It is unique the way mother Nature creates the eggshell.
So, the question is this: what would be the PERFECT man-made, technological material that we could use if we wanted to make an egg with a synthetic shell? It’s a material that modelers know well! Carbon-fiber reinforced plastics or carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP).
So, if we were to make a bionic egg, this would be an ideal material to choose! CFRP is certainly not something completely new. It is a material already used in fighter planes such as the, now in Greek colors, Rafale,
but also, in civil aviation aircraft and sports cars. Small, incredibly reduced weight, incredible strength has made CFRP used in a multitude of applications now.
With wheels and wings
So, the material has gone from fighters now and can make cars safer as well as more economical. When companies use it, they change parts from steel which has weight even in its more hi-tech versions and consumption is also reduced. You also have a lower center of gravity of a car when the upper body parts are made from it, making it more agile and exciting to drive.
Nissan engineers, for example, have created a process called compression resin transfer molding – compressed resin transfer molding – and it’s a method that involves cutting carbon fibers into the shape you want and placing them in a mold with curing to follow.
The process is said to reduce the time to develop CFRP parts by up to 50%, with molding being done in 80% less time.
Automobili Lamborghini on the other hand,
is one of the key companies at the forefront of manufacturing cars from synthetic materials – carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). The Italian manufacturer has two specialist research facilities the ACRC (Advanced Composite Research Center) and the ACSL (Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory), where it also collaborates with… Boeing! The result is several patents of CFRP technologies for building very light and powerful cars.
The Italian-German performance brand’s new technology chassis made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer materials are the ones on which the Aventador LP700-4 is ‘built’: the entire body of the Aventador will weigh just 229 kg!
On the other hand, instead of carbon fiber, is it better to use… bamboo resin? Especially now that we have the search for materials for electric cars as well as the upcoming electric airplanes where batteries are a huge part of the weight, there is an even greater need for materials that are lighter and more durable. So, there is a manufacturer that has come up with a solution with bamboo fibers and vegetable resin that will perhaps take the place of carbon fibers and glass fibers.
The material is already being used in surfboards and Mr Greg Abbott, a guy who switches internal combustion engine cars to electric,
says that in the future EV kits may use bamboo in their structure. Abbott says the material is pretty tough, somewhere between the strength of fiberglass and carbon fiber in strength-to-width ratio. Bamboo is quick and easy to produce, and new supplies are quickly available and cheap.
But aeromodellers have known that for years, haven’t they!