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    Thread: TATA motors planning to launch composite cars!!

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      TATA motors planning to launch composite cars!!

      TATA motors is said to be working on family of composite small cars. Tata Motors will adopt the strategy of Maruti Suzuki of targeting the same segment with multiple offerings.

      What are composite cars?

      Making a car from non-traditional materials such as carbon fiber and plastics. This technology prevails in super cars like Pagani Huyara, LFA and Chevrolet Corvette, these cars are made of fiber glass and carbon fiber.

      TATA motors plans to make composite cars from poly-diallyl-phthalate (PDP) which is cheaper to build and mould. Below are the some of the advantage of composite cars.

      • Composite cars are lighter on weight
      • More fuel efficient and environment friendly
      • More flexible and can be molded very easily
      • A metal-body car has at least 500 bits and pieces whilst a composite car can have just 25 moulds
      • Composite cars can be stronger, safer, simpler to make and can be produced with investments that are lower than those needed for a metal-body car
      • Reduced NVH


      Tata Motors has purchased the technology and design from Italian designer Marcello Gandini, who is known for designing cult super cars like Lamborghini's Miura and Countach. The basic structure of the Tata composite car will be tub-like, with the option to make a dozen niche products, like mini SUVs, two-seaters, pick-ups, vans and coupes, amongst others. Its been reported that car has been successfully crash tested in Pune facility.

      The technology Tata is using, says an auto industry analyst, is revolutionary to the extent that the cost of material it has used (PDP) is competitive, as is the investment required, which would be a fraction of the cost of building a car with conventional technologies.The low-cost composite car is one of two advanced technology programmes that Tata Motors has been pursuing under the vision of former chairman Ratan Tata.

      Time frame for the launch of composite cars has not yet been announced, however we can expect launch by 2014. In the year 2014, we can see slew of low car launches, Datsun, FIAT & VW will enter the market with their LCC offering.
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      It is high time Manufacturers embraced new technology. It is even better if it is an Indian firm the likes of TATA.
      I really wish TATA gets successful in this venture. unfortunately, it may have to do a phased introduction of alternative materials.

      maybe start with some panels of a car in Composites before being bullish and launch an all composite car and expect buyers to latch onto new technology. It just does not happen in India atleast.

      When the Amby and Premier Padmini ruled the roost and Maruti entered, the 800 was ridiculed for the relatively thinner sheetmetal thickness. the same set of people will ridicule an all composite car straight away.

      I sincerely wish TATA success.
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      Re: TATA motors planning to launch composite cars!!

      Fair enough, other car makers won't waste time pointing out that this will be a "plastic car".

      Tata has already experienced this with the nano being a "cheap car" I wonder how wise would they be to launch such a product, or see what ingenuinity will the marketing team bring about.

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      Good but remember the fate of FRP bodies. In an accident these tend to crack rather than get dented. Difficult to repair using our body basher technology.
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      wouldnt the carbon fibre body car costlier than the normal sheet metal ones?
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      Quote Originally Posted by shishirbn View Post
      wouldnt the carbon fibre body car costlier than the normal sheet metal ones?
      Definitely yes. But don't know if they both can be compared in terms of strength. As far as my