Industry News




 

08/13/2012

Lighter, Stronger Materials for Fuel Efficiency

 
Lighter, stronger materials for fuel efficiency could have massive impact on how cars and trucks are made.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced seven new projects to accelerate the development and deployment of stronger and lighter materials for the next generation of cars and trucks. These projects include the development and validation of modeling tools to deliver higher performing carbon fiber composites and advanced steels, as well as research into new lightweight, high-strength alloys for energy-efficient vehicle and truck engines.

“With strong, lightweight materials we have an opportunity to dramatically increase vehicle fuel economy, while helping America maintain its competitive edge in automotive design and manufacturing,” says Secretary Chu.

The Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to improve the fuel efficiency of American vehicles, reaching historic agreements to improve fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks through Model Year 2025. These standards are expected to save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump, or about $8,200 in costs over the lifetime of each vehicle. In fact, the initial set of standards for Model Years 2011 to 2016 is already having an impact for American families and businesses. The Energy Information Administration estimates model year 2011 cars achieved record average fuel economy at 34.4 miles per gallon, representing a 2% increase over 2010 model year cars.

The projects announced today will help provide additional technologies and innovations that will enable manufacturers to continue to improve vehicle fuel efficiency beyond the regulated levels. Advanced materials are essential for boosting the fuel economy of cars and trucks while maintaining and improving safety and performance.

Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials – including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum, and carbon fiber composites – allows vehicle manufacturers to include additional safety devices, integrated electronic systems and emissions control equipment on vehicles without increasing their weight. Using lighter materials also reduces a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10% can improve the fuel economy by 6% to 8%.

The new investments announced today support materials innovation in two critical areas:

Improving Carbon Fiber Composites and Advanced Steel through Computational Design

The Energy Department will award two projects to validate existing modeling tools to optimize the performance and cost-effectiveness of carbon fiber and other specialized composite materials for vehicle body, chassis and interior uses. For example, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, based in Richland, Washington, is receiving a $1 million investment to validate carbon fiber composite models.

Additionally, the Department is investing $6 million to develop new modeling tools to advance third-generation high-strength steels. Through this project, Detroit-based United States Automotive Materials Partnership will leverage an additional $2.5 million in private investment to help create modeling tools for deploying high-strength steels for lighter passenger vehicles.

Advanced Alloy Development for Automotive and Heavy-Duty Engines

Today’s investment also includes four project that will develop lightweight, high-strength alloys for automotive and heavy duty engine blocks and cylinder heads. For instance, Caterpillar Inc, based near Peoria, Illinois, is leveraging a $3.4 million Energy Department award, as well as $1.5 million in private investment, to develop high-strength iron-based alloys to allow for higher cylinder pressures and increased engine efficiency.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
09/16/2014

The USGBC and American Chemistry Council have put aside their differences to work together on new improvements to the LEED certification system. 

09/15/2014

Researchers have developed a new process to help cloud computing systems use less energy while continuing to provide high levels of data services.

09/12/2014

Researchers have found the main factors that influence the amount and type of building damage caused by various types of salts. 

09/11/2014

A new study has demonstrated that proactive ergonomic training can decrease worker discomfort and increase productivity. 

09/10/2014

The University of Utah has upgraded its historic Dumke Health Professions Education building to save an impressive 40% on energy costs.

09/09/2014

Hoping to build on LEED's success, PEER evaulates the performance and modernization of electric grids. 

09/08/2014

The USGBC has developed a new tool to help streamline the LEED certification process. 

09/05/2014

Researchers have developed a fluorescent lamp that emits Wi-Fi signals to allow connectivity throughout buildings.

09/04/2014

Tests show effective measures for reducing earthquake damage to computer servers. 

09/03/2014

Health costs drop by half as a result of environmental regulations.

09/02/2014

A new study challenges the idea that sparse workplaces produce happier, more productive employees.

08/29/2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

08/28/2014

Is your building's exterior prepared for consistent snowstorms?

08/27/2014

Researchers have developed wearable, customizable technology to handle access control at busy hotels. 

08/26/2014

A new study shows that hotels which are LEED certified bring in more revenue than their non-certified competitors. 

08/25/2014

Policies designed to reduce carbon emissions have the added benefit of increasing air quality, which could pay for the reduction policies themselves. 

08/22/2014

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a luminescent solar concentrator that is as transparent as glass. 

08/21/2014

The Department of Energy has released two reports which indicate wind turbine installations and efficiency is growing while prices drop. 

08/20/2014

The NHL has partnered with the NRDC to release their first sustainability report. 

08/19/2014

A new battery has been developed that is free of toxic materials and longer lasting than its more expensive competitors.

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