Every time Ford Motor Company redesigns the F-150, there is a lot of pressure to produce a product that can live up to the line's reputation for excellence and durability. The F-150 is the best selling pick up in the United States and has been for years, so expectations are very high each time the company releases a new model.
As Popular Mechanics recently noted, the 2015 model of the F-150 is no exception, particularly because it marks the first time that the company is going with an all-aluminum body on a steel frame. There are several reasons for the switch, the most notable of which is fuel economy. The aluminum F-150 weighs 700 lbs. less than its predecessor, so it takes a lot less fuel to move it down the highway.
However, there's more to the decision than just improving gas mileage. Ford has designed a car that boasts the best corrosion resistance you'll find on the market. To ensure that the F-150 isn't susceptible to galvanic corrosion—which occurs when two dissimilar metals come in contact an exchange metal ions, thereby degrading over time—Ford electrocoated its aluminum, effectively isolating it from contact with any other materials.
The company tested this new coating technique by driving the F-150 test model through an acid bath, and their coatings worked perfectly.
It's difficult to overstate the importance of corrosion testing when you're creating products that are going to reach the consumer market. By conducting these tests, Ford is making sure that in the future, its products are not susceptible to wear and tear, particularly in harsh environments such as the mining and construction industries.