Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ORNL Researchers Studying Possible Car Of The Future

Date:
January 5, 1999
Source:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
Developing lightweight, fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow without sacrificing safety is a major challenge, but it's being met head on by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

OAK RIDGE, TN-- Developing lightweight, fuel-efficientcars of tomorrow without sacrificing safety is a majorchallenge, but it's being met head on by researchers atthe Department of Energy's Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory (ORNL).

Related Articles


Researchers at ORNL, in collaboration with the NationalHighway Traffic Safety Administration and GeorgeWashington University, are developing detailed computermodels of a variety of vehicles. In the last few years,they have completed models of the Ford Taurus andExplorer, both among the top sellers in the UnitedStates. Researchers are now modeling an Audi A8, anall-aluminum car that is one of the first to use alightweight material that may be prominent in futurecars.

The shell of the Audi was on display at the recent"Supercomputing '98: High Performance Networking andComputing" conference in Orlando, Fla.

"We use these models combined with lightweightmaterials models to analyze material performance in awide variety of crashes," said Srdan Simunovic ofORNL's Computer Science and Mathematics Division. "Wecan substitute different materials in individual partsand compare the results."

Researchers develop models by disassembling a vehicle,scanning the shape and measuring the weight and inertiaof each component. They program those data into acomputer and perform a number of simulated crashes, allat a fraction of what it would cost to perform actualcrashes.

Results gained from these and other tests will allowthe U.S. government to assess safety as U.S.automakers strive to triple the efficiency of today'scars without sacrificing performance, utility, cost ofownership or safety. To accomplish these goals, expertsestimate that the weight of automobiles will have to bereduced by 40 percent.

By using computer models, which are validated with acontrolled crash, researchers can gain informationidentical to that from actual crashes that cost up to$75,000 per crash. Researchers compare simulationsusing high-speed films of collisions and traces fromaccelerometers that are placed throughout the vehicles.They also disassemble and analyze parts of the carafter the crash.

ORNL's capabilities in materials modeling and parallelcomputing make the lab uniquely qualified to performthis work, Simunovic said. He points to the lab'sdevelopment of the parametric finite element model asan example of innovative solutions.

"With parametric finite element models, we can tune thegrid -- in which the vehicle is divided into hundredsof small sections -- according to the kind of crashwe're going to simulate and kind of computer resourcesavailable," Simunovic said. "This makes it moremanageable for the computer."

At the conference in Orlando, researchers demonstratedtheir work in a variety of areas, including in sparkemissions, improved catalytic converters anddevelopments to enhance engine efficiency.

"We have a number of disciplines that are comingtogether to help in the design of a better automobile,"said Thomas Zacharia, director of the Computer Scienceand Mathematics Division. "And we're demonstrating howsupercomputing has relevance to people's lives."

ORNL is a DOE multiprogram research facility and ismanaged by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "ORNL Researchers Studying Possible Car Of The Future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990105075550.htm>.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (1999, January 5). ORNL Researchers Studying Possible Car Of The Future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990105075550.htm
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "ORNL Researchers Studying Possible Car Of The Future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990105075550.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins