The 21st century has seen the manufactures utilize new materials and classic designs to make super vehicles, thus reducing the over dependence on steel. By using brilliant ways of embedding carbon fiber and titanium panels into cars, the manufactures have been able to achieve what was impossible a century ago.
In 2013, Icona, a French manufacturing company, successfully produced Vulcano Titanium, a supercar made from carbon fiber and titanium panels. The car weighed only 3,500-pounds, and at the same time, it had an ability to attain the maximum speeds of up to 220mph. Carbon fibers were are mixed with titanium tubing to make the mixture dense. The desire to have supercars has driven the automotive industries to come up with new designs that do not only meet the ever advancing population’s needs but also utilize the latest technology. When Carl Benz designed the first commercial car in 1885, he used Steel to make the car frame and wood panels to make chairs.
Use Of Titanium In Car Manufacturing
Because of its strength, low density and high corrosion resistance, titanium has numerous applications in the car industry. The use of titanium dates back 15 years ago when companies such as Honda were using titanium alloys in small quantities to make rods of their niche sports car. By then, the use of titanium famous as the mining cost was extremely high. The uniquely low density of titanium, approximately 60 percent by mass compared to mass of nickel and steel alloys, has caught the attention of automotive suppliers and manufacturers who are slowly gaining interest on the use of this material.
Titanium wires have a lot of application ranging from health sector to engineering industry. In automotive industry, the titanium wires are used to make automotive parts that require thin, bendable and cold forming friendly process. Titanium can also be used to make the valve springs, car exhaustion systems, car bodies, chassis and Engines.
Titanium is ductile hence can be made into wires. The process of drawing/making wires from titanium is similar to the process of making wires from other metals. However, in titanium, a lubricant is added because titanium tends to gall. When the series of wires have been drawn, the lubricant can be removed to form the white titanium wires. If the lubricant is not removed the wires will be referred to as white titanium.
Electric And Hybrid Cars
It would be unfair if we talk about car innovations of 21st century and not mention Hybrid or electric vehicles. As the world is trying hard to reduce the global warming, the desire to have clean energy is on a high demand. Hybrid car is a multi-fueled vehicle that can switch from fossil fuel to an alternative electric source. On the other hand, the pure electric vehicles (EVs) are fully electric cars that are capable of travelling up to 200 miles without any charging. These vehicles have been expensive to purchase and thus only few people have acquired one.
An example of hybrid car in the market is the Tesla Model S. Tesla has proven to have low fuel consumption and also an excellent performance in the electric mode. However, more companies such as Bolt general motors have designed Bolt car model, which is cheaper than Tesla and this is expected to bring competition in the market. Amazingly, the electric cars have an extreme acceleration. For instance, Tesla can come to a full stop from 80 mph in only 2.03 seconds.
The Integrated Safety System
The introduction of the hazard warning systems on cars cannot be ignored. Developed by Mobileye, this system has ability to detect an accident if the vehicle is about to collide with another object. Its working is awesome. When a hazard such as accident is about to happen, the situation is reported to a vehicle integrated system. Drivers make reports based on their observation while still driving and through an on board sensors, the message is sent to the break system and anti-locks which will react appropriately based on the likely situation. The system has also an ability to detect speed limits, road marks and road signs.
Whether it is manufacturing hybrid cars, using integrated safety systems or incorporation of titanium in car manufacturing, the automotive industry has taken innovation to a whole new level of creativity. Not only has the cars’ functionality been improved but also the general performance has been elevated. The peak of car design and innovations may have catch up with us but the future car innovations looks more superior as time will tell.