Power sports is a subcategory of motorsports and includes any vehicle where the participant isn’t enclosed, but rather sits in a saddle-type seat. Vehicles such as ATVs, motorcycles, scooters, snowmobiles, personal aircraft, and jet skis are all power sports vehicles. So, where does aluminum forging fit into power sports? In this article we’ll discuss how aluminum and forging benefit the power sports industry, and also what the future of aluminum and power sports looks like.
How Aluminum Forging Benefits the Powersports Industry
When considering the needs of a power sports vehicle, there are a few that come to mind: strength, weight, flexibility, and the right finish. Aluminum offers them all, which is why it’s the number one choice for power sports vehicle components. Let’s take a look at each of these benefits.
The aluminum that’s used in manufacturing is not in its purest form. Pure aluminum is quite soft and has a natural chemical reactive makeup, so it’s mixed with other elements, such as magnesium, zinc, copper, silicon, or other alloys. This method gives aluminum a strength-to-weight ratio that outperforms steel. Although aluminum is tough, aluminum forging brings it to the next level, creating an even stronger aluminum once it’s been manipulated through forging.
Strength in materials is imperative when it comes to the power sports industry. Of course, any sport is designed to enjoy competition; still, the reality is that there are dangers involved. Every type of vehicle has crush zones, which are just as they sound – areas on the vehicle that are likely to be hit and crushed in a hard enough impact. Those zones put the driver at risk and lead to expensive repairs. Since aluminum forging creates a material stronger than steel, it doesn’t crush as easily, and that is reason enough to use it in power sports. Also, thanks to forging, which can mold the material in any way, shape, or form, designs are engineered so the aluminum folds and reacts in a specific, anticipated manner when hit.
Imagine you’re driving an ATV or motorcycle as a sport…you wouldn’t want anything weighing you down. That’s why aluminum is a popular choice for power sports components. Its reliable strength and durability, while also being lightweight, makes it the perfect choice when manufacturing metal parts for power sports. The minimal weight increases speed and performance. As mentioned, because aluminum forging creates a component that is stronger than before it was forged, less material is required to create the manufactured piece. Less material equals less weight as well.
Designs and needs change and those in the power sports industry need flexibility when it comes to the parts for their vehicles. With forging, that flexibility is possible, thanks to 3D modeling. Other alternatives, such as die casting aren’t able to offer the same flexibility in their design.
Let’s face it – power sports aren’t all about power and performance. It’s also about style. In power sports, style comes with finishes. Forging offers an array of different finishes for its aluminum components. Sharp serrations and smooth surfaces are only possible with forging, not other metal manufacturing processes, such as casting.
The Future of Aluminum Forging in Power Sports
The future of all things automotive is EV. Electric vehicles are making their way into the world of motor and power sports, and the aluminum forging industry is there to support it. The combination of lightweight and strength is the reason aluminum won’t be left behind as vehicles become more energy efficient.
EV’s require fewer components due to the simplicity of their design. That’s good news for the forging industry. EV’s made completely out of forged aluminum are very much an option. Designers of electric vehicles are looking to forged aluminum for the following reasons:
Reliability and High Performance
Simply put – forged aluminum is known for its reliable durability and strength, along with its lightweight and flexibility. As consumers become more and more satisfied with their EVs and their aluminum parts, companies selling those EVs inherit happy, returning customers.
Electric vehicles, which are the future of power sports, have fewer subsystems than traditional vehicles. With fewer systems, designers can create simple aluminum components that have a big impact.
As the world becomes more conscious of electric vehicles and their efficiency, we are sure to see even the power sports industry impacted in a good way. While demands increase for EVs, the forging industry is seeing the need for quick manufacturing of forged aluminum parts. Thankfully, forging is much faster than other alternatives, such as casting, and will be able to meet the demands of the future of power sports. Cerro Fabricated Products offers creative solutions for all of your forging needs. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about creating the right metal components for your industry.