Automotive alloy material includes aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy, and others. With the focus on reducing the car weight and limiting the amount of exhaust emissions, automakers are being forced to manufacture lighter and environmental friendlier, cheaper and safer cars. Since the amount of carbon-dioxide emitted is proportional to the size of the car and the amount of fuel consumption, reduction of weight becomes a critical criteria. Use of proper alloys by the automaker can achieve these desired outcomes. To meet the challenges, automakers are using light weight alloys most commonly aluminum and magnesium alloys. Aluminum alloys are mostly used in engine blocks, body panels, and suspension components, while magnesium alloys are used in valve covers, transmission boxes, and steering column components among others. Aluminum alloy was first used by Mazda in Japan for vehicle body parts. Since then, aluminum alloys have been widely used for sports cars, sedans, luxury cars. Similarly, Renault used aluminum alloys for manufacturing its hoods. Though aluminum alloys are widely in use, magnesium is increasingly becoming relevant as an automotive alloy material. Its favorable ratio to strength density and the ease with which it can be worked into complex thin-walled components with the help of pressure die-casting are some of the features which makes them more beneficial to use compared to aluminum. Volkswagen is one of the first companies to use magnesium alloys in its Beetle car model.
The potential for using automotive alloy materials have been increased due to rising concerns related to efficient fuel consumption and reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions. Therefore, environmental laws and the urge to produce lighter vehicles have been driving the growth of the market. For instance, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) program limits the average use of fuel in cars in the United States. Since aluminum and magnesium alloys are being used extensively, the price of these alloys materials are being pushed down. This factor will also play a key role in more usage of alloys in the manufacture of automobiles and automobile components and further drive the market.
High cost of magnesium alloys are a major hindrance in this market. Aluminum alloys are often prone to corrosion and rust and replacing it with magnesium alloys will be the most suitable choice. But due to high cost of magnesium alloys, aluminum alloys still form a major share of the market. Therefore inability to replace the market with the more efficient option of magnesium alloys is expected to have mild restraining impact on the market.
The market has been segmented based on type of alloy material and geography.
Based on type of alloy material the market has been further segmented into aluminum and magnesium alloy. Aluminum have been used extensively in automobile manufacturing for many years. Use of aluminum alloys reduces up sprung weight and improves vehicle dynamics but many automotive components still use cast irons. Aluminum nano-composites can further improve the strength of the aluminum alloy similar to that of cast iron. Magnesium alloys are the lightest of all engineering materials. The use of magnesium alloys in automotive applications is also considered for environmental impacts. Alloying magnesium with aluminum, manganese, zinc, and thorium among others improves the strength to weight ratio of the alloys.
The geographical segmentation includes, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America. North America is expected to hold the largest market share followed by Western Europe and Japan.
Some of the leading manufacturing companies operating in this market are, Alcoa Inc. (U.S.), Novelis Inc. (U.S), UACJ Corporation (Japan), Norsk Hydro ASA (Norway), ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany), Kobe Steel (Japan), Amada Co.Ltd. (Japan), TRUMPF (Germany), U.S Industrial Machinery (U.S.),and, Doosan Infracore (Korea), among others.
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