Everything Material in Material Science

Science. Tech. Business.

Join the Conversation

Quantifying Elements in Vehicles to Find Automotive Supply Chain Issues

November 1, 2021 5:48 pm

Since 1945, NSL Analytical has been relied upon as not only a provider of material testing and analysis, but also as a thought leader in our industry. Part of this responsibility includes curating content that may be useful, educational, or beneficial for other businesses and professionals. As part of this initiative, we’d like to share a fascinating study from MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, regarding potential automotive supply chain issues that you may find interesting.

MIT Automotive Supply Chain Study

Researchers at MIT quantified the materials that make up seven modern sedans and SUVs to identify potential automotive supply chain issues. The researchers collected the data as part of a study to examine impacts on supply chains due to electrification. The team reported their findings in Environmental Science and TechnologyBhuwalka, K., et al., Environ. Sci. Technol. 55, 14, 10097 (2021).

Elements and Chemical Compounds Found in Vehicles

The researchers were able to identify 2,500 different chemical compounds and 76 elements contained in a range of internal combustion and electric vehicle types. The 76 elements represent 80% of all 94 naturally occurring elements! Not surprisingly, iron and steel account for the majority of vehicle mass, about 60%, followed by polymers (mostly carbon), aluminum, copper and silicon (elemental and in glass).

Supply Chain Issues for Elements in Vehicles

The goal of the MIT study was to identify any potential automotive supply chain issues. Regarding internal combustion vehicles, researchers found supply chain issues for elements found in transmission and exhaust components. Elements included in such areas include aluminum, copper and palladium. For electric vehicles, the researchers identified potential automotive supply chain issues for elements found in battery systems. Elements included in battery systems include cobalt, carbon (graphite), nickel, neodymium and gold.

Contact NSL for Your Testing Needs

Would you like material elements tested for your next project? Work with NSL regarding your material testing needs. Contact us to discuss your needs with our helpful team. We’d be happy to assist you!

Recent Posts

The Exponential Future of Metal Printing: New Technologies and Needs for Materials Science

Metal additive manufacturing has improved productivity by orders

Introduction to X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

Different phases of materials have different benefits to

Moore’s Law for Metal Printing: Where We Are and How Do We Stay on Track?

In 1965, Gordon Moore set the path for