GM’S grand experiment: Miracle materials

Detroit Free Press reports that General Motors Corp. has achieved a breakthrough in smart materials technology that could help it add more high-tech features to its vehicles even as it reduces cost and improves fuel efficiency.

Crunched your fender? Using smart materials, instead of having to replace it, your repair shop might just heat it up and watch it resume its programmed shape.

Hands too full to grab the door handle? Using smart materials, you just press a button on the key fob and the door pops open without the use of a motor, which might otherwise be required.

Always tearing off the doohickey — technically called an air dam — under your bumper? Using smart materials, GM has developed one that retracts when you’re not driving down the highway. (Air dams aid aerodynamics and fuel economy.)

Those are just a few preliminary ways GM is planning to use alloys and polymers that move or change shape when given a programmed stimulus, such as heat, cold or a couple-second shot of electricity.

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One Response to “GM’S grand experiment: Miracle materials”

  1. VW Parts Blog Says:

    This is a good news for the GM fans. Using this idea will uplift the quality of the vehicles produced by GM. It will add more ease and comfort to the GM owner if these GM parts will be converted to “smart” materials.

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