I would suggest that Aluminum is preferable. It is lighter than steel, which can result in a higher performance vehicle (faster acceleration, better braking, improved fuel economy). Furthermore, unlike steel, aluminum will not rust. Aluminum is also easier to recycle. Aluminum cars have a stiffer feel- giving them a sportier feel, and absorb impact about 1.5 times as well as steel, making them safer. The downside, of course, is the high cost of aluminum compared to steel.
Kinda obvious :S Metals (usually aluminum or steel) are used in cars because they are strong and cheap. Expensive sports cars usually have stronger metals (like titanium) but that makes them more expensive. Different metals are used for different purposes, too. The main frame of a car would usually be steel instead of aluminum because it is stronger but delicate pieces would be made of aluminum because strength is not needed but it would be cheaper to make them in aluminum
Even though there are more non-ferrous components going into modern cars, I'm pretty sure that cars are still typically mostly ferrous metal (by weight.) Frames are mostly steel and steel alloys. Wheels are hit and miss. Engine blocks tend to be aluminum any more, but the inner workings (pistons, rings, nuts, bolts, camshaft, etc.) are steel. Hard-life components (springs, shock absorber bodies, control arms, axles) are ferrous. Some cars have various body panels that can be aluminum or plastic, but most are still ferrous alloys such as steel.
Nope, to check this answer, do an experiment: hammer a piece of aluminum foil. You will see that it creases easily wheres steel cannot be broken down easily. However, aluminum is also more light-weight than steel. Aluminum is cheaper to manufacture, easier to bend as needed into a variety of shapes, can be shipped more easily (less weight=less cost), and makes many items lighter in weight (cars, airplanes, etc.) The one big drawback is that cars used to have steel bumpers. Since most are now steel or plastic, and bumpers are often the first to make contact with another car or object, the bumper is less sturdy now than when it was steel.
If by light metal you mean aluminum, there are some cars that use aluminum body panels. Most do not, for reasons of cost, mainly. Steel is easier to work with and much cheaper, as well as being easier to paint. The difference in weight does not justify the cost from a manufacturer's standpoint on most cars.
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