at a Jupiter gas station Saturday afternoon.

Thieves allegedly used aluminum foil to try to get away with free merchandise.

Employees at the BP gas station on Indiantown Road say two men helped each other climb up the back of the gas station to get to the roof.

The men then targeted the satellite dishes that were once used to transmit credit card transactions.

The thieves covered the sensors on the dishes with aluminum foil with the goal of making bad or maxed out credit cards process, and be approved.

Little did the thieves know, the satellite dishes are no longer active.

Aluminum foil to disrupt satellite transmissions of encrypted credit card data – we might need to call in the Mythbusters to give us definitive proof that this wouldn’t work, but somehow, we think that the perpetrators don’t exactly have a degree in material science or electrical engineering.

17 07, 2013

Is Aluminum The New Glass?

2015-06-18T15:33:07+00:00July 17th, 2013|

Aluminum is found in all sorts of different smartphones these days, and plenty of recent posts show that it is a preferred material for the next generation of mobile devices. However, those devices primarily use aluminum in the body – but what if it actually replaced the glass protecting the screen?

Microsoft has considered this innovation and is looking at translucent aluminum to protect its new line of smartwatches. From The Verge:

The news follows prototype testing of devices with a Surface connector, and reports that Microsoft is requesting 1.5-inch displays from component manufacturers. AmongTech recently reported that smartwatch prototypes include a variety of removable wrist bands in blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey colors. We’re told that this is accurate, and that Microsoft’s smartwatch plans center around the idea of removable bands. AmongTech also claims that prototypes are housed in Oxynitride Aluminum, an expensive “translucent aluminum” that is said to be three times harder than glass.

Three times harder than glass – consider all of the times people have dropped their smart devices on the pavement and cracked the glass. Now comes a clear material that’s primarily used for military purposes; the next logical step would be bulletproof iPads, right?


29 05, 2013

Aluminum Pods Invade The Home

2017-01-26T23:37:30+00:00May 29th, 2013|

Classic science-fiction design gave us a lot of metallic pod-looking things in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, Belgian designers at Dethier Architectures used that look as inspiration for a unique loft, one that needed something to act as room divider, artwork, and hallway all in one. And it took one big piece of aluminum to get the job done. From GizMag.com:

“We were fortunate to have a committed and receptive client who was fascinated by precision engineering,” the company’s project description runs. So the company set about designing a visually striking yet useful aluminum pod to be placed smackedy-boo in the middle of the apartment (formerly an industrial-scale bakery).


The pod itself contains two bathrooms, a toilet, the heating and ventilation equipment as well as some storage space. It also acts as a break, with the living room on one side (with a TV built neatly into the pod), and the bedroom on the other.


Fans of industrial design will no doubt have spotted the inspiration behind the pod. Dethier Architectures says that the famous aluminum Airstream trailer, designed by William Hawley Bowlus, influenced the material, form and also the detailing of the pod, though its brushed finish is perhaps a little less lustrous (and easier to maintain).


Maybe it’s not the ideal aesthetic for every home, but for those that want future-retro in a Jetsons-style model, aluminum pods are the way to go. Aluminum has become so popular in cars, perhaps we’ll see it in home building next.

3 04, 2013

About That Aluminum Car Battery…

2015-06-18T15:33:36+00:00April 3rd, 2013|

Last week, we told you about the new Citroen vehicles powered by an aluminum-air battery made by Phinergy. We’ve done some digging around and have further details about how this works. In theory, it is indeed a sustainable process that utilizes recycled aluminum and swapping stations. From Phinergy’s website:

Widely available, aluminum contains high amounts of energy (8kWh/kg). It is also easily recyclable, making it an attractive material for energy systems.

Thanks to its revolutionary components, Phinergy’s aluminum-air energy systems use the energy released by the reaction of aluminum with oxygen to generate electric power. Our proprietary air electrodes transform Phinergy’s aluminum-air energy systems into highly effective, robust, and reliable clean energy sources.

Our proprietary process of anode production results in increased use of aluminum energy, while reducing unwanted chemical reactions to minimum.

Phinergy also utilizes an advanced battery management system for ever so increasing the energetic utilization of the battery.

Our aluminum-air energy systems are superior to conventional batteries in terms of energy density and specific energy. Our systems are mechanically reloaded, avoiding long charging time.

The life cycle of aluminum enables to maintain global energetic balance. Phinergy’s aluminum is produced in places where energy is clean and cheap, such as electricity from waterfalls. It then serves as a means for transporting this energy to places where it is required.

When used in an aluminum-air battery, aluminum turns into aluminum hydroxide. Aluminum hydroxide can then be recycled in the aluminum factory, enabling a closed and sustainable life cycle.

Green Energy News quickly noted the phrase “mechanically reloaded,” which is a fancy way of saying swapped out. One California start-up called BetterPlace has a similar idea floating around. Using a switchable battery model, BetterPlace envisions a world where battery switch stations have replaced gas stations.

