Honda does the impossible, welds steel and aluminum together

Dan Seitz Contributing Writer, Tech

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

steelaluminum 309x173 Honda does the impossible, welds steel and aluminum together

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]

comment on this story

blog comments powered by Disqus