Although aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust, it was not until the early eighties that means were discovered for reducing it from its ores in such quantities and at such cost as to make it a commercial possibility. The world immediately began to find uses for this material. Two groups developed; one, assuming for aluminum properties that it did not possess, thought that it would in time replace all other metals; the other, which, reacting from the first-mentioned view due to failures and disappointments, thought it had little use. It was afterward realized that much research was necessary to make aluminum a really commercial metal.
One of the main aims of the automobile engineer is to obtain lightness combined with proper strength. The paper deals with decreasing the weight of automobiles by more extended use of aluminum alloys. The physical properties of aluminum are described in considerable detail and its varied uses are enumerated. A survey is made of recent developments, in old and new alloys and in their use, which includes the evolution of modern methods for handling old alloys, the production of new alloys and a study of the design of parts to adapt them to the use of aluminum.
The discussion of new uses for aluminum alloys in motor cars covers parts made of aluminum at present, such as pistons, crankcases, cylinder-blocks, oil-pans, inlet manifolds, bodies and the like, and parts that will be made of aluminum in the future. The statements are made that it is folly to try to prophesy to what extent aluminum will be used in motor-car construction without limiting the prophecy to a period not greater than one year; that it is safe to expect such parts as wheels and rear-axle housings to be aluminized; and that many developments of aluminum are in progress.


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