We learned today that the 2016 Ford Super Duty F-250 and F-350 will use quite a bit of magnesium to bring the truck’s weight down. What’s special about this knowledge is that it didn’t come from a press release or an interview, but from a fire.
A Ford Superduty test truck caught fire yesterday and after the engineers inside were safely away, burned to the ground with a spectacular display of explosions. Magnesium has been used in cars for a long time, most notably in wheels, thanks to its light weight. One thing about magnesium though: in a fire it has a tendency to explode. That’s why when the Superduty test truck caught fire, we were treated not only to a fireworks show of sparks and kablowies, we also learned that it most likely uses magnesium in the construction.
Ford has been on the forefront of lightweight materials in the 2015 Ford F-150, using a 95% aluminum body and 77% lightweight steel frame for over 700-lbs of weight savings. The Ford Superduty trucks are bigger and heavier than the F-150, so weight savings could be even more extreme than in the smaller truck.
Source: Car and Driver