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Honda does the impossible, welds steel and aluminum together

By / 09.12.12

I know that materials science is not the most dynamic and exciting of news sometimes, so let me cut right to the chase.

steel aluminum

Photo Credit: Honda

Being able to combine the strength of steel and the light weight of aluminum means your car will handle better, burn less gas, and generally kick more ass.

Interested? Here’s how it works.

The problem has been that while you could spot weld steel and aluminum together with some success, getting a long, continuous weld was impossible. Steel and aluminum have far different melting points: Essentially it was like trying to weld a Peep to a chunk of granite.

Honda licked this engineering challenge by essentially applying pressure instead of heat. That way, the aluminum doesn’t melt, and forms a strong bond with the steel. It turned out to be dirt cheap and easy to do, too.

So, how does this make your car better? Well, the subframes in your car are lighter but just as strong, which means, first of all, less gas. Secondly, it lets Honda change the mounting point for the suspension, picking a part of the chassis that’s more rigid, increasing the dynamic performance.

In short, when you get a new car, thanks to Honda, it’ll make your old one look like an even bigger junker than it already is.

Honda Develops New Welding Technique [Honda Official Site]

TAGSawesomeCarsGadgetsGadgets for menHondamaterials sciencesteel aluminumwelding steel and aluminum
About Dan Seitz... Dan Seitz is a semi-professional nerd (he'll have to code a homebrew game for the NES before he goes pro). He grew up fiddling with video game systems, computers, cameras, and other technology you should never hand to an eight-year-old if you want it back in pristine condition. Currently, he lives in Boston with his girlfriend, her cat, a Shih Tzu, and far too many objects with processors.

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