Chevrolet Corvette Stingray features lightweight ‘smart material’ [video]
99 pounds lighter than C6
The 2014 Corvette is GM’s first vehicle to feature lightweight shape memory alloy wire.
This new technology replaces the heavier motorized actuator for opening and closing the hatch vent which releases air from the trunk. As a result of this implementation, the trunk lid is closed more easily compared to C7’s predecessors where due to the trapped air the lid was harder to close.
General Motors is aiming at more weight saving measures with this technique in the future since they say there are approximately 200 motorized movable parts which can be replaced by “smart materials” which are lighter.
One example would be shape memory alloys which are able to modify their shape, stiffness or strength when activated by heat, magnetic field, stress or electrical voltage. The memory alloys are able to “remember” their initial shape and go back to it when deactivated.
Shape memory also removes extra mass as the Stingray’s wire actuator is about 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs) lighter compared to a traditional motorized system.
Visit the press release section for additional information.