AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Aluminum Castings that Mimic Human Bones

July 25th, 2008 at 9:30am

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

Does the human body hold the answer to making lighter weight cars?

A couple of companies are working on making aluminum castings that sort of look like human bones on the inside. While bones are solid on the outside, they’re porous on the inside. And it’s that porous-ness, all those holes in there that makes them strong and lightweight.

Munro and Associates, which is located in Troy, Michigan, and Cymat Technologies of Toronto are working on using an aluminum casting technique to slash weight, including automotive components such as suspension pieces.

Interestingly the SAF casting, as it’s called, which stands for stabilized aluminum foam also has thermal and acoustic insulation properties, which means they also have the opportunity to make cars quieter as well as lighter, thanks to the fact these companies looked to the human body for design solutions.

3 Comments to “AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Aluminum Castings that Mimic Human Bones”

  1. Tom Martin Says:

    Great idea.

    And I can see the advantage of suspension pieces, or even wheels. This should help improve performance, ride and handling.

    Unfortunately, none of these will significantly reduce vehicle weight and therfore improve mileage. I suspect this will be far more expensive than normal aluminum, and therefore we’ll never see it used for production fenders, hoods, roofs, and trunk lids–which would result in significant weight savings.

  2. William R. Walling Says:

    John,
    “I could see ‘SAF’ if those voids were filled with some form of lightweight binding agent.”
    This new material could be ‘Stronger than Steel’ as it were.’
    Foundry techniques are indeed the ‘basis’ of successful alloy materials creation and fabrication.

  3. Recent URLs tagged Aluminum - Urlrecorder Says:

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