By Marni Pyke

The Chicago Auto Show kicks into gear Saturday through Feb. 17 at McCormick Place. This year, the buzz will center not just on the cars and trucks — but the materials that go into them, Argonne National Laboratory’s Don Hillebrand predicts…

Ford is using “military-grade” aluminum alloys on the F-150 that knock off 700 pounds, making for a more fuel-efficient truck. But the break from traditional steel is a risky move, industry insiders say.

The gamble also means the F-150 is a must-see, said Hillebrand, a former Chrysler engineer and director of Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research.

“Everyone in the business said, ‘Really?’ Taking a truck that’s so important and so profitable and so abused and going with aluminum? A lot of people are scratching their heads,” Hillebrand said. “It seems almost crazy … but Ford engineers aren’t stupid.” …

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Areas of Focus: Transportation
Definition
Transportation
Mobility is central to economic activity. Yet, a lack of fuel diversity and continued demand growth have made the transportation industry a major contributor to global pollution and carbon emissions....