Today’s automobiles are complex machines designed to extract every possible mile from fuel while emitting as little carbon dioxide as possible and still providing safety to its occupants. To achieve these ends, auto engines are made of materials that are as light as possible while running hotter than ever before, thus burning gasoline more efficiently. Sections of auto bodies that must provide impact protection are made of high strength steel or advanced aluminum, while wheel wells and other non-impact areas are made of plastics.
Engine blocks are cast of iron, aluminum, composites, and/or steel; other "under-the-hood" parts may be made of magnesium, copper, or polymers; driveshafts, camshafts, axles, and steering shafts are composed of forgings; brake disks are made of steel, aluminum composites, or ceramics; muffler systems are made of stainless steel, or even titanium. Finally, many of these materials are coated, painted, and/or heat treated.
Modern tires are no less complex, though still based on natural rubber. Tire structure consists of plies of steel belts, rubber, and polymers, held together with a variety of adhesives. Additions of carbon black and a multitude of chemicals improve durability and performance.
To guarantee to automakers that their materials will meet rigid specifications, material suppliers come to NSL Analytical to document chemistry, mechanical strength, and physical properties. Our teams of materials specialists are familiar with both conventional and advanced automotive materials, and can assure our customers that mechanical and physical characteristics will be accurately measured and documented.