Different parts of a car are made of different material. The choice of material to make different parts of a motor vehicle is influenced by factors like amount of stress handled by the part, cost of material compared to other alternatives and purpose of the part e.g. decoration etc. These are some of the factors the determine type of material a motor vehicle part is made of. An example of material and part on a car made using the material is given below.
(A) Ferrous alloy
1.0 Part made of ferrous alloy
Engine components e.g. bolts and nuts, engine ducts and body of car
This material is used for the above parts due to its strength and durability. The body of the car is made from pressed steel while the levers and engine components are made of stainless steel. The car body should be strong to protect the user and not to get damaged quickly. Engine components, especially those that rotate, are made of steel.
2.0.0 Internal structure of stainless steel
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron. It, also, contains 10.5% of chromium. The amount of chromium added to steel gives it different weigh properties. Figure 1 shows this effect.
2.0.1Properties that make stainless suitable for engine components
Chromium modifies steel and makes it corrosion resistant. This property makes stainless steel ideal for the engine parts so that engine does not wear out with time.
Mechanically, stainless steel is strong. Engine parts need to be strong to with stand vibrations and other stressing effects. In addition, the steel can be easily formed for jointing purposes and hence its application in the nuts and bolts of the engine.
With regards to temperature resistance, stainless steel can withstand high temperatures and cools off easily. Engine activity may heat up the engine and thus the choice of stainless steel for some of the parts is an excellent choice (AK steel corporation 2010).
3.0 Property values of stainless steel
The property values of stainless steel are summarized in the table below.
(B) Non ferrous alloy
1.0 parts made from non ferrous alloy
radiator components and cooling system e.g. radiator fins. Also engine block casting and gear box housing.
Components of the radiator are made of copper. This metal is lighter compared to steel and is a good conductor of heat. The conduction property is the main property utilized in making the radiator and cooling system. Being a metal, it is strong and can withstand fairly large stress. Also, the metal is not costly since it is widely available.
2.0.0 Internal structure of copper that make it suitable for radiator components
Copper, a transition metal, is a pure element and has isotopes. The stable isotopes of copper are Cu-63 and Cu-65.
2.0.1 Properties of copper
Copper withstands high temperatures of up to 1083 0C. In addition it is a good conductor of heat. This makes it excellent choice for radiator fins.
Ductility is another property of copper. It can be easily formed into different shapes including thin ductile plates. For this reason, it is used for radiator fins.
Copper is also light in weight and does not react adversely when heated. Only a thin layer of copper II oxide is formed when copper reacts with air under heat. After the thin layer is formed, no more reaction occurs. This makes copper suitable for hot areas of a vehicle and hence its application in radiator components.
3.0 property values of copper
Bumper, dashboard and gear surround
Plastics are not as strong as metals but can handle light loads comfortably. Dash board for instance is where light loads like pens, CDs, sometimes phone etc, are placed. The weight of the overall car is a consideration in design. It is thus important to reduce weight making such parts with lighter material.
High density polyethene is a hard plastic that is used to make some parts of a vehicle e.g. the dash board. Thermoplastics harden when cooled and soften when heated.
2.0.0 Internal structure of high density polyethlene
High density polyethlene HDPE has a linear structure compared to the low density polyethlene. The linear structure is shown in figure 3. Its hydrogen and carbon chain can be represented as shown in figure 3b. The double bonds make it a strong material
2.0.1Properties of high density polyethylene that make it suitable for dash board
Strength is one of the properties that make HDPE for dashboard. The dashboard has to withstand vehicle vibrations hence the material required should be strong.
HDPE can be formed into any shape with forced injection. This property makes it a good choice for dashboard since this part of the car takes a customized shape.
HDPE can withstand heat levels fairly large temperatures. Being at the driver’s compartment, temperatures are not expected to go beyond 600C. HDPE cannot be affected by this temperature range (Geosynthetic Inst 2010).
3.0 Property values of HDPE
Phenolic plastic is a thermoset that does not dissolve in water or organic solvents hence its application in compressor pumps.
2.0.0 Internal structure of phenolic plastic
Phenol is molecule whose hydroxyl group is attached to carbon atom of aromatic ring (James 2008). An example of phenol structure is shown in figure 4.
