And it all started with a Ford truck door…
One day, years from now when we’re discussing how far automotive materials have come, that won’t be such an improbable statement.
Certainly not after the recent, exclusive collaboration announced between Ford and Alcoa Inc., a global leader in lightweight metals poised to offer Ford’s 2016 F-150 an industry first with its Micromill technology.
Micromill (the name given to the manufacturing process and the finished product, funnily enough) is an innovative process that addresses the limitations of traditional aluminum and steel forming. This process allows for more complex panels to be created as a single piece, minimizing joints for a lighter finished product, and more robust construction.
The lightweight of the finished alloy will pleasantly surprise more than a few Ford owners when it comes to performance benefits! Think of Micromill as a revolutionary material for a revolutionary truck that’s already shown the world how durable aluminum can be.
Where does a truck door fit into the story?
Traditionally, door stamping is no walk in the park for automotive manufacturers. Its complex shapes inside and out, and the need for high structural integrity usually requires that a door be made of several separate pieces that are joined together, leaving its joints susceptible to degradation; which can lessen the integrity of the piece as a whole. Alcoa’s Micromill technological advancements have allowed for a 40 per cent more formable automotive aluminum. This means Ford can now produce and stamp a more formable single-piece aluminum door with strength, structural integrity and weight previously unimaginable.
Along with better, stronger F-150 doors, Ford will apply this breakthrough aluminum alloy in trucks starting in 2016—with increased use in exterior panels and structural parts in the years to come.
Alcoa’s Micromill aluminum alloy gives Ford’s F-150 yet another series of advantages in the truck game: it’s tougher, lighter, and ready to impress.
Like the F-150 itself, Micromill will be the stuff of legend—one day maybe you can look back and say, “It all started with a Ford truck door” too.