Carbon and Nitrogen Bubbles Can Make Cars 750 Pounds Lighter
MuCell revolves around the controlled injection of gas, such as carbon or nitrogen, into the injection molding process of plastic.
Concern for the environment and the rising gas prices have led many to look into more fuel efficient cars. We already have the hybrid, but manufacturers are using bubbles and magnesium to make cars lighter sometimes by as much as 750 pounds in order to make them more efficient.
By adding tiny bubbles of nitrogen or carbon gas to the normal injection-molding manufacturing process makes plastic that is just as sturdy, but up to 10 percent lighter, according to a report by TreeHugger. While it may not seem like much, that 10 percent can make quite a difference, potentially shaving 250 to 750 pounds off a vehicle.
The technology known as MuCell - was developed by researchers at MIT, and is now being considered by companies such as Ford and Cadillac. Ford is hoping to incorporate the MuCell-made plastic into all its vehicles by 2020, according to FastCompany.
While MuCell covers the plastic, researchers from the Fraunhofer AutoMOBILE Production Alliance have been looking into ways to make the metal parts of a car lighter. By replacing steel with magnesium, metal car parts could be made roughly 50 percent lighter, while retaining their strength.
For example, a car door made of magnesium weighs a little over 10 pounds, while the steel version weighs around 24 pounds. In addition, magnesium is available in large quantities worldwide, it can be molded and for similar structures, it has virtually the same properties as steel.
With the development of technologies such as these, lighter, more efficient cars may be available sooner than you realize.
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