Steel is the primary material used to make cars, mostly in the typical ‘body in white’, which is a car’s basic skeleton, as well as in the chassis. About 60 percent of a car’s weight comes from steel. Among the 100 million metric tons of metal consumed annually by the auto market, there are 87 million tons of steel.
Benefits of Use Steel in Cars
Safety is always a key buying criteria for new car purchaser. Steel is very stiff, strong and durable, which ensures the safety and improves the way a car drives and handles, making it a desirable material for car bodies and chassis.
Easy to Produce
Steel allows for better stamping and different welding techniques, which was adaptable to mass production, enabling cars be made in greater volumes and at lower cost.
Although the lighter aluminum is more and more used on cars for weight reduction, the fact is that it is significantly more expensive than steel. In cases where weight becomes less important, steel becomes the first-choice. Aluminum as well as carbon fiber, another alternative material, are used primarily in high-end automobiles.
Steel is infinitely recyclable and can be recycled into new product without degrading in quality. And with its magnetic property, you can easily draw it out during the recycling process.
Use of High-Strength Steel
Steel is less energy-intensive to produce and emits fewer greenhouse gases during production. However, it has higher use-phase energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission. To meet fuel economy goals, some automakers are using high-strength steel which allows reduction of thickness while achieve even higher-strength performance.
How to Recycle Car Body
To recycle a scrap car, first any valuable parts and hazardous materials are removed, then the remaining car part is flattened by a car crusher or compressed into a metal brick by a metal baler. After transported to the metal shredder, a series of spinning hammers beat the vehicle into smaller pieces. Ferrous materials are separated by an magnet. The remaining materials are further separated into non-ferrous metals and non-metallic scrap. The recovered metals are sent to steel mills for remelting and finally remade into new products.