03 April 2013 03:05 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW YORK (ICIS)--The automotive sector could one day make use of rigid polymethacrylimide foam in the production of light-weighting vehicles, John Rolando, the president of German specialty chemicals group Evonik Corp, said on Tuesday.
“The material is lightweight, stiff and sturdy. Polymethacrylimide foam could be part of an integrated solution for light-weighting autos,” Rolando said.
“Auto manufacturers are targeting more mileage and light-weighting plays a critical role,” he said at an event displaying Evonik’s Wind Explorer vehicle at the Cooper Union science and art school in New York.
The Wind Explorer is a prototype electric vehicle that is composed of Evonik’s ROHACELL rigid polymethacrylimide foam sandwiched between thin layers of carbon fibre.
The vehicle’s lithium-ion batteries are powered by a portable wind turbine.
Powered by the batteries, the Wind Explorer travelled 3,000 miles across Australia, with a large kite contributing about 300 miles to the journey, according to Dirk Gion, a German extreme sportsman that drove the vehicle.
One load of the batteries, which contains 8 kilowatt (kW) hours of power and takes about 8-10 hours to charge with the wind turbine, allows the vehicle to travel about 230 miles, Gion said.
Evonik’s ROHACELL currently has applications in the aerospace sector, where it is used in the wingtips of aircraft and in helicopter rotor blades.
The company produces polymethacrylimide rigid foam at its site in Mobile, Alabama, US, as well as in Darmstadt, Germany.
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