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Common Metals in Vehicles

Vehicles contain various metals essential to the construction of automobiles. Each metal has its own unique properties that make it a valuable component in vehicles. Explore the common metals in vehicles and discuss why they are so important.

Iron and Steel

Iron is a highly versatile material for a wide range of automotive components. It appeals to automakers due to its inexpensive cost compared to other metals and ease of availability. Car manufacturers use iron to create automobile frames, axles, and rims.

Iron is heat-resistant and frequently helps to create engine blocks. This makes it simple to produce and gives great heat resistance, which prevents rust and other damage. Thus, iron can make engine parts like bearings, cylinder heads, gears, connecting rods, and crankshafts.

Iron alloys also have a place in the automobile industry since they have special qualities that benefit specific car parts. Iron alloys result from the combination of iron with other metals like nickel, zinc, and copper. This combination gives the iron qualities like corrosion resistance and improved strength.

Steel is a common material in frames, body panels, undercarriage, doors, drivetrains, exhaust systems, suspension components, wheels, cooling systems, and roll cages.

Because of their great mix of low weight, strength, and toughness, advanced high-strength steels have a common application in doors, body panels, and frames.

High-carbon steel also has other applications in chassis, suspension, and bearings because of its low cost and wear resistance. High-carbon steel also has its uses in these pieces, but it is less flexible and prone to corrosion. The more expensive alloy steel is common in specialized applications such as exhaust and cooling components, springs, and shocks. It is lightweight, heat-resistant, and simple to make.

Steel can also reinforce non-metal chassis in the roof, chassis, engine, and electronic vehicle (EV) motors. Most manufacturers galvanize steel to avert corrosion.


Aluminum is a lightweight yet robust metal that is easy to work with and very resilient to corrosion, which makes it an excellent choice for many automobile parts. Anything from engine compartments and rims to transmission housings, suspension frameworks, body sheets, and interior trim can use aluminum.

Aluminum alloys are the most prevalent type of aluminum in automobile manufacturing. The aluminum’s hardness or softness depends on the alloy. Wheels, engine structures, gearbox housings, and mounts for engines comprise soft aluminum, whereas the chassis and other sections use more rigid aluminum.

Aluminum is also common as a reflector or heat shield in automotive headlights and taillights. Aluminum has become more popular in recent years, as it can make automobiles lighter, which makes them more economical on gas.


Copper is a common material for use in car parts due to its great electrical and thermal conductive properties. Copper alloys are popular for their improved strength and corrosion resistance. They develop by mixing copper with metals such as silver, nickel, and zinc. Copper alloys have applications in a wide range of automotive components, including exhaust systems and brake pads.

Copper alloys prevail in high-heat applications due to their superior thermal conductivity. Because of its nonstick qualities and capacity to transmit heat, copper also has applications in the primary engine bearings and electronics.

Various electronics throughout the vehicle use copper wires, whereas brass alloys prevail in bushings. Vehicle manufacturers also use copper in radiators and heater cores.


Titanium has replaced conventional metals such as steel and aluminum in order to reduce vehicle weight and enhance fuel economy. And while titanium is exceedingly difficult to manufacture, technological developments have simplified its production process.

Titanium serves various automotive applications, including wheels, piston connecting rods, valve springs, braking rotors, and exhaust systems. It is especially beneficial for EVs since it protects the pricey battery components, which account for a large portion of an EV’s weight.

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