Well, it is lighter (by 100 times they say) than styrofoam, while having the strength of steel
Improvements in aerodynamics, reduced displacement and more efficient engines – these are all things that will improve fuel economy ratings. Weight reduction is an important factor though, and cars keep getting heavier thanks to added safety equipment.
Automakers are looking for ways to use high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber materials. The latter two have been expensive and for carbon fiber, hard to produce in large quantities. General Motors recently announced that it would be working with a Japanese company Teijin Limited. Their innovation is a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) technology that has a cycle and set time that is under a minute. A new metal has been announced that could potentially huge implications for the auto industry. Key word potentially – we’ve heard big promises before.
It is called micro lattice, and it has been developed by the California Institute of Technology, HRL Laboratories and the University of California-Irvine. So what’s the big deal? Well, it is lighter (by 100 times they say) than styrofoam, while having the strength of steel. The micro-lattice is made up of 99.99% air and 0.01% material. Talk about revolutionary! What’s more is that the lattice gives the material impressive absorption qualities; it is able to return to complete form after 50% or more compression. Far from compromising safety, this material could actually take car safety to a new level.
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