25 February 2008
25 February 2008
The Toyota 1/X concept vehicle made its North American debut at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, with a carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the body frame.
The 1/X features an aerodynamic ultra-lightweight design that maintains the interior space of the Toyota Prius hybrid and is approximately one-third the weight of the Prius. Its low 926-pound curb weight is partially achieved through the use of a light but very strong carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the body frame.
Developed by Toyota Motor Corporation, the Toyota 1/X compact hybrid offers a glimpse into the next era of automotive technological design. The Toyota 1/X redefines from its very roots the idea of what it means to be environmentally considerate. Pronounced 1/Xth, the name is derived from its vehicle mass, fuel consumption and emissions output, each totalling a fraction of that of other vehicles in its class.
The 1/X roof is produced from a bio-plastic made from environmentally-responsible material derived from kenaf and ramie plants. The result is a roof that improves heat insulation, emits less carbon dioxide, increases the amount of light entering the cabin, and reducing noise.
On the inside, the 1/X employs four ultra-lightweight seats made of polyester fibre that is knitted three-dimensionally for added comfort. The material functions like a spring or damper that helps create a cushion-like feel for all occupants.
The ultra-lightweight stature of the 1/X also helps contribute to a fuel efficiency target that would double that of the Prius and allow the 1/X to operate with an ultra-small hybrid powertrain located under the rear seat. The system combines a home rechargeable plug-in hybrid unit with a small 500cc 0.5-liter flexible-fuel engine that is 1/4th of the total weight of the Prius powertrain. The hybrid plug-in concept is designed to accommodate a lithium-ion battery that would be rechargeable at home. The result is a vehicle with the possibility of traveling over 600 miles on a small four-gallon tank of fuel and achieving the acceleration performance that is equivalent to the Prius.
The American Composites Manufacturers Association participated in a roundtable discussion about the IMAGINE Act. Known as the Innovative Materials in American Growth and Infrastructure, Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act, the new bill is designed to promote the increased use of innovative materials like fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, as well as new manufacturing methods to accelerate the deployment and extend the life of infrastructure projects.
Coriolis Composites has been selected by the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU), US, to provide a thermoplastics capable Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) system.
After the collapse of a drinking water pipeline in downtown Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Insituform was contracted to reline a close to 100 year old pipe underneath one of the canals. Water was restored successfully within five days, with minimal impact on traffic and the environment.