As seen in the diagram, hydroxyl and carbon are attached to a ring. The above bonding structure strengthens phenol. Phenol is usually in liquid form and forms tough bonding properties with other material. The plastics are made by mixing phenol with other polymers or fiber.
2.0.1 Properties of phenolic that make it suitable for compressor pump
Phenolic material is not soluble in organic solvents such as petrol fuel. For this reason, it is conveniently used as a fuel pump.
Phenolic materials can also with stand temperatures up to 1800C without melting hence making them convenient for pressure pump where temperatures are not very high.
3.0 property values of phenol
The table in figure 5 shows the physical properties of phenol.
Figure 5: physical properties of phenol
(E) Amorphous ceramic:
1.0 parts made from armophous ceramic
Wind shield and reflecting mirrors
Glass is an armophous ceramic with transparent and translucent properties making it the right choice for a wind shield. If one side is made opaque, glass reflects light hence its use in reflecting mirrors.
2.0.0 Internal structure of glass
Glass is an oxide of silicon. during formation, SiO2 is usually in molten state. While cooling, the particles join randomly (armophously). This is the cause of transparence. Figure 6 shows a comparison of armophous SiO2 with crystalline form.
Figure 6: glass compared to quartz to show random crystallization
2.0.1 Properties of glass that make it ideal for wind screen
Glass is clear. This is the first and most important property that is utilized in wind screens. In addition, it is hard though brittle. This property makes it resistant to pressure from wind.
Glass can be fortified by mixing with other compounds. In addition, different shades can easily be manufactured. This property makes it a convenient material for tint wind shield and tint windows. In addition, glass polarizes light thus reducing glare to the eye.
Glass is stain resistant. It is easy to clean and does dries up quickly. The FR 0 grade is the stain resistant type.
3.0 Property values of glass
Silicon carbide is used in making brake lining owing to its heat resistance and strength.
2.0.0 Internal structure of silicon carbide
Silicon Carbide SC, is a compound resulting from bonding between Silicon and Carbon elements. The structure is shown in figure 7.
The covalent bonds form a high heat resistant compound and highly resistant to wear and tear.
Figure 7: Silicon Carbide
2.0.1 Properties of Silicon Carbide that make it ideal for brake lining
Silicon Carbide is highly resistant to wear and tear. This is one reason that makes it an ideal material for brake lining.
The material is also heat resistant. Braking action generates a lot of heat thus a heat resistant material is required. Silicon Carbide has the two properties required.
3.0 property values of silicon carbide
Ball bearings of a car are made of sintered material such as phosphor bronze. This material has holds lubrication properly hence its use at for bearings.
2.0.0 internal structure of phosphor bronze
The chemical composition of phosphor bronze is shown below.
As seen in the above table, phosphor bronze is made of Sn, P, Pb and Zn elements mixed with the above given percentages.
2.0.1 properties that make phosphor bronze ideal for ball bearing
This material is resistant to wear, corrosion and has good lubricating properties.
3.0 property values of phosphor bronze
The property values are shown in the table below.
Car body e.g. Canada’s Canabis car (Nikki 2010) or the Chyrsler CCV (Azom Inc. 2012).
Duroplast is a material that is currently being used to make the body of a car especially in the UK. The material is strong and resistant to stress and vibrations. It is also light thus reducing the weight of the car.
2.0.0 internal structure of Duroplast
Duroplast is a plastic that solidifies under chemical action. The molecular cross linking in Duroplast makes it a strong material.
2.0.1 properties of duroplast that make it a good material for car body
As noted earlier, Duroplast is strong, light and weather resistant. It can easily be formed into different shapes. These properties make it good for car bodies.
3.0 property values of duroplast
Floor mat, mud flaps, window lining
Rubber is an elastomer material that has a good grip on other materials. It is also light and flexible and thus can be molded into any shape for this reason, it is used in parts like window lining and mud flaps.
2.0.0 internal structure of rubber
Rubber compound exists naturally as a hydrocarbon. It does not dissolve in water and does not easily wear out. It is also stretchable.
2.0.1 properties making rubber ideal for floor mat
Rubber has a good grip on other surfaces including smooth surfaces. For a floor mat one cannot slide hence its application. It does not react with water hence it is easy to clean. Most rubber materials are stain resistant. Rubber can also be molded to any size and thickness.
3.0 property values of rubber
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