DailyDirt: Making Lightweight Cars
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Only about 15% of a car’s fuel actually goes towards propulsion, but making cars lighter would still significantly improve fuel efficiency. The trick will be maintaining the safety (or perceived safety) of lightweight cars… which also need to share the roads with trucks and cars that haven’t been on a diet. Here are some interesting links on materials that might make cars greener and lighter.
- Coal ash is a cheap waste product, but it might also be a good filler material to make cars about 10% lighter. Coal ash added to steel or aluminum could create less dense metals that are still just as strong. [url]
- Brazilian scientists are working on incorporating fibers from bananas, pineapples and other plant matter into plastic car parts to make them stronger and lighter and more renewable. Instead of wood paneling on old station wagons, there might be a faint fruity smell to car dashboards, bumpers and body panels. [url]
- Injecting more air into plastic parts when they’re created could produce more lightweight materials. The air bubbles have to be really really small, though, so that the structural integrity of the final part isn’t affected too much. [url]
- To discover more interesting car-related content, check out what’s driving around StumbleUpon. [url]
By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.