HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Metal/Plastic Car Wheel Boosts MPG

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 3/4  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Huge improvement
Ann R. Thryft   2/11/2013 8:02:21 PM
NO RATINGS
tekochip, one of the things that made me want to write about this wheel design was the fact that in other stories about alternative wheel materials some have commented about how much aerodynamics, as well as less weight from lighter materials, could add up to better performance.



Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Huge improvement
Ann R. Thryft   2/11/2013 7:56:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for weighing in, Chuck. The amount of MPG saved is one of the main things that attracted me to write about this. Also the fact that these guys have done their homework with 3rd-party testing, and at the same facilities, as automotive OEMs.



bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
METAL/PLASTIC WHEELS
bobjengr   2/11/2013 6:12:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Excellent Post--I think this is the way highway mileage improvement will occur-in an incremental fashion.  I know from previous posts, automotive companies are working on many projects to meet the new Federal guidelines coming quickly.  I have been following with great interest materials that are lighter yet as strong as ones now being used.  I feel the metal/plastic wheels represent a great breakthrough. 

Thinking_J
User Rank
Platinum
always a compromise.....
Thinking_J   2/11/2013 5:02:36 PM
NO RATINGS
The compromise: reduced cross flow = less cooling of brakes.

On most consumer cars the impact would likely be minimal.

On my car.. well, let's just say I like "spirited" driving on mountain roads.

At "Indy" a number of years ago.... they were noting other trade offs relating to the wheel design. Specifically the affect on handling at high speeds when the wheel was optimized for minimal drag, the wheels would start acting like forward "rudders" during high speed turns - making suspension tuning kinda weird.

 

 

Rigby5
User Rank
Platinum
Way too much waste
Rigby5   2/11/2013 3:38:37 PM
NO RATINGS
While lighter wheels are nice, what I would prefer to see instead is for cars to get rid of all the electric motors for seats, door locks, windows, heat controls, etc.

Manual operations not only weight far less, but are far more reliable and cheaper to maintain.  If customers were actually told that things like keyless entry and remote start required leaving radio receivers on all the time, I doubt anyone would actually still want these silly features.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
News to me
Elizabeth M   2/11/2013 11:55:53 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for covering this, Ann. While power-train and alternative fuel research is well-known and well-covered, I had no idea research into wheels also was being done to boost MPG on automobiles. It's quite interesting to read about and I am consistently impressed by the multifaceted work designers and engineers are doing.

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Ford F150 also
GTOlover   2/11/2013 10:51:31 AM
NO RATINGS
Here is the F 150 wheel:

http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/power/11731

It is the same manufacturer as the Focus wheel described here at DN.

RaceCarBuilder
User Rank
Iron
New design using Old Ideas
RaceCarBuilder   2/11/2013 10:50:00 AM
NO RATINGS
The three-piece modular wheel is even lighter. A 15" dia 10" wide Jongbloed wheel from the mid- '70s weighed 14 lbs. It used two spun aluminum wheel halfs and a forged magnesium center. This was a racing wheel so it was plenty strong but it was difficult to maintain-- dogs would come from adjacent counties to pee on mag wheels!

As far as aerodynamics are concerned, Bonneville racers have used "Moon Discs" since the '50s to improve the rotating and wind resistance of their wheels. These are spun aluminum discs that cover the center of a standard steel wheel. They are still used in land speed racing. They do not allow brake cooling air circulation, however.

Instead of such a complex wheel structure as this new wheel design, why not just mould that design with a carbon fiber reinforced polymer?

Deja vu all over again.

Eric75
User Rank
Iron
I thought plastic wheel dressings were gone in the 90s
Eric75   2/11/2013 9:44:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Unsprung mass is a big deal for vehicle performance although not necessarily fuel economy. Reduced rotating inertia probably has an impact on city driving more than taking weight out of the seat frames. I wonder how much the plastic is about appearance rather than aerodynamics. Wheels take a beating, and I know they will look pretty bad by the time I buy a 2014 focus in the year 2025.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Cost Benefit
Tim   2/10/2013 7:46:25 PM
NO RATINGS
If I read the article correctly, the metal/plastic wheel is about 4 pounds less than the standard wheel. For this weight reduction, is there a cost savings or is the main benefit the MPG increase?

<<  <  Page 3/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Polish design firm NAS-DRA has proposed parasitic robotic drones that capture carbon dioxide from the air during the day and release it at night to plants growing on their wings.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 15 - 19, An Introduction to Web Application Security
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service