2 Minutes with Ahmet T. Alpas
October 25, 2011
In the pursuit of designing lighter automobiles, researchers are testing new alloys to find alternatives to traditional materials. Dr. Ahmet Alpas is a professor with the Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering at the University of Windsor who has been working in partnership with General Motors (GM) of Canada Limited to produce lightweight metal components for energy-efficient vehicles.
|Ahmet T. Alpas||
My research is focussed on microstructure-property relationships in engineering materials and particularly the tribology of lightweight materials. The term tribology refers to friction, wear and lubrication of engineering materials such as in automotive brakes. The primary objective of our research is to increase the use of lightweight materials in vehicles which enable automotive manufacturers to reduce the carbon footprint of the vehicles. But the problem with the using of lightweight materials is that their tribological performance is not as good as the conventional materials. So our collaborative research with General Motors intends to increase the use of lightweight materials by making them more wear resistant and controlling their friction.
Our collaborative research efforts with General Motors have led to the development of a new generation of internal combustion engines. These engines are made of aluminum silicone alloys that are not only very durable, but they're also cost effective. And because these new aluminum silicone engines weigh only 50 percent of the conventional cast iron engine blocks, they provide exceptional fuel efficiency.