Aluminum tends to have a common misconception that it is a weak metal. This is probably due to people only knowing about its uses for either cans or aluminum foil. However, aluminum is a strong and versatile metal used in many ways. Aluminum is perfect for the performance racing industry, as well as automobile production, making it the go-to sheet metal product for the production of race cars. Wondering how a lightweight metal can be the go-to choice for race cars? Let the experts at WRISCO explain.
Race Car Aluminum Sheet Metal
Since its initial mass production, aluminum has been heavily used in the automotive industry, dating back to 1899, where the first full aluminum body sports car was created, the Durkopp. Soon after came the first aluminum engine debuting at a race in Nice in 1901, created by the famous German inventor Karl Benz. In 1962, the first aluminum powered race car finished the Indianapolis 500 in record time by legendary racer Mickey Thompson.
A few years later, the interest for aluminum parts would surge greatly due to the oil crisis during the 1970’s. Since everyone was obsessed with the fuel economy, car designers replaced steel parts with aluminum. The lighter weight allowed for a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. Since 2015, Formula 1 implemented new racing requirements stating all race cars must weigh at least 702 kilograms (1547 lbs). Two-thirds of this required weight is aluminum, which includes all internal components and parts of the race car.
Why Aluminum Is The Metal of Choice For Race Cars
Strength and corrosion resistance are not the only reasons aluminum is used for race cars. Aluminum also helps to minimize the automotive industry’s carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions by creating vehicles that can be recycled. This not only benefits the environment but also improves profitability, as well.
Benefits of Aluminum for Race Cars
Implementing aluminum parts, components, and bodies greatly improve performance quality. Aluminum is just as good as steel if not better especially for race cars. For example aluminum:
- Absorbs twice the amount of crash energy as steel
- Diminishes driver impact
- Has distinct stopping distance advantages
- Enhances vehicle handling
- Enhances driving performance
- Increases passenger safety in frontal crashes
- aluminum space frame side members
This has led to an increase in the use of aluminum vehicles, allowing for better control, smarter fuel efficiency and enhanced road performance. Aluminum sheet has the capability to reduce a race car’s weight by up to forty percent, thus, leading to significant gains in fuel efficiency and extended durability than steel.
Aluminum Bird Cage For Race Cars
One very important component for a racer’s car is the birdcage, which is the four-linked suspension and double shear radius rod mounting brackets. These components provide increased strength and reduce flexing. The birdcage use to be made with steel, making them quite a heavy component for the race car. However, aluminum bird cages were found to be just as effective as steel. The reduced weight allowed for improved driving performance and handling.
Throughout history, aluminum has proven to outperform steel when it comes to constructing race cars. With WRISCO as your aluminum sheet provider, you get a high quality, strong metal. Aluminum sheet is one of the most lightweight, cost-effective option that improves a race car’s production and performance. For the finest aluminum sheets and products perfect for any race car, WRISCO is the go-to solution. Over 100 years of supplying unmatched quality aluminum products for our customers.