The Aluminum Ford F150 Body

by | Feb 5, 2016 | Metal

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When you check out aluminum plate for sale or extruded aluminum products for your business, you might not be thinking about creating a tough pickup truck, but aluminum has been on the mind of engineers at Ford for some time, and in 2015 they turned this dream into reality.

For many years, aluminum was not considered for making truck bodies. In fact, Ford was famous for its twin I beam truck suspension and steel bodies for decades, but all this has changed. In fact, a great deal of hard work has gone into solving the problem of improving fuel economy, and the simplest way to achieve this objective is to lessen the weight.

Ford engineers considered increasing engine efficiency and even downsizing motors. However, after much consideration they decided to pursue cutting weight. They knew if they could substitute aluminum for steel, they would lower the weight of the F150 by as much as 700 pounds. This represents a substantial weight loss and is considered to be a huge innovation. However, aluminum was never considered before because so many people thought of aluminum as materials like aluminum plate for sale or the aluminum used to make beverage cans, and this did not seem to be suitable for a pickup truck body.

Aluminum vehicle bodies are actually nothing new. In fact, for some time Peterbilt and Humvee vehicles have been produced with aluminum bodies on top of steel frames. A few years ago, Ford decided to produce some prototype vehicles (with aluminum bodies) for use in a Baja One Thousand race.

6000 Series Aluminum

The aluminum used for the F150 truck body is nothing special and it is quite common. For example, you can find 6000 series aluminum like 6061 aluminum plate for sale at a variety of sources in the country. 6000 aluminum is the perfect choice because it is heat treatable and can also be welded.

Heat treated to the right specifications, Ford has created aluminum which is actually stronger than steel. However, heat treating is not the only strategy for increasing strength. An aluminum body can be as much as three times the thickness of steel and have the same weight as steel.

There is another advantage to placing aluminum bodies on Ford trucks. Aluminum is more resistant to dings and dents than steel. It has taken almost ten years to develop this concept, but some Ford trucks with aluminum bodies have been in use since 2009, and they are holding up well today.

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