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Light vehicles are made up of many different materials. The materials shown on the graph below are materials with substantial changes over the last ten years. The use of high and medium strength steel has increased from an average of 324 pounds per vehicle to 500 pounds per vehicle in 2006. The use of aluminum and plastics also increased by nearly 100 pounds during that same period while the use of stainless steel increased by only about 20 pounds. The use of iron castings has declined notably from 1995 to 2006 with the sharpest decline from 2000 to 2006.

Selected Material Content for Light Vehicles, 1995, 2000, and 2006
Graph showing the weight of selected materials (high and medium strength steel, stainless steel, iron castings, aluminum, and plastics and plastic composites) that comprise the content for light vehicles. The data is illustrated for the years 1995, 2000, and 2006. For more detailed information, see the table below.

 

Supporting Information

Average Material Content of North American Light Vehicles, 1995, 2000, and 2006 (Pounds and Share of Total Vehicle Weight)
Material 1995 2000 2006
Pounds Share Pounds Share Pounds Share
High and Medium Strength Steel 324 9% 408 10% 500 12%
Stainless Steel 51 1% 62 2% 73 2%
Iron Castings 466 13% 432 11% 331 8%
Aluminum 231 6% 268 7% 323 8%
Plastics and Plastic Composites 240 6% 286 7% 338 8%
Total Vehicle Weight 3,694   3,902   4,044  

Source: American Chemistry Council.

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