October 19, 2020

Chicago, Illinois – Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC), a trade association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America, has unveiled a new interactive resource tool on its website for automotive design engineers. The interactive web page delivers a wealth of information on the effective use of aluminum extrusions in various vehicle components, systems and subsystems, and highlights technical details such as alloys, fabrication methods, performance characteristics and more. As visitors scroll over an image of a vehicle, a pop-up box appears to provide information on the selected system or component, offering a link to explore deeper into that particular application. Currently, the site features detailed information on vehicle components including:

  • Roof Headers
  • Battery Boxes
  • Sub Frames
  • Rockers, and
  • Cross members

The AEC Automotive Solutions website features aluminum extrusion technical details, application, and case examples for automotive industry professionals.
More modules are being developed and will be added in the future. This interactive tool was designed to impart important information and useful details about aluminum extrusion in vehicle design, and is intended to assist automotive designers-from the novice to the highly experienced-to better understand aluminum extrusions and how to effectively employ them in vehicle applications.

"Aluminum extrusions are ideal for helping to remove weight in vehicle design, but they offer so much more," said Mark Butterfield, AEC Automotive Team Chairman and Managing Director of Magnode, A Shape Corp. Company. "Aluminum extrusions are corrosion resistant with high strength-to-weight ratio and can deliver a part that can be complex, produced to tight tolerances and combines multiple functions to eliminate parts and be easily assembled. And, they are fully recyclable. That combination of attributes has led to an 80% increase in the use of extruded shapes per vehicle since 2012, and we project an additional 40-50% growth in per-vehicle usage over the next five years," said Butterfield.

"We created this site to highlight creative, and often demanding, extrusion applications, and to stimulate designers and engineers to think about how to utilize extrusions for more components or vehicle systems. The site demonstrates how extrusions can and are being used in many ways throughout the vehicle architecture.

"We hope this website will be a go-to reference for automotive engineers when they have questions relative to employing aluminum extrusions in their vehicle designs," said Butterfield. He noted that it is important to get a qualified automotive industry extruder involved early [in the process] "in order to optimize the component for its particular application and deliver a cost-effective solution."