The UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 5 will be the first restrictor-plate event for NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow. Part of an overall program of new designs and materials, the restrictor plate is aimed at cutting engine power from 750 hp to approximately 430 hp. Drivers have resisted some of the innovations which are designed to improve safety. Dow Automotive is developing new energy management foam for the Car of Tomorrow (COT) Project that’s expected to be widely used next year. It’ll be placed between the roll cage bars and door panels. The energy of the impact is managed through a series of controlled reactions within the foam. The new foam is also said to reduce weight 50 percent compared to competitive foams. Installation errors (too close to the tailpipe) led to some melting and fuming problems in early trials.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a surface preparation method to improve joining carbon composites with aluminum, with potentially far-reaching ramifications for high-volume industrial applications.
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