New, lighter car construction material called inrekor launched in the UK

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.

See pics of the inrekor launch

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.”

Andrew Papworth

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Comments
12

15 September 2010

interesting, but a curious choice of demo vehicle!

15 September 2010

A much cheaper way to lose weight is to tell customers that they don`t need heavy electric seats, 18 inch wheels, double glazing etc. A lot of small cars weigh around a ton now; that is seriously lardy. Just think how many mpg you would get if cars weighed 25% less, particularly in town, where you are accelerating and decelerating all the time.

15 September 2010

[quote Lanciaman]A lot of small cars weigh around a ton now; that is seriously lardy[/quote]

Years ago I owned a VW Corrado 1.8 16v not long after they first introduced which was considered, at the time, as not a particularly small or lightweight car. It only developed 130 odd BHP but was seriously quick. Moving on to a handful of years ago my ex wife had a Nissan Micra and a look at the stats showed it weighed as near as damn as much as the Corrado did. I think most drivers would happily give up a little bit of safety and a whole lot of comfort for cars that had the immediacy, agility and responsiveness of cars like the MKI Golf, Peugeot 205, Rover Metro, Lancia Delta or the Alfasud.

15 September 2010

[quote Lanciaman]A much cheaper way to lose weight is to tell customers that they don`t need [/quote]

to eat so many pies.

15 September 2010

[quote tannedbaldhead]I think most drivers would happily give up a little bit of safety and a whole lot of comfort for cars that had the immediacy, agility and responsiveness [/quote] I wouldn't, not for my every day car. I would for a fun weekend car, and there's nothing to stop you buying an original to do that either.

15 September 2010

[quote MrTrilby]I wouldn't, not for my every day car[/quote]

You'd be surprised how quickly you would get used to a less refined car. The MX5 is not the most refined of cars on the motorway. When I first bought mine I was a bit shocked at how much noise (mostly tyre roar combined by a bit more wind rush than a hard top) there was travelling at speed especially considering my last two cars were a C Class Mercedes and SAAB 9-3. I got used to it, drive it to work every day, have driven it from central Scotland to SE England and Ireland fairly regularly and even had it down to the South of France. What I've lost in refinement I have more than made up in sheer driving pleasure.

15 September 2010

We've had both an MX5 and a Caterham. That's how I know for sure I wouldn't give up safety and comfort for my regular car.

15 September 2010

Relying on a heavier car for your safety Mr Trilby will only get you killed by a 44 ton truck. I agree with the posters regretting the passing of lighter cars such as the 205. I seem to remember my 205 xld weighed about 900 kg. I assume Mr. Trilby has no desire to enjoy a powerful motorcycle the ultimate lightweight vehicle and will stick with his armoured car that is his loss my gain.

15 September 2010

[quote MrTrilby]We've had both an MX5 and a Caterham.[/quote]

That's good.

[quote MrTrilby]safety[/quote]

The concern of the big girls' blouses of this world. The face of danger is there to be laughed at.

15 September 2010

[quote Maxycat]Relying on a heavier car for your safety Mr Trilby will only get you killed by a 44 ton truck.... ...I assume Mr. Trilby has no desire to enjoy a powerful motorcycle the ultimate lightweight vehicle and will stick with his armoured car that is his loss my gain.[/quote]

Blimey. Hold your horses Maxycat. All I said was that I'm not prepared to sacrifice safety or comfort. There's absolutely no need to start pouring scorn and accusing me of running an armoured car. I'm quite aware that heavier does not necessarily equal safer, but I'm also quite aware that innovations that simply did not exist at the time of the 205 - such as air bags, pre-tensioners, active anti-whiplash restraints, side impact bars, safety cells and crumple zones - all make a positive difference to safety and all add weight to a car.

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