Inrekor, a new car construction material capable of cutting vehicle weight by up to 30 per cent, has been unveiled by the company with the same name.
Inrekor is an ultra-lightweight structure made up of AAPRO – a propylene-based foam – sandwiched between thin sheets of aluminium.
Inrekor claims the material is significantly lighter than, and just as strong as, conventional current car construction materials.
It also says that inrekor is cheaper to produce than carbonfibre and both elements of its construction are 100 per cent recyclable.
Car chassis and other structures can be made using panels of inrekor bonded together by an adhesive and then strengthened with other pieces to prevent the joins from peeling.
The new construction technique was launched by showcasing a prototype of a Porsche 356 Speedster kit car built with an inrekor-based chassis.
The car – built in association with Chesil Motor Company, which manufactures kit cars – is 15 per cent lighter than the same car made with traditional materials.
Inrekor also had on show a prototype of a four-seat chassis made with the technique; the firm says inrekor reduces weight from a typical 300kg to 160kg on this type of construction.
The company estimates that a typical family car built with a lightweight inrekor chassis, and other savings that could be made as a result, would weigh 300kg less than a car using current chassis building technology.
The material has undergone independent structural tests by Warwick Manufacturing Group and a crash test at MIRA found that a chassis made out of inrekor performed as well as a Euro NCAP five-star-rated chassis despite weighing around 40kg less. The company says it would like to conduct further tests.
Stewart Morley, technical director of inrekor, said the company already has a contract with a major marine company and is in contact with a major vehicle manufacturer, but would not reveal which one.
“There are programs in place,” he said. “We anticipate a long lead time, however. It could be a year or two years before a concept car is announced.”