2 10, 2013

American Automakers Now Source More Aluminum Than European Ones

2017-01-26T23:37:29+00:00October 2nd, 2013|

Over the past five years, European car manufacturers carried the flag as users of aluminum. However, this year marks a tipping point as American companies have now overtaken their European counterparts when it comes to aluminum usage. This is most likely due to a combination of factors — market demands for innovation, overall vehicle frame size, and government standards for MPG. From Bloomberg:

Ford Motor Co. is among manufacturers rolling out new cars that substitute aluminum for heavier steel. Use of the lightweight metal in vehicles is rising about 5 percent a year, according to Barclays Plc. Making car bodies consumes about 350,000 metric tons of aluminum sheet a year, of which Atlanta-based Novelis produces 250,000 tons, according to Erwin Mayr, president of Novelis Europe.

U.S. vehicles are incorporating more aluminum because of Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that limit fuel usage and consumer demand for cars that are more economic and cause less pollution, Mayr said in an interview. European manufacturers including Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit and Daimler AG were leaders in the past five years, he said.

“Now the trend is being completely taken over by the big carmakers in North America,” Mayr said in Geneva on Sept. 18. “Americans tend to drive big cars, so they need to make them lighter. You need a lot of aluminum.”

Ford’s F-150 truck, containing more than 1,000 pounds of the metal, may raise the average content in vehicles to 650 pounds, according to Bloomberg Industries estimates. Aluminum usage per car will average 160 kilograms (352 pounds) by 2020, against 140 kilograms last year, according to slides in a presentation last week by Werner Stelzer, a former executive at Canadian producer Alcan who is an auto and aluminum consultant.

In addition to the F-150, Chevrolet’s new Corvette Stingray will feature an aluminum frame. It’s not just for hybrid’s and MPG-conscious commuter cars; now we’re seeing aluminum used as the body for American standards across the spectrum.

5 09, 2013

Aluminum Enclosures Create Awesome Acoustics

2017-01-26T23:37:29+00:00September 5th, 2013|

Aluminum isn’t usually known for its audio properties, but Bluetooth/headset company Jawbone has found a new way to utilize aluminum in this way. Jawbone’s Jambox line of products has been pumping out 85 decibels of quality audio in a compact portable speaker since 2010. However, Jawbone has decided that they want to go even smaller than the original Jambox; that’s why they’ve just announced the new Mini Jambox. From Engadget:

When Jawbone came out with the Jambox back in 2010, the sales pitch was simple: here was a really loud Bluetooth speaker that was small enough to stuff inside a backpack when you wanted to have a dance party at the beach. (Okay, we’re paraphrasing a little bit.) Three years later, though, “small enough to stuff in a backpack” isn’t quite small enough. What about small enough to fit inside a suit pocket? Or a purse? That’s the promise of the Mini Jambox, a $180 speaker announced today that’s — you guessed it — even tinier than the original.


Oh, and don’t forget the aluminum manufacturing:


As you’d expect, the Mini Jambox pumps out surprisingly loud sound, given its petite frame. What’s interesting is that the unibody aluminum casing (designed by Chief Creative Officer Yves Behar) acts as both an enclosure and an acoustic cavity for the two internal drivers. That helps explain why the speaker is as small as it is (6.06 x 2.88 x 0.96 inches). Despite its size, it also promises the same battery life as the regular Jambox: about 10 hours of playback.


For those of you that aren’t into technical sound design, an acoustic cavity naturally works with audio frequencies to resonate the sound. In other words, the Mini Jambox’s single pice of extruded aluminum makes tiny sound become louder and better. If big noises out of small boxes interest you, the Mini Jambox is available for preorder now

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