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Old 02-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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Chevrolet Debuts Lightweight ‘Smart Material’ on Corvette

Chevrolet Debuts Lightweight ‘Smart Material’ on Corvette
GM’s first use of heat-activated shape memory alloy replaces heavier motorized part
General Motors

February 12, 2013

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DETROIT – From its fiberglass body in 1953 to its aluminum chassis for 2014, Chevrolet Corvette has a six-decade track record for introducing lightweight materials that improve vehicle performance. With the 2014 Corvette weighing in 99 pounds lighter than its predecessor, that trend continues.

The redesigned seventh-generation sports car is the first vehicle to use a General Motors’-developed lightweight shape memory alloy wire in place of a heavier motorized actuator to open and close the hatch vent that releases air from the trunk. This allows the trunk lid to close more easily than on the previous models where trapped air could make the lid harder to close.

Considering there are about 200 motorized movable parts on the typical vehicle that could be replaced with lightweight smart materials, GM is looking at significant mass reduction going forward.

Shape memory alloys – typically made of copper-aluminum-nickel or nickel-titanium – are smart materials that can change their shape, strength, and/or stiffness when activated by heat, stress, a magnetic field or electrical voltage. Shape memory alloys “remember” their original shape and return to it when de-activated.

In the new Corvette, a shape memory alloy wire opens the hatch vent whenever the deck lid is opened, using heat from an electrical current in a similar manner to the trunk lights. When activated, the wire contracts and moves a lever arm to open the vent, allowing the trunk lid to close. Once the trunk lid is closed, the electrical current switches off, allowing the wire to cool and return to its normal shape, which closes the vent to maintain cabin temperature.

“Smart materials like shape memory alloys offer new possibilities for many movable vehicle features,” said Jon Lauckner, GM’s chief technology officer. “These new materials enable innovative designs and new and improved features at a lower cost than traditional motors and actuators.”

Shape memory alloy also helps remove unwanted mass, which can help improve vehicle performance and fuel economy. The wire actuator used on the new Corvette is approximately 1.1 pound (.5 kilogram) lighter than a conventional motorized system.

“The shape memory alloy used on the new Corvette represents nearly five years of research and development work on smart materials for which GM has earned 247 patents,” said Paul Alexander, GM smart materials and structures researcher. “And it is just the beginning. We have many more smart material applications in the pipeline that will bring even more improvements to our vehicles going forward.”
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #2
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Well this Corvette is truly turning into a heap of new technology.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
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Good Info!
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
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I love seeing new automotive technologies debut.
Because you know that in just a few years, what is new tech now becomes mainstream.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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Sounds like the Alien metals I read about 20 years ago they supposed to have found at the Roswell crash site.....I guess they finally figured out how they work.

This works on the same principle.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ef2f/?srp=60
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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This is a youtube link I found
[ame]http://youtu.be/sOnvptSobRE[/ame]
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Seen this but not his version of the diagram.

Huge attention to small details
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:50 AM   #8
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great..but..??

As "nifty" as this technogly is...i wonder down the road as to maintenance...???
What about the rest of the cars "gizmos"..??
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:51 AM   #9
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any pricing yet..??
ZR series..??
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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You won't be able to maintain half the stuff on new cars yourself anymore. That's the cost of progress.

No.

And on the way.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Eldiablo View Post
As "nifty" as this technogly is...i wonder down the road as to maintenance...???
What about the rest of the cars "gizmos"..??
it's a wire.

take a guess what the maintenance of it is, if it fails...
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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Once again this retarded ipad wont load it. Found some more info elsewhere. This car is entirely too complicated for me.

You ought to have seen me the first time trying to find my battery on the camaro to jump someone off. "You dont know where you battery is?" I was like "you find it then"
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I wonder if this could be why my car idles like its retarded...
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:24 AM   #13
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“The shape memory alloy used on the new Corvette represents nearly five years of research and development work on smart materials for which GM has earned 247 patents,” said Paul Alexander, GM smart materials and structures researcher. “And it is just the beginning. We have many more smart material applications in the pipeline that will bring even more improvements to our vehicles going forward.”
All that time and money spent on R&D on smart materials is going to pay off for years throughout GM's model lineup.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:36 PM   #14
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I remember the first time I saw that several years ago.

I also remember thinking, "WOW!! That's pretty cool." I asked, "what would you ever do with it".

I guess they finally found something to do with it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #15
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I remember the first time I saw several years ago.

I also remember thinking, "WOW!! That's pretty cool." I asked, "what would you ever do with it".

I guess they finally found something to do with it.
:sad: And me likey
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I wonder if this could be why my car idles like its retarded...
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