You may have noticed over the past decade that steel is slowly being replaced by aluminum and carbon fiber materials in the auto industry. As part of manufacturers’ effort to improve fuel economy, these materials make cars lighter.
But beyond this, what are the benefits of these non-steel materials in cars? We’re here to break it down to you.
Carbon Fiber Material
Carbon fiber material is usually mixed with a polymer that can be used for a variety of products. The fibers made entirely of carbon make the cars lighter and with a lower center of gravity. They also make cars more fuel efficient and safer, according to Live Science.
Some vehicles only use parts of carbon fiber materials within their vehicle. Others make models that have a complete carbon fiber body, such as several Ferraris, BMWs, and Lexus sport cars.
Despite the fact that carbon fiber has become much more popular, it still isn’t always the preferred material across the industry yet.
The pros of carbon fiber material is that it is lightweight, and usually stronger than regular steel AND aluminum.
The cons of it are definitely the cost. The material is more expensive, because it is more labor and technology intensive. It’s gotten more affordable, but is still mainly used in luxury sports cars.
Repairs and replacement parts are also expensive with this material.
Another popular alternative to steel is aluminum. Being lighter than steel as well, aluminum tend to make the bodies lighter, and more energy efficient as a result. This is why aluminum is often used in electric cars, to make up for the heavy weight of the electric battery.
Unlike carbon fiber vehicles, aluminum is often used more for every-day vehicles like the Ford, Audi, and GM.
The pros of aluminum vehicles are that they aren’t as expensive compared to carbon fiber and are better for everyday vehicles.
The cons of aluminum vehicles are that the material is more vulnerable to corrosion, such as paint jobs on the car. You’ll also have to take your vehicle to a specific aluminum-car repair shop, which can be more difficult and expensive.
Lastly, the process of making aluminum is very labor and carbon intensive. Thus, it’s actually not as eco-friendly as it is marketed.
Which is Best: Steel, Aluminum or Carbon Fiber Cars?
Despite newer technology in carbon fiber and aluminum, steel continues to be the most affordable material in new cars. Suppliers are beginning to introduce stronger and lighter grades of steel to stay competitive on the market.
If cost is the most important factor for you when purchasing a vehicle, then steel may be your best option.
On the other hand, if your priority is fuel efficiency and maximum performance, carbon-fiber may be your best bet. For example, many BMWs lean towards carbon-fiber models, even though it is more labor-intensive.
Without a doubt, carbon fiber is the most cutting-edge technology for newer vehicles.
On the other hand, other luxury cars like Ferraris actually prefer aluminum as the superior product to reduce vehicle weight. But generally speaking, aluminum vehicles are better for every-day use, with an added factor of durability.
Car Door Protectors for Every Surface
Regardless of the material used in the construction of your vehicle, you’re still vulnerable to door dents and dings that devalue your vehicle.
That’s why here at DentGoalie, we are the industry leaders in car door protection for ALL car surfaces.
Our patented technology has been featured in AAA magazine for our flexible door ding protection panels that contour to the shape of your vehicle.
We created a suction cup model specifically for carbon fiber and aluminum cars. You can shop this product here.
To shop all of our products here, visit our store here.