Marion Body Works, a manufacturer of Fire & Emergency apparatus, Commercial truck bodies, aluminum custom cabs, custom engineered vehicles, and Defense products, announced that it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of building all aluminum fire apparatus, longer than any fire apparatus manufacturer in the country.
Aluminum is the ideal metal for vehicle manufacturing because of its strength, corrosion resistance, ductility and light weight characteristics:
Aluminum body structures are equal or superior in strength to steel, and its weight savings means that a vehicle can carry more cargo, more safely, ultimately saving on fuel while enhancing performance
Unlike steel, aluminum will not rust, increasing the longevity of fire apparatus, which are under assault from today’s winter road treatments
Aluminum can be extruded, a process that allows for more options in design and that adds strength in certain stress areas of apparatus; during the past 50 years, Marion has engineered more than 80 proprietary aluminum extrusions
Curt Ignacio, President of Marion Body Works, is proud of his company’s pioneering use of aluminum in the construction of emergency vehicles. “Most Fire & Emergency manufacturers are using aluminum in at least part of their fire apparatus today, but we were the first to fully understand and offer the benefits to departments and their crews. Its strength and weight saving are probably the most important,” he said. “Lightweight apparatus can carry more equipment and, in the case of pumpers or tankers, more water. The material delivers inherent value and protects a community’s investment in their fire apparatus.”
Ignacio’s enthusiasm goes beyond simply manufacturing with aluminum. “It’s not just that we use all aluminum in our fire apparatus; we’re really proud of our standards for aluminum manufacturing, too,” he said. Marion uses aluminum with an alloy-temper of 6061-T6 and tensile strength of 45,000 lbs. per square inch, while the industry standard is 5052-H32 alloy-tempered aluminum sheet with a tensile strength of just 33,000 lbs. per square inch. That makes Marion’s extrusions 36% stronger than most in the industry.
Ignacio credits the Marion team, many who’ve been with the company for more than 25 years, for making quality in aluminum construction their focus. “Every man and woman on the production line is an expert in aluminum manufacturing, and every welder is AWS-certified in aluminum techniques. Together, we’re looking forward to another 50 years of innovation with this metal,” he said.