The basic material for the production of the car is steel. Indeed, the steels have sufficient structural strength, low cost, and can be used in different processes: they are easily stamped or welded. But steel has disadvantages. Chief among them – the low corrosion resistance, which forces designers to apply for the protection of special protective covering of the body. In addition, the steel part has a large mass. Therefore, in the construction of cars are widely used aluminum alloys, plastics and composite materials.
This is due to the desire to reduce the vulnerability of car body against corrosion, as well as reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, which favorably affects the efficiency and controllability. Nevertheless, steel sheets do not pass their positions, since the cost of aluminum, and especially of composite materials is much higher. On the major car plants per day can be processed more than 1 000 tonnes of sheet steel that go into the manufacture of a wide range of automotive parts. But let's look at other materials that could replace steel in car manufacturing.
Post our review right off the tree. This material was behind the automotive industry and to the massive use of steel is widely used in automobiles. Wooden boards, or just veneer often walked on the application in bodies of cars, trucks, buses and other utilitarian structures.
Separately it is necessary to say about luxury cars – rich owners appealed to the coachbuilder, which worked really works of art. The body panels were made of precious wood varnished and interior trimmed with expensive morocco or silk.
Apart here is the unique Hispano-Suiza N6S, built in 1924 racer Andre Dyubonne. Its engine with several carburettors cylinder capacity of almost 8 liters developed 200 hp, but needed a lightweight body for the real race car. Scarce in those days of light magnesium alloy or aluminum Dyubonne not got, so turned to the aircraft company Nieport requesting construction of light body.
The machine subsequently became known as the tulipwood, was recruited from the 20-millimeter frames frame, which with copper rivets were fastened strips of different lengths and widths, made contrary to the name of the wood mahogany mahogany, while the timber tulip tree is very badly bent and prone to splitting, which does not allow to use it in the construction of car bodies.
After setting all machine parts covered with several layers of lacquer and polished. The entire lower part of the frame to improve the streamlining and impact protection was closed aluminum housing. Rear weight distribution for better placed 175-liter fuel tank.
Andre Dyubonne participated in their "wooden leg" in one race – the Targa Florio, where he finished seventh in the end. After the race, he left the car for the daily commute, and later he came to America and has survived to the present day in one of the California Automobile Museum.
During the Second World War, all began to leave for war needs, and most of the cars were equipped with simple wooden body type phaeton or wagon. Serial production of cars with wooden bodies continued after the war, especially in large quantities, this phenomenon has developed in America. And if in Europe and the USSR to the 50 th year of the car park had a steel body, American motorists could not get rid of the habit of driving on a wooden car. Panels convertibles body was made of mahogany and varnished, but in the 60 years from the wooden body, which had the property of crack, fire hazard and was simply unsafe, began to refuse. And then up to the 80s in many American wagons and jeeps he had vinyl graphics for sale "under the tree."
These machines are especially popular due to American films of 80-90-ies, where citizens States traveled the country on wagons. Now ash frame used for their machines from the British firm Morgan, but in one of the Corvette generations used balsa wood in the floor, but a full-fledged car, made entirely of wood, modern industry no longer produces.
In 2007, an American enthusiast Joe Harmon presented a tuning show in Essen mid-engined supercar Splinter, to the building which he started while still a student. To build a supercar took five years, all of which were built with their forces and means. A mid-body "Splinters" is made of wood cherry and balsa wood, and is located behind the driver's seven-liter V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette, which develops over 700 hp From metal and also made gearbox, body enhancers, shock absorbers, arms rear suspension and brakes. But the front suspension had wooden arms and metal in the wheels (!) – Only aluminum hub and rim. As a result, the mass of the two-seater reached 1360 kg, and by the statements of the authors of the maximum speed of Splinter in theory can reach 380 km / h, but not tested. However, for the author of this is enough: the car he regards as the embodiment of his childhood dream and did not even think about at least small-scale production.
Separately tell you about a single concept car, which is applied in its design … bamboo. The car, named Ford MA, was shown at the Industrial Design exhibition in 2003. The name was chosen as the conclusion of the ideas embodied in the Asian philosophy of "space between" as applied to the vehicle, expressed in the fact that Ford MA is the center between emotions, art and science. Designed on the computer roadster, designed in minimalist style, it uses bamboo in its construction, aluminum and carbon fiber, while the rear wheels are driven by an electric motor, but the creators are allowed and the installation of a small gasoline motor of. Roadster is aimed at young people who want to find a fresh interpretation of the car. Incidentally, the machine welds have: all elements are interconnected by means of titanium bolts 364, which means that such rodsters house can easily collect the constructor of about 500 parts.
