Ford Recycles Enough Aluminum To Build 30,000 F-150 Bodies A Month
The closed-loop recycling system keeps costs and environmental impacts downby Mark McNabb, on
Ford’s move to aluminum construction for the 2015 F-150 is saving more than just weight off each truck. The automaker says between 30 to 40 percent of a typical aluminum coil is turned to scrap during the stamping process. Rather than tossing the raw material, Ford is recycling the scraps, turning it back into reusable aluminum for F-150 construction.
Producing recycled aluminum is said to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent over primary aluminum construction. It also uses much less water and energy than producing fresh aluminum. Because of this, the F-150 ranks lowest in lifetime carbon footprint of any full-size pickup, according to the Automotive Science Group. And of course, the recycling process also saves Ford on its bottom line.
The recycling process sees as much as 20 million pounds of aluminum stamping scrap per month. That roughly equates to 30,000 F-150 bodies in the largest configuration – the Super Crew with the 6.5-foot bed.
The automaker further boasted about the F-150’s eco-friendly nature in its Earth Day press release. The F-150 can achieve an impressive 26 mpg highway when configured with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 with the auto Start-Stop system and rear-wheel drive. City mileage is rated by the EPA at 19 mpg and combined mileage is rated at 22 mpg. While not the best in class, the numbers are impressive for the full-size pickup segment.
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Why it matters
Ford’s commitment to recycling its aluminum scraps seems like a logical choice, not only for the Earth, but also for business. When nearly 40 percent of an aluminum roll is wasted in the stamping process, something must be done to cut costs. Recycling the scraps just makes sense. Of course, the recycling process also makes for great publicity on Earth Day. What’s more, Ford’s need for recycling will exponentially increase once the 2017 Super Duty moves into production. The heavy duty utilizes nearly identical body parts as the F-150.
Regardless of Ford’s intentions, the process of recycling the scrap aluminum is an interesting one. The short video attached shows some great sense from the recycling facility, as well as the F-150’s assembly line.
Read our full review on the 2015 Ford F-150 here.