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Metal/Plastic Car Wheel Boosts MPG

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ChrisP
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Silver
Re: Cost Benefit
ChrisP   2/11/2013 9:40:12 PM
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I don't believe you know enough about wheel aerodynamics to make that statement.  I don't believe that Ford couldn't make that same wheel out of aluminum.  There are certainly wheels that are even more aerodynamic. Despite their claims car companies are not really interested in aerodynamics otherwise they would make them aerodynamic.  Cars today are still far worse drag wise than the cars like the Jaray in the 1930's.  Car companies are intrested in making profits these days not selling transportation. 





Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: News to me
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 10:56:05 AM
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Elizabeth, the company said that working on wheels to improve MPG is a relatively new effort in the industry.



Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Huge improvement
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 11:01:06 AM
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As Lacks said in the story, it's not just lighter weight, but also better aerodynamics that result in the 1.1 MPG improvement, as shown by the third-party tests.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Re: News to me
Rigby5   2/12/2013 11:16:48 AM
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While I can see that wheels can be made lighter and save gas, this does not seem like such a serious attempt.  To reduce drag as much as possible, the wheel should really have no holes or ridges at all.  In fact instead of a Moon, the wheel should be dished in order to smoothen linear air flow.  Brake cooling should be air from below the car being ducted behind the wheel.  In fact, the whole bottom of the car should be smooth, totally unlike what they do now. 

So I can't really take this article that seriously, because obviously car makers and buyers really don't care.  Otherwise they would have addressed these more glaring issues.  Instead, the main factor for wheels must be cosmetic, with wheels having larger and larger openings these days, when they really should have no openings at all.  The trouble is the customers are ignorant and the makers don't want to educate them. 

And what I would really like to see is a comparison with all plastic wheels, such as fiberglass or graphite composite.

Elizabeth M
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Re: News to me
Elizabeth M   2/12/2013 2:23:58 PM
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Ah, I see...well as always you are on the cutting edge of coverage, Ann. I should have known! :) In all seriousness, I do like the way designers are thinking outside of the box (or in this case, the power train) to come up with new ways to be more fuel efficient and economical.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: News to me
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 4:31:08 PM
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Rigby5, I've asked the company to address some of the issues raised in the comments here. Meanwhile, regarding holes, it's my understanding that these were in fact reduced in this wheel in part by the plastic fill and in part by the redesign. Also, this is a cutaway diagram, so much of the apparent " holes" on the right are not actually there in the finished wheel.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: METAL/PLASTIC WHEELS
Ann R. Thryft   2/12/2013 4:59:57 PM
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bobjengr, I agree about incremental developments. While it's easy to wish we could just figure out and execute/implement everything all at once, real life tends not to work that way.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Huge improvement
Charles Murray   2/13/2013 1:44:57 PM
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You're right, sensor_pro, and all of the automakers are already doing everything you mentioned here and more. Automotive engineers are looking at everything in an effort to get to 54.5 in the next 12 years. If they could find about 25 more things that improve mpg like this does, they'd be on the verge of success. The big question, though, is how much will all of these improvements cost? If we have to load the vehicle with composites and other lightweight materials, and the cost gets driven up by a factor of two or more, they're going to find a lot of consumers holding onto their old cars.

evolvewheel
User Rank
Iron
Information on eVOLVE hybrid wheel...
evolvewheel   2/14/2013 9:40:49 PM
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Our experience is that fuel efficiency related to automotive wheels is a relatively unexplored area of technology, although efforts have been focused on mass and inertia...as well as aerodynamics.  The eVOLVE hybrid wheel is one of the first programs to focus on good wheel design from a structural and aerodynamic perspective, relative to the impact on fuel economy itself.  Previously, most efforts considered either mass or aerodynamics seperately and usually for some attribute other than fuel economy.  We believe the eVOLVE philosophy will greatly assist the OEM's in their efforts to improve fuel economy without sacrificing great design.  The results and video showing the coast down and wind tunnel testing are available at www.evolvehybrid.com

evolvewheel
User Rank
Iron
Information on eVOLVE hybrid wheel Part 2
evolvewheel   2/14/2013 9:42:23 PM
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The Lacks composite wheel system has been proven with over 24 million wheel assemblies delivered to OEM's globally over the past 15 years.  There have been virtually no field issues due to excessive brake heats from disc or drum brake systems.  We routinely test our Chromtec wheels on-vehicle through the Death Valley Brake Fluid Boil protocols and also through similar on-vehicle high brake heat exposure testing through the Gros-Glockner drive route in Europe.  These tests are used by most of the global OEM's to evaluate wheel products and technologies for durability and reliability.  The Lacks composite is approved for virtually all production vehicle applications and its designs are intended to provide both sufficient cooling to the brake system and optimized weight and aerodynamic performance to the overall vehicle system itself...achieved through great design.

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