In the devastated post-war Europe began to have difficulty finding a replacement c deficient steel, which is hard enough for trucks and buses. Therefore widely used in automobile producers got unpretentious and cheap motokolyaski like the BMW Isetta and the Messerschmitt Kabinroller, which had three wheels, two-stroke engine and tiny size. However, buyers are not complaining – the car was worth very little, and only thanks to Izetta we all now know the brand BMW.
In such circumstances, the Czechs Frantisek and Mojmir Stransky implemented their own idea of the budget three-wheeled vehicle for people. kara» – literally "truck on the axis") and had a tubular frame, covered with aluminum sheets. At the front two wheels of the machine was connected via the rack, and one rear drive chain accounted for by a motorcycle engine.
The serial production of the vehicle was launched in 1950 and received Velorex name. Aluminium sheets were in those years, strategic raw materials, and the brothers had to quickly find a replacement. Steel did not fit: equipped with a 250 cc engine from the Java Velorex 16/250 has been very limited over time, and a steel body greatly increases the weight of the car, so the frame pulled practical and waterproof leatherette.
Over the years, 80 workers the factory Stransky brothers collected up to 400 cars a year, and production ended in 1973. Most Veloreksov took to social security agencies, which produced machines were passed to people with disabilities. Converted in light trucks, automobiles have been widely used as a transport technology in large industrial enterprises, and a number of sold and widely available. Due to its simplicity and undemanding car was popular in the countryside, it willing to buy agronomists and rural doctors.
Velorex constantly upgraded, the machines get more powerful engines. For example, the model produced with 175-, 250- and 350-cc engine from Java, and later appeared dinamostarter and Clutch, make life easier for car owners. Interesting fact: reverse itself in Veloreksa not exist – to go back, it was necessary to stop the engine and run it so that the crankshaft rotates in the opposite direction.
In today's auto world leather, as is evident, it is not too common on the body of the car: body panels are now being dragged into it just tuning studio commissioned by its customers.
But not a single skin used car designers. For example, in the mid 80-ies in the Belarusian Academy of Fine Arts was created primitive microcar, which is based on a tubular frame, which stretched … cloth.
In general, the fabric as such is the case in the construction of the bodies and to this day: it is worth remembering any car-cabriolet with a soft folding fabric top. But only the top, and the other – the whole body. And because it did not only cycle-cars, and quite a large car. That only is built unnamed mechanic company Chris-Craft Motor Boats of San Francisco in 1937, American car-camper Himsl Zeppelin Roadliner. The basis used spar frame from the wagon Plymouth (history is silent, what exactly), which was attached a separate tubular frame covered with aircraft fabric – percale. This material, though strong enough, still require metal bumpers and frames around the windows amplifiers.
In the cabin installed two sofa beds, a table, and even a gas stove. After the construction of the car has long been a local doctor who successfully survived the war, and in 1968 near the town of Concord, California in the car came across two friends restorers – Art Himsl and Ed Green. She was brought to life, and for many years served as a mobile office friends.
In 1999 Himsl and Green conducted a comprehensive restoration of the machine. Ancient petrol engine Plymouth sent to landfill, and was replaced by a more powerful V8 from a modern Chevrolet Camaro, fabric lining was replaced by polivolokno, which is used in the construction of light aircraft, have altered center and on top of all installed air suspension.
Speaking of cars tissue, one can not forget about the modern concept roadster BMW, which received the name GINA. According to the chief designer Chris Bangle design – the man who created modern style Bavarian car brand – the name of the GINA – is an abbreviation of «Geometry and Functions In« N »Adaptions», ie "there are numerous variations of body shapes."
When creating vehicle developers asked a few questions. Why car bodies made necessarily out of plastic or metal? Can the owner to set up everything in your car just as you want it to him? The answer to these questions became … stretched on the body shell stretch fabric, designed in the American division of BMW. The framework itself is a plurality of metal tubes which are movable by hydraulic actuators. So, the owner can one-touch open / close lights and a slot on the bonnet for motor review and change the shape of the edges on the sides and in the salon – adjust head restraints or change the dash panel.
Of course, the prospects for the serial production of similar vehicles Gina in the near future is not, but the designers believe that such body tissue has a great future. According to all the same Bangle, the fabric can give developers fewer restrictions in design, it allows us to give the body an aerodynamically correct shape and protect the internal parts of the body, and possibly turn the idea of the car's design. After flick of the wrist future buyer will be able to change the shape of body parts to the one that best suits his needs.
