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Engineering Materials

Plastic Car Sandwich Material Modeled on Bone

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: When will we see it?
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2013 6:41:46 PM
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Thanks for the clarification, William. I agree.

William K.
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Re: When will we see it?
William K.   11/4/2013 8:43:40 PM
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Ann, it seems that you have understood my comment correctly, and that is my point. Some materials are not able to be rpaired economically. Yes, they can be repaired, but the cost is sometimes far greater than replacement. That is where some serious inventing still needs to happen.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: When will we see it?
Ann R. Thryft   11/4/2013 12:50:11 PM
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Hmmm, replacing a component isn't the same as repairing a component. That's what the main concern has been: how do you repair the material itself? That's the issue. Especially since replacing is more expensive than replacing metal since the material itself is generally more expensive.

William K.
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Re: When will we see it?
William K.   10/29/2013 9:58:17 PM
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Ann, I have watched the "repair" of a composite part on a race car, which was a very quick replacement. The removed damaged part was very well marked as damaged, I have no idea where it went.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: When will we see it?
Ann R. Thryft   10/29/2013 1:30:21 PM
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William, repairability is a good question, and I notice others have raised the issue as well. It has been more expensive than repair of metals, but it's also well understood, as the military has been using composites in aircraft for decades. OTOH, adapting those techniques to commercial aircraft has been another story, since the volumes and regulations aren't the same. Many are working on the problem, at least for aircraft, as we've covered before: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=243715 Adapting this to the higher-volume lower-cost needs of car owners, though, is a very differerent story.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: When will we see it?
Ann R. Thryft   10/16/2013 11:26:54 AM
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Elizabeth, Bayer, in conjunction with Solvay, came up with several different materials that helped the 100% solar plane weigh a lot less, as we reported here
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=264440
The materials included polyurethane rigid foam, polycarbonate, and film and coatings. One of these, the polyurethane foam, also had thermal insulation qualities, sounding similar to what was used here in the prototype car trunk lid.

Elizabeth M
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Re: When will we see it?
Elizabeth M   10/16/2013 3:38:18 AM
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OK, like a good little journalist, I did some research and answered my own question. So Bayer contrbuted the lightweight materials that made it possible for the Solar Impulse to be the weight it needed to be to successfully get off the ground. That is really cool. It's good to see this company being willing to get involved in cutting-edge projects like that and also the see-through cello to advance the use of new materials and new design ideas.

Elizabeth M
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Re: When will we see it?
Elizabeth M   10/16/2013 3:26:36 AM
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I didn't know about Bayer's involvement in the solar plane. I'll have to check that out...did you write about that? What material of theirs was used?

William K.
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Re: When will we see it?
William K.   10/15/2013 8:50:38 PM
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It would be interesting to see if that new Bayer material is repairable. The question is about what would adhere to the polycarbonate material adequately. Getting any patch to stick well has always been the challenge with body patching. I could get the "swiss" brand stuff to stick fairly well, but after about 5 winters it seemed to start showing seams. I never had problems with body solder, but that stuff is not going to stick to anything except clean metal, so it isnot for patching rust at all.

I can see some other uses for the new Bayer material, such as corrosion resistant enclosures and lightweight portable device boxes. The challenge will be in creating a desig that will be good for more than one application. The problem is not knowing if the material can be machined at all.

Tool_maker
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Re: When will we see it?
Tool_maker   10/15/2013 1:02:58 PM
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GTOlover: I think you are absolutely correct about the replace rather than repair attitude that exists in body shops, however this has been the case for many years. It is what kept salvage yards in business. It is not unusual to have a part brought in from a hundred or so miles away to complete a repair. A fresh coat of paint and bang you are back on the road. I think actual body repair is going the way of so many talents that are just no longer cost effective.

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