Weight is the enemy of fuel economy, and over the past 20 years cars have gotten heavier and heavier. Consumers, as well as the government, are to blame, as we demand more safety features and infotainment out of our cars. Add that to all the sheet metal necessary to skin a car, engines, transmissions and everything else and you're talking about one heavy contraption.
A new material, called Inrekor, is not only as strong as current car chassis, but is substantially lighter too, and 100% recyclable. Is it too good to be true?
The material is being produced by a company of the same name and developed by Stewart Morley, who says that a major marine and auto manufacturer has already shown interest in the material. Inrekor uses a material called AAPRO, which is a propylene-based foam sandwiched between thin sheets of aluminium. A test chassis made from Inrekor was as sturdy as those chassis's made from conventional material that earned a five-star rating from the Euro NCAP safety test.
Inrekor claims that a typical family sedan chassis made from Inrekor instead of traditional materials could save 300 kg, or over 600 pounds of weight. That is a few mpg's at the end of the day, and the Inrekor material is supposed to be 100% recycable too. Best of all for car makers, it is cheaper to produce too. Sounds like one of the few products that is an all around winner.
So will anything come of it?