Are Undentable Cars Coming? What You Might See During a Career in Auto Body Repair
March 1, 2017
What do you think vehicles will look like in 10 years, 15 years, or even 100 years? Do images of sleek futuristic cars or visions of hovercrafts speeding down sky highways come to mind? With all the rapid progress in vehicle technology we’ve been seeing over the last few years, there’s no telling what the future holds. Researchers are racing to find the next big discovery that will bring new innovation to the industry, and a team at UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences may have done just that.
Read on to discover more about the new technology that may make cars undentable.
After Car Body Repair Courses, You Will Understand the Need for New Materials
As professionals with a career in auto body repair likely know, most vehicle bodies are composed of iron and carbon, which combine to make steel. Steel is fairly cheap to make, but it rusts quickly. Some modern vehicles, like select BMWs and Audis, are made with aluminum because of its lasting durability. However, aluminum is scarce and very expensive.
In an effort to make cars lighter, stronger, and more fuel efficient, researchers are looking for promising new materials to use. However, that task hasn’t been an easy one. Even as technology gets better, vehicle companies are adding more and more features that are preventing their cars from becoming any lighter than they are now. The challenge of finding a material that is both light and incredibly strong has stumped researchers—until now.
The Science Behind the New Material for Students in Auto Body Schools
Graduates of car body repair courses may soon see a dramatic change in vehicles’ composition. That’s because a team of researchers at UCLA have had a major breakthrough; they’ve created silicon carbide-infused magnesium. In layman’s terms, they found a way to combine the unique benefits of magnesium with silicon carbide to create a material that is both incredibly light and incredibly strong.
Magnesium is known for being extremely light. However, despite magnesium’s light weight, it’s not very strong and durable. As a result, researchers had the idea of infusing it with silicon carbide nanoparticles. Silicon carbide is a ceramic material that is very durable and hard, and commonly used in bulletproof vests. When magnesium and silicon carbide are combined, along with a few other small adjustments to make sure the materials don’t clump, the result is a material that is light like magnesium and strong like silicon carbide.
How the New Material Could Impact the Automotive Industry
So what does this new material mean for the automotive industry? If manufacturers decide to start using the silicon carbide-infused magnesium for car bodies, auto body repair professionals could look forward to much easier repairs. This durable material could mean that damage caused by accidents would be less extensive and much easier to fix. The claim that completely dentless cars are on the horizon may be a little bit of a stretch, but if the auto industry adopts this material, there could be a significant reduction in the amount of damage caused to vehicles!
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