A Car Made Out of What? — MSN Autos

25 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota 1/X

There’s a generation of less and more environmentally friendly materials on the horizon. Sheet and petro-plastic beware!

Toyota’s 1/x concept, whose bioplastic contains seaweed, has the same space as a Prius, but weighs 926 pounds — about one-third the of a Prius — and aims to double its efficiency.

More than a ago, Henry Ford a pragmatic — yet arguably visionary — by ditching car body panels of wood for ones made out of metal. The move increased the of automobile construction exponentially, and led to the mass-produced car. However, wasn’t the only material in arsenal of experimentation.

Ford was dabbling with more less factory-friendly construction such as a soy-based plastic that could survive the swing of an ax blade. He ultimately such plant-based materials they were too expensive.

But as a new generation of carmakers and materials attempts to wring more from (and lessen the impact of) the modern motor less conventional building are gaining new attention.

From projects made of bamboo and to Toyota’s 1/x concept, whose exterior contains seaweed, of research into novel seem on the verge of paying The question is, when will starch-infused, shape-changing marvels hit the and will they be cheap for mere mortals to afford, or they be another novelty for the whose Lamborghini has lost its

Here are some of the more materials automakers are experimenting

Corn, Seaweed Soybeans:

Plastic doesn’t grow on — not yet, at least. Most of it, is used in everything from bottles to SUV dashboards, is petroleum-based. For hoping to reduce their footprint — whether to boost environmental image, or to head off that would penalize emissions, or a combination of both — the of plant-based plastics are obvious.

For the production of bioplastic films from cornstarch churns out emissions than the production of made out of petrochemicals. Plus, are already in relatively widespread use as industrial packaging, which can be designed to safely break in landfills. In April, Frito-Lay a new Sun Chips bag that’s one-third and the company hopes to have a compostable bag by Earth Day 2010.

Toyota 1/X

Challenges: But what’s an advantage for an chipmaker is a challenge for automakers. How do you the strength and durability of petroleum-based while preventing the material biodegrading during the vehicle’s span? “With enough and heat, this plastic can back down into says Steve Davies, of communications and public affairs for which is working with and Toyota to incorporate bioplastics new vehicles, and whose corn-based bioplastic is part of the new Sun Chips

“You have to use special to turn that tendency so it won’t hydrolyze back lactic acid, or basically CO 2 and says Davies.  For the relative vulnerability of bioplastics to the makes it a better fit inside the particularly in shaded areas as the trunk. The Toyota Prius bioplastic floor mats, and Mazda unveiled its Premacy model in 2007, its seat and instrument panel incorporated

Outlook: Carmakers are planning to increase the use of plant-based plastics. will begin incorporating a bioplastic (derived from the parts of a to-be-announced crop) in vehicles by 2013, and Toyota to replace 20 percent of its automobile with bioplastics by 2015. the obvious environmental benefits, as a seven- or eight-fold drop in CO 2 per pound of bioplastic fabric (compared to nylon, for example), believes that the lighter-weight could lead to increased efficiency, and potentially better

So when will carmakers be to use bioplastics for exterior body or other substantial components? depends on how quickly companies NatureWorks will be able to their lightfastness and moisture and whether (or when) oil climbs to more than $100 a When fuel goes up, the of petroleum-based plastics rises it, and bioplastics become even attractive, from a financial

Although the exact time is unclear, it seems inevitable automobiles will be increasingly from food crops, from corn husks or agricultural waste. The process begin from the inside starting with interior in the next handful of years, and extending outward. It’s clear that bioplastics be found exclusively in eco-friendly or vehicles — they’ll be as ubiquitous, and as as the plastic already used.

Continued: Bamboo, Wood and

Toyota 1/X
Toyota 1/X
Toyota 1/X
Toyota 1/X
Toyota 1/X

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