Powersports is a subcategory of motorsports and include 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 powersports vehicles. So where do aluminum forgings fit into powersports? In this article we will discuss how aluminum forgings benefit the powersports industry and also what the future of aluminum and powersports look like.
HOW ALUMINUM FORGINGS BENEFIT THE POWERSPORTS INDUSTRY
When considering the needs of a powersports vehicle, there are a few benefits that come to mind: strength, light weight, flexibility and finish. Aluminum offers them all which is why it’s the number one choice for powersports vehicle components. Let’s take a look at each of these benefits.
- STRENGTH – 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 mixture gives aluminum a strength-to-weight ratio that outperforms steel. When aluminum is forged, the grain structure of the billet is transformed from being straight to flowing along the curves and contours of the part enhancing strength up to 30%. In applications where speed is important, aluminum is preferred over steel.
- WEIGHT – Aluminum is a popular choice for powersports components. It’s reliable strength, durability and light weight properties makes it the perfect choice when lightweight components are needed. Minimal weight increases speed and performance. An aluminum forging creates a part that is stronger than billet or a casting.
- DESIGN FLEXIBILITY – Designs and needs change often and quickly in the powersports industry. If you need to change a design fast, 3D modeling technology is used to make any necessary changes fast so the forge tooling can be modified in our in house tool and design shop.
- FINISH – Forgings have no porosity so when a part is polished, buffed or ground before anodizing, painting or polishing, pockets and voids should be nonexistent leaving a very smooth surface finish. This is not true with a part that is cast.
THE FUTURE OF ALUMINUM FORGINGS IN POWERSPORTS
Lightweight aluminum forgings will always be part of the powersports market where speed and performance are needed including the electric vehicle (EV) market. The aluminum forging industry is here to support the emerging EV market. As vehicles become more energy efficient, the combination of light weight and strength is the reason aluminum will be a major factor in this market. Designers of electric vehicles are looking to forged aluminum parts for the following reasons:
- RELIABILITY AND HIGH PERFORMANCE – Simply put…..Forged aluminum is known for its durability and strength along with is lightweight and flexibility and will continue to be part of the EV and powersports industries for the foreseeable future. As EV sales increase, there will be a greater need for forged aluminum parts on these vehicles.
- FAST PRODUCTION – As the powersports industry and the EV industry continues to pursue speed and fuel efficiency, the need for aluminum in general and aluminum forgings in particular for these industries will continue to grow. Cerro Fabricated Products offers creative solutions for all of your forging needs. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about your project.