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Ford Announces Aluminum Partnership with Alcoa Inc.

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Raj Nair

Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Alcoa Inc. to produce new aluminum alloys for automobiles that will be more malleable and easier to implement into vehicle design. Ford’s use of Alcoa’s Micromill® in the 2016 Ford F-150 is a step towards what the company hopes to be a lighter, more efficient future.

‘‘Light-weighting enables us to design vehicles with great customer attributes—like the F-150, which can tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop faster than the previous F-150, and is more fuel-efficient than ever,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development. “This collaboration supports our continued drive for innovation, as we research automotive applications for even greater light-weighting.”

Alcoa originally announced its Micromill technology in December of last year. The advantage of this material is that it is 40% more formable than even the material used in the 2015 Ford F-150. Implementing this aluminum alloy not only helps cut down on vehicle weight and promote efficiency, but it should also serve the purpose of helping Ford keep cost low during production.

Traditional rolling mills take upwards of 20 days to turn molten metal into coils, whereas Micromill does the task in 20 minutes. The material is no less durable, helping maintain strength and reliability.