Is There a Type of Wood Strong Enough and Affordable for Building Car Frames?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of using wood to build a small passenger car body that is both stronger and cheaper. However, it is determined that no woods currently have the strength/weight ratios of modern car materials such as aluminum and steel. The mention of Morgan cars using ash frames for sports cars is brought up, but it is agreed that their appeal lies more in their styling rather than their technology. The idea of using wood for cars is debated, with some arguing that it could still be effective and others stating that metals are more suitable for energy absorption in collisions. The conversation ends with a disagreement on the original question of using wood for car bodies.
  • #1
mohanrajs26
1
0
Can we built the small passenger car body using ANY WOOD which is STRONGER and CHEAPER?
If so, name the wood.
 
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  • #2
mohanrajs26 said:
Can we built the small passenger car body using ANY WOOD which is STRONGER and CHEAPER?
If so, name the wood.

Tell us your thoughts first. What is the context? Are you looking to do a design project?
 
  • #3
There are no woods that come close to the strength/weight ratios of current materials in cars such as aluminum, stainless steel, or even plain carbon steel.
 
  • #4
Morgan have been doing a good job making sports cars using ash frames for one hundred years. They're still good by today's standards.
 
  • #5
brewnog said:
Morgan have been doing a good job making sports cars using ash frames for one hundred years. They're still good by today's standards.

Let's be honest- the Morgan cars are bought for their styling, not because of their competitive performance or impressive Ash frame technology...
 
  • #6
Mech_Engineer said:
Let's be honest- the Morgan cars are bought for their styling, not because of their competitive performance or impressive Ash frame technology...

Nonsense, I've been successfully campaigning one this season and don't even like the look of the thing! Although if by "competitive" you mean "with other marques" then you may have a point. Still, faster round a track than lots of stuff made solely from 'modern' materials!
 
  • #7
daimler-horseless-carriage.jpg


Seriously though, wooden cars can still be made to go 200+ mph
 
  • #8
brewnog said:
Nonsense, I've been successfully campaigning one this season and don't even like the look of the thing! Although if by "competitive" you mean "with other marques" then you may have a point. Still, faster round a track than lots of stuff made solely from 'modern' materials!

With you on that, pal. It's sort of along the same line as major-league baseball players using ash or maple bats as opposed to metal. I don't know whether or not there is a specific cut-off point from a material aspect, but a wooden bat just puts so much "feel" into the hit that it is bound to go farther/faster if only because of the son's emerging sense of confidence.

edit: Upon re-reading this, I noticed that I did not express myself properly. There are a lot of youngsters on-board, who are entitled to a "clueless" childhood. "Son's" was not meant to be a diminutive address.
 
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  • #9
realize that these cars won't absorb as much energy from collisions like a metal does. malleability of metals are critical for this. second imagine being struck by lightning. specific metal is used to separate charges
 
  • #10
odmart01 said:
realize that these cars won't absorb as much energy from collisions like a metal does. malleability of metals are critical for this.

I respectfully disagree with that. Although I have always been a "Detroit Iron" driver, and have no use whatsoever for "rice rockets", polymers are a lot easier to tailor to specific purposes such as crush absorption.
 
  • #11
Please specify on the Effectiveness of Polymers.
 
  • #12
Lightning struck is so rare it can be safely ignored as a problem.
 
  • #13
Borek said:
Lightning struck is so rare it can be safely ignored as a problem.

If it was you in the car you wouldn't be saying that now would you.
 
  • #14
Metal-bodied cars work quite well as a Faraday cage. Next...
 
  • #15
How many cases of cars struck by lightning have you witnessed? Heard of? Do you have a reliable statistic showing it is frequent enough to make metal cars safer in the storm?

I suppose when you sit is a vehicle that is hit by meteorite M1A1 Abrams is safer than my Opel Astra, but I am not going to buy a tank because of that. Not many meteorites striking cars in my area.
 
  • #16
Whoah, it was odmart that brought that cobblers up!
 
  • #17
The OP's original question was if a "car's body frame" could be made out of a wood which is stronger and cheaper. In my opinion, the answer is still "no."
 
  • #18
Mech_Engineer said:
The OP's original question was if a "car's body frame" could be made out of a wood which is stronger and cheaper. In my opinion, the answer is still "no."

He must have edited it mighty quickly. There was no mention of "frame" in it by the time I read it.
 
  • #19
Filler fille fill fil fi f
 

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Related to Is There a Type of Wood Strong Enough and Affordable for Building Car Frames?

1. What are the advantages of using wood for car body frames?

Wood is a lightweight and strong material, making it ideal for use in car body frames. It is also readily available and cost-effective compared to other materials, such as steel or aluminum. Additionally, wood has natural shock-absorbing properties, making it a safer option in the event of a collision.

2. Are there any drawbacks to using wood for car body frames?

While wood has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks when used in car body frames. Wood is susceptible to rot and decay when exposed to moisture, so it requires proper treatment and maintenance. It is also not as rigid as other materials, which can affect the overall stability and stiffness of the car.

3. How is wood treated to be suitable for car body frames?

Wood used in car body frames undergoes a process called "seasoning," which involves drying the wood to remove excess moisture and prevent decay. It is then treated with preservatives to protect against rot and insect damage. Some woods, such as ash or oak, are naturally more resistant to decay and may not require as much treatment.

4. Can wood be used for all types of car body frames?

While wood can be used for car body frames, it is not suitable for all types of cars. It is commonly used in vintage or classic cars, as well as in some modern sports cars, where weight and aesthetics are important factors. However, it is not commonly used in mass-produced vehicles due to the challenges of production and potential safety concerns.

5. How does using wood affect the environmental impact of car manufacturing?

Using wood for car body frames can have a positive impact on the environment. Wood is a renewable resource, meaning it can be replenished through sustainable forestry practices. It also has a lower carbon footprint compared to materials like steel or aluminum, which require more energy to produce. However, the transportation and processing of wood may still contribute to the overall environmental impact of car manufacturing.

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