Silicon metal is used in the primary and secondary aluminum industry to improve the strength of aluminum. Silicon is of particular importance to the automotive industry where, for example, components made from aluminum alloys provide a strong and lightweight replacement for heavier cast iron engine blocks and steel wheels. Fuel consumption decreases through the weight reduction of automobiles. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
Demand for aluminum alloys has been growing steadily in recent years due to increased application of aluminum in structural engineering, aircraft manufacture and the automotive industry. Aluminum alloys are lighter and more resistant to corrosion than carbon-steel, and can benefit from the addition of metal fillers, such as copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and silicon as well.