In general, the fabric designers have always been interested in terms of manufacture of composite materials – because they are lighter and do not corrode, and their cheaper production. As a base used natural fiber fabric, which is impregnated with multiple layers of epoxy resin.
The world's first car with a body made of composites became Soybean Car ( «Soy car") which is designed as an experiment by Ford and introduced in August 1941. It is also known under the name «Hemp body car» ( «The car with a body made of hemp"). As a basis for machines used RAMS chassis and powertrain from the sedan Ford V8, while the external panel is made of plastic, in which the fillers have become hemp fiber and soy beans. Total panels was 14, and they are fastened to the frame by means of bolts, it is allowed to hold the weight of the machine at 850 kg, which is approximately 35 percent less than the prototype. Carbureted V-shaped "eight" power is transferred to bioethanol produced from all of the same cannabis. on jobs cars ended after the US entry into World War II, and later the car was destroyed.
Natural fibers as filler excited the minds of the designers of machines for a long time. For example, the famous German Trabant car had a body of "Duroplastic" composite material. Here is a waste-filled Soviet cotton production – feathering, which is filled with all of the same epoxy resin. Jokers advised owners "Truby" beware of goats, pigs and caterpillars, in the expectation that their "cotton plastic" could simply be eaten. Nevertheless, this material does not rot, and provided a small weight machine, equipped with a motor-stroke 25 hp
But this was not the end. In 2000, Toyota unveiled a concept car Toyota ES3 – compact city car with an aluminum body, the outer panels which are made from a special resin TSOP (Toyota Super Olefin Polymer). This material is used as a raw material flax, bamboo and even potatoes … and easily recyclable. A widespread it has not received – probably because of the reluctance of owners to have cars from recycled potato.
However, many corporations looking for ways to use new composite materials in vehicle design, and now are composites, which may well partially replace steel in the pipeline. But all of these materials are created by chemists and technologists specifically, and their development comes at a price. But the experts of Chrysler back in the mid 90-ies of the last century have come up with use in automotive manufacturing a composite material based on – polyethylene terephthalate, used to make plastic bottles.
Panels made of polyethylene provide a suitable body stiffness, while the production itself material – expensive thing he can be easily molded, and it does not even need to paint – pigment desired color is added during production. In addition, the end of life the body can be easily recycled.
Krayslerovtsy technology fulfills decided on a tiny hatchback CCV, which was submitted to the competition concept of "popular" cars for China (hence the acronym CCV – China Concept Vehicle). The car, something like a Citroen 2CV, had spar steel frame on which are mounted panels of polyethylene. As a result, the Chinese gave the first place to one of his many brands, and Chrysler continued to study.
As a result, in 1998, I was born conceptual roadster Plymouth Pronto, which had a light space frame with attached thereto panels of "bottle" plastic, but visitors and journalists to learn about the material almost immediately expressed a similar undertaking negatively, and as a result the Board of Directors refused to extend the financing of the project, citing its futility. However, today in the manufacture of seat upholstery and trim the ceiling of new pickups Ford F-150 is used Repreve fibers, which are used for the manufacture of recycled plastic bottles.
This fragile and easily breakable material is more common in our kitchen than on the body of the car. However, saying “car”, we got excited. Bugatti company with the assistance of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Berlin (Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur) in 2011 presented a unique version of the Veyron Grand Sport roadster called «L’Or Blanc» ( «white gold»). Built in a single original car worth 1 650 000 euro was a unique two-tone coloring of a body coated with porcelain ornament. Apart from him, porcelain steel gas tank cap and wheel caps, and in the cabin appeared inserts on the instrument panel and the front panel and a small porcelain box from the same material. Every detail, down to the cap, decorated with an elephant standing on its hind legs – Car symbol Ettore Bugatti, who was crowned grille pre-war cars. By the way, one elephant figurine from porcelain height of 30 centimeters was lucky enough to own a supercar for free, but collectors of rare items will have to pay almost 30 000 euros.
Today, manufacturers are increasingly thinking about the use of environmentally friendly biodegradable materials in cars. Not forgotten and raw materials, processing of the past, saving, such as aluminum and steel. In addition, the steel parts are gradually replaced by cheaper plastic that is easy to replace in case of damage, moreover, it is lighter and does not rust. Well, most supercars are produced in our days, it has a body with the use of high-strength composite materials such as carbon fiber or Kevlar.