Safe and efficient transportation
Every mode of transport relies on metals. They are key, in fact, to solving the biggest single challenge this sector faces – energy efficiency.
Safe, strong and efficient
The strength of metals has always been relied on, a fact that remains true today. But increasingly, other properties and functions are being exploited as alloys become more sophisticated. Steel might be thought of as an old material, but all of the steels used in cars today, for example, were formulated in the last decade and rely on controlled processing, with the addition of small amounts of elements such as molybdenum, manganese and cobalt, to create new materials. Aluminium and titanium are light and have excellent strength and corrosion resistance making them the materials of choice for aerospace industries.
With the future of the car looking increasingly less reliant on the traditional internal combustion engine, an even wider range of functionally crucial metals will be required. This includes those with well-known electrical benefits such as copper to the more exotic rare earth elements used in the permanent magnets of motors, generators and electrical control systems.
Future generation cars are also likely to use hydrogen fuel cells, which use hydrogen and a platinum/metal catalyst to generate electricity, heat and water. Fuel cells rely on metals as does the technology to produce hydrogen and offer high efficiency, versatility and scalability.< Previous page Next page >