Building Lighter Weight Automobiles with Alcoa Structural Pretreatment


To obtain fuel effi ciencies that reduce consumer cost and meet stricter Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, our automotive customers are rapidly replacing steel with lightweight aluminum in automobiles. In recent years, Alcoa has made great strides in improving fuel effi ciency with aluminum wheels that are 44% lighter than steel wheels. Now aluminum use is shifting to more components and by 2025, the amount of aluminum in cars is projected to increase by 60%. We’re developing technologies to adapt to that growth, such as a pretreatment for the metal that enhances the performance of structural adhesive. Because the Alcoa pretreatment is compatible with existing automotive manufacturing processes, it sets a new industry standard for cost-effective mass production of aluminum-intensive vehicles.


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Alcoa built the hood for the Cadillac ATS which has been praised for innovative lightweighting and was named car of the year by Esquire magazine.