Car Materials
Steel
Plastic
Aluminum
Rubber
Glass

Steel
On modern cars, most of the weight comes from steel. In 2007, for example, the average car contained 2,400 pounds (1,090 kilograms) of steel, and the average pickup truck or SUV used nearly 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) . Consider that most cars now weigh around 3,000 pounds, and most SUVs weigh around 4,000 pounds (1,810 kilograms) -- that's a lot of steel!

In cars, steel is used to create the underlying chassis or cage beneath the body that forms the skeleton of the vehicle and protects you in the event of a crash. Door beams, roofs and even body panels created during auto manufacturing are made of steel on most cars today. Steel is also used in a variety of areas throughout the body to accommodate the engine or other parts. Exhausts are often made from stainless steel, for example.

Steel manufacturing has evolved greatly, so carmakers these days can make different types of steel for different areas of the vehicle that are rigid or that can crumple to absorb different impacts. These innovations in automotive manufacturing help keep you safe on the road.

Plastic

Today's cars now use tremendous amounts of plastics in auto manufacturing. They make up about 50 percent of the construction of new cars today

Your dashboard, gauges, dials, switches, air conditioner vents, door handles, floor mats, seat belts, airbags and many other parts are all made from different types of plastics.

In addition to the dashboard parts, many of the tiny parts inside the engine, such as the handle on the oil dipstick, are also made of plastic. Because of their lightweight nature, plastics are being increasingly used in body structures and in engines during automotive manufacturing.

Aluminum

In 2009, aluminum components made up about 9 percent of the weight in most modern vehicles, compared with about 5 percent in 1990 and just 2 percent in 1970/

Aluminum can be used in automotive manufacturing to create body panels for a lighter, more performance-oriented vehicle.

In addition, more automakers are switching from traditional iron blocks for engines to aluminum construction. It tends to be not quite as durable as iron, but its lighter weight means a big boost in performance.

Rubber

What's the one thing all automobiles have in common? They all need tires if they're going to get around. Tires are one of those parts people tend to take for granted, but they're one of the most vital parts of any vehicle. This is where the importance of rubber comes into play in auto manufacturing.

Automotive manufacturing is the driving force of the rubber industry, as about 75 percent of the world's natural rubber production is used to make tires for vehicles

The rubber tire protects the rest of the wheel and its internal parts from wearing down, which can be good for fuel mileage and road safety.

In addition to the all-important tires, parts such as wiper blades, engine mounts, seals, hoses and belts are also made from rubber. As with plastic, it's a very durable, cheap and flexible material that has a wide array of uses in automobiles.

Glass

What good is a car if you can't see out of it?

Glass is used in many areas of your car. Obviously, its primary use is to create windshields so you can see properly while remaining safe from any airborne objects. It's also used to create rear and side-view mirrors to boost your view of what's around you while driving. In addition, its cousin fiberglass is also commonly used in auto manufacturing as an insulation material on cars.

However, as technology advances, glass is also being used to create more innovative parts on cars. For example, it can be used to create navigation screens and lenses for back-up cameras to allow drivers to have an even better view of what's behind them.

Materials Used for the Engine Block

The engine is the single most important part of the automobile. Without it, the car simply will not move. It is important that the cylinder or engine block is built to withstand the high temperatures and pressures that are put into it and it is equally important that the engine block is built to last. Over the years, materials used for making engine blocks have changed and materials sciences have matured enough to find the best possible materials to build engine blocks. Common materials used for engine blocks include Grey Cast Iron, aluminum and Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI).

In the early years of building engine blocks, grey cast iron was the only material used. The process of using alloys was non-existent and aluminum was a new material which few people were familiar with. At the time, however, grey cast iron worked very well. The carbon, present as flakes of graphite, in grey cast iron gives the material good resistance to wear and also provides good corrosion resistance and lubrication characteristics which gives it exceptional machinability. The Carbon also provides good strength and toughness and has a high melting point which allows it to handle more heat under intense driving conditions. The composition of the grey cast iron is 3.5% carbon, 2.5% silicon and .65% manganese. Cast Iron engine blocks are still very common to this day in larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVís. The advantage of cast iron is that it is much cheaper and easier to produce than aluminum and it has high tensile and fatigue strength at room and elevated temperatures. The disadvantages of cast iron are its high specific gravity and higher casting and solidification temperatures which causes poor surface quality and poor dimensional accuracy. That is the reason why manufacturers began to experiment with aluminum.

The question still remains, which material is best for manufacturing engine blocks?

Sand casting
    Here are further guidelines.