While there isn’t a clear leader in the electric vehicle landscape (unless you can afford an award-winning Tesla), it’s great to see these competing technologies push metals like aluminum into new innovations — all while committing to a greener world. No matter which system wins the marketplace, in the end, we all win.

27 03, 2013

Aluminum + Water = Car Power Of The Future?

2015-06-18T15:33:36+00:00March 27th, 2013|

The last year has given us plenty of headlines about aluminum manufacturing in cars — but cars powered by aluminum? That’s a new one. However, it’s not that far-fetched. You’re not going to win any races with Citroen’s cutting-edge car powered by Phinergy’s new aluminum-air batteries but you’ll get from Point A to Point B in relatively easy fashion with nothing more than water as fuel. From Clean Technica (appreciate the British spelling of aluminum):

The car has lithium-ion batteries that enable it to travel 100 miles per charge, and if the driver needs to make rare trips that are longer than 100 miles, she or he can use the aluminium-air batteries to travel an additional 1,000 miles or so.

The aluminium-air batteries (from Phinergy) are not rechargeable in the conventional sense, however. They have to be refilled with distilled water every 200 miles.

The aluminium-air batteries are strictly for backup. If you want to make long trips often, these batteries should not be used. They just prevent stranding, and facilitate occasional long trips. This is because these batteries’ aluminium electrodes are depleted with use. They have to be replaced more often than conventional EV batteries.

There’s no word if the manufacturing process uses recycled aluminum but considering the recyclable properties of our favorite metal, it would make sense that a clean-energy company would take that into consideration.


26 02, 2013

Taber Extrusions Earns Exclusive Industry Title

2017-01-26T23:37:30+00:00February 26th, 2013|

It’s always good to earn top marks in something, but it’s even better when that approval comes from one of the world’s most powerful companies. In this case, aerospace leader Lockheed Martin has awarded the title of Perfect Performer to Taber Extrusions. It’s exclusive company, as first Lockheed Martin vendors have to be part of the Preferred Supplier Program; from there, the vendor must deliver a trio of 100s — 100% quality, 100% delivery rating, and at least $100,000 in parts and supplies for the calendar year. To be acknowledged as a 2012 Perfect Performer is indeed a very humbling and gratifying experience. From the Taber Extrusions press release:

As a Lockheed Martin Preferred Supplier, Taber is provided opportunities to experience increased visibility to senior level management.  The Preferred Supplier Program also offers access to procurement, engineering and quality personnel. Taber is proud to have been a Lockheed Martin Preferred Supplier since 2001.

“Taber appreciates Lockheed Martin’s recognition of our accomplishments in providing quality products that meet their schedule requirements,” said Steven Althardt, Taber’s Sales Manager. “We also are appreciative of Lockheed Martin’s Preferred Supplier Program, which Taber has been included in since 2001. The products Taber supplies are critical in the support of our armed forces.  We understand the significance of these programs and accept the responsibility that accompanies our participation.  I commend all the Taber employees that diligently work to ensure that we are able to meet our customer requirements in support of these critical programs.”

Of course, Taber Extrusions strivess to be a Perfect Performer to every one of our customers, whether they’re as big as Lockheed Martin or an innovative small business. In both cases — and everything in between — quality and service are our top priority, though it certainly doesn’t hurt when our country’s leading aerospace and defense contractor notices a job well done.

17 01, 2013

More Car Manufacturers Using Aluminum For Key Components

2015-06-18T15:33:37+00:00January 17th, 2013|

While it’s true that aluminum made a splash in the automotive industry with Tesla’s Model-S, the material’s integration into other manufacturer’s design and production lines is more subtle — however, it’s still significant. With federal goals for MPG pressuring car companies to innovate for materials and engineering, it shouldn’t be a surprise that aluminum is becoming the go-to choice for design.

From commuter sedans to trucks to performance sports cars, FenderBender reports that upcoming aluminum integration includes:

  • 2013 Honda Accord (hood, sub-frame, rear bumper)
  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado (hood, suspension, engine components)
  • 2014 GMC Sierra (hood, suspension)
  • 2013 Cadillac ATS (hood)
  • 2014 Maserati Quattroporte (body panels)
  • 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 (hood)
  • 2013 Scion FR-S (hood)

This increase in aluminum use on the show floor echoes findings from the latest survey of automakers by Ducker Worldwide that asserts automakers are accelerating their shift away from steel to aluminum to help meet consumer and federal fuel economy demands. The survey indicated that aluminum is not only the leading material in the engine and wheel markets, but fast-gaining market share in hoods, trunks and doors.

Automakers have said they plan to increase their use of aluminum from 327 pounds in 2009 to 550 pounds in 2025.

With weight being one of the driving factors in MPG, it’s likely that aluminum materials will have become part of the norm due to properties such as strength and weight. The Model-S’ Car Of The Year award was a first, but chances are it won’t be the last vehicle with aluminum to win such a prize.

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