It was in the Wall Street Journal: 16MAY07 - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

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Old 05-17-2007, 07:51 AM   #1
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It was in the Wall Street Journal: 16MAY07

a brief synopsis taken from WSJ - Letters to the Editor

Joey Straza of "Cell Tech Metals" in San Diego, CA writes in:

MIT's Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, along with France's Ecole Polytech. have been conducting the final crash tests of a newly developed cellular "sandwich" metal that's 70% lighter than the traditional sheet metal currently used in auto bodies. PLUS, this stuff is supposed to be 17 times stiffer.

Someone has apparently figured that when this new material is inducted into the auto industry, it should yield "up to at least 30% more MPG" not to mention the improved strength. Honda hopes to be one of the first to incorporate this new metal into a prototype within a year.

I love the sound of it; but I have to admit, 30% more MPG seems far-fetched.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:11 AM   #2
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30% is certainly far fetched, but even 3% on the CAFE average would be huge.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:56 AM   #3
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perhaps with average drivers in city driving i could see gains of that much, but definetly not that much for an average cars combined mileage.

At any rate, WAHOO for progress!
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:48 AM   #4
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Cool stuff

Not sure exactly what the stuff in the article is but I used to go to the Boeing surplus store and buy honeycomb sandwich materials for projects. They have (had, probably still do) aluminum skinned sandwich with fiberglass honeycomb bonded in the middle, fiberglass skin with fiberglass honeycomb, aluminum skin with aluminum honeycomb, and probably other materials as well. All sold by the pound to the public. The stuff is incredibly strong and light, and is what the wings are made of among other things. Playing with it gives one alot of respect for the good engineering of the 'planes. It is really an amazing material, especially for being developed at least 40 years ago.
I'm sure it was very expensive then to produce as I'd bet most of it was made by hand in a controlled process. These days, sophisticated automation could probably produce a cheaper better material in many different forms, faster. Still, I'd wager that this won't be widespread except in special circumstances, and then in only premium vehicles.
It is great to see at least some use of advanced technology in the lowly automobile though.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:12 AM   #5
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Not sure exactly what the stuff in the article is but I used to go to the Boeing surplus store and buy honeycomb sandwich materials for projects.
I was planning on heading there soon for my belly pans!!! Love that place!!!

Cargo pit liner is good stuff too. If you can get it.......
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian D. View Post
a brief synopsis taken from WSJ - Letters to the Editor

Joey Straza of "Cell Tech Metals" in San Diego, CA writes in:

MIT's Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, along with France's Ecole Polytech. have been conducting the final crash tests of a newly developed cellular "sandwich" metal that's 70% lighter than the traditional sheet metal currently used in auto bodies. PLUS, this stuff is supposed to be 17 times stiffer.

Someone has apparently figured that when this new material is inducted into the auto industry, it should yield "up to at least 30% more MPG" not to mention the improved strength. Honda hopes to be one of the first to incorporate this new metal into a prototype within a year.

I love the sound of it; but I have to admit, 30% more MPG seems far-fetched.
Some aircraft use a material called "GLARE" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glare_(material)] It is layers of metal and fiberglass and has improved properties over plain metal alone. Look for it on the new A380, if it ever gets out of the hanger. Plus some older aircraft used it in the cargo pit as a liner. This "new" material is probably similar, but steel in lieu of aluminum. It could save some weight, but 30% improvement in city mileage might require aggressive use of the stuff.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brian D. View Post
Someone has apparently figured that when this new material is inducted into the auto industry, it should yield "up to at least 30% more MPG" not to mention the improved strength.
Well, I think that there's a big difference between saying and doing. There are already ways to make cars much, much lighter, yet they are not used due to expense. Same thing with this new super-wonder-material, I bet...
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:50 PM   #8
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Sounds expensive. I wouldn't count ont he next generation Civic to have it.
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