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Slideshow: New Materials, Engines Light Up Detroit Auto Show

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Jerry dycus
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Jerry dycus   4/14/2014 2:32:16 PM
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Hi Ann,

            I started out in composites building boats  at 15, 46 yrs ago but did a lot in engineered, tortured ply and epoxies making very lighweight but very strong to take the massive sailing rig loads when I started designing, building them myself.

           In the composites trade it's normal to build a wood plug/mold to make the production molds from.

             Then I got into racing multihull sailboats and so much surface area wood/epoxy was the lightest method around. Especially 'WEST System Tortured Ply' which I took to higher levels making 40' round bigled hulls by myself in 10 manhrs.

             There really isn't much I can't build in wood/epoxy or composites. Or metal or near any material, the right material for the right job.  I've work in near all materials worth working in.

             On cars remember it wasn't till into the 30's before steel was good enough to handle the road shocks plus old growth lumber was running out, the tide turned.

             Now though steel, etc costs have went up which I think engineered wood will be big in the future for many things,  car production likely won't be one.  For 1 offs it can be a great way.  My all wood Harley sevicecar  size EV trike only took 32hrs of 50% was the body/chassis from wood.

               The one wood fiber you'll see a lot more of soom is hemp. It'll replace a lot of composites like Henery Ford did with it before it became illegal because it was so good, big plastics/Dow, forests, cotton and paper of the time killed it just as the tech came to free the fibers economically. Otherwise we'd likely be wearing hemp fiber shirts, etc now and will be soon.

               As I'm recovering from medical costs I'll likely build, sell a couple as I call them Lumberghini's, Clear coated mahogany Aerocabin 2 and 3wh EV MC's to get cash flow up .   Then later all composite versions for production.

               Looks like I now have a source of auto OEM low cost lithium batts which will give me 200-250 mile range if  want.  ;^D   If anyone tells you OEM's are paying over $200kwhr in packs, they are wrong or getting ripped off.

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Ann R. Thryft   4/14/2014 1:23:42 PM
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Jerry, you're building woodies! :) Seriously, though, interesting idea for prototypes.

Jerry dycus
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Jerry dycus   4/14/2014 10:09:53 AM
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Ann,  Not to mention I'm building a couple of wood/epoxy cars  at the moment. 

I build most of my prototypes, test mules in wood/epoxy as much lower cost, lighter weight for 1 off cars.  Only once perfected do they get composite molds popped off them.

Interestingly I took a Kaw 750 MC replacing the frame in wood/epoxy, motor, trans, etc with a 50lb EV motor, 300lbs of batteries and was still lighter than the stock MC!!

   It was a test mule to see how low CG and longer wheelbase MC's handled before I built the full Streamliner EV in composites.  It handled slightly different but as good, maybe better than high CG bikes.  So a go for the production EV Streamliner MC.

With low cost lithium batteries now things will get very interesting.

Jerry dycus
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Re: I want one
Jerry dycus   4/14/2014 10:00:42 AM
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Naperlou,  wasn't the Elan an all composite car, the first production one?  Or was it another Lotus of that time?

Also similar light wooden sportcars like the Morgan and Markos also terrorized the bigger racecars of the 60's era along with Lotus, a favorite of mine and where I found out bigger wasn't better in cars.

Like I've been saying for decades, it's not the power but what you put it in.  If you weigh 50% as much and better aero you can win using much less.

Yet other the supercars like Farrari, McLaren, car makers  still won't use composites to cut weight, costs in half!!

So excuse me if I see these vehicles, etc as sad imitation  of what we could have for less money, fuel, running costs for the same comfort, job, results.

PS I just found great lithium battery packs for under lead prices.  ;^)   This means I'll soon have a 100-200 mile range EV for a fraction of a regular car costs finally.

And  I've been finding so much OEM info on low cost lithium it's so obvious they now cost OEM's under $200kwhr in packs.  Thus of you still holding onto the $450-700/kwhr need to deal with it.  Tesla even admits it.

Facts are EV's can be built cost competitive with gas cars now.  They are just price gouging trying to make it look like EV's are not as cost effective.

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2014 12:11:31 PM
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While j-allen is certainly right about the former existence of "woodies," as my surfer friends used to call old wooden-body cars, they didn't last long because of the extreme expense involved in their manufacture. OTOH, the idea of using wood products in cars is being resurrected by papermakers (what a surprise :)), such as Weyerhaeuser, which we reported here
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=252129
and more recently, by Finnish company UPM-Kymmene Oyj:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-26/wood-car-takes-automakers-back-to-future-in-mileage-quest.html



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Ann R. Thryft   2/5/2014 12:03:02 PM
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Thanks for covering this, Chuck, especially the materials news.



Charles Murray
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Charles Murray   1/22/2014 8:46:51 PM
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One other story we will see in the next few days will discuss how Ford adopted aluminum body technology from Aston Martin and Jaguar in the new F-150.

Charles Murray
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Re: "New" auto designs?
Charles Murray   1/22/2014 8:45:06 PM
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Great post, j-allen. It's worth noting that Peterbilt and Kenworth have also used aluminum for over-the-road trucks since the late 1940s, I believe.

Charles Murray
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Re: I want one
Charles Murray   1/22/2014 8:42:06 PM
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I agree that the aluminum F-150 is the most important thing at the show, naperlou. Getting to 54.5 mpg is going to be really difficult by 2025, which is now only 11 years away, with carmakers working at least four years out. Aluminum will be one of many fuel efficiency techniques.

j-allen
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Re: "New" auto designs?
j-allen   1/22/2014 8:53:58 AM
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A. Saji, 

Please note that my comment applied to the historical background of variable valve timing.  Also note that the engine cited is the Rankine Cycle, not the Otto Cycle.  The steam engine rejects its thermodynamic waste heat in its exhaust where it is dissipated in the condenser. But let's apply this to the automotive steam engine.    When cruising the driver keeps the cutoff short, admitting just a short burst of steam which then expands adiabatically for the rest of the stroke.  This maximizes efficiency.  For a burst of acceleration, you prolong the admission to more of the stroke.  The integral of pressure over volume is now greater (more power) but the adiabatic expansion ratio is reduced (poorer efficiency).  A amart driver operates this way only when necessary, and for a short time.  A.Saji is then correct that the condenser is sometimes unable to keep up with the excess exhaust steam, and some may get vented (wasted) to the atmosphere, rather than condensed and returned to the boiler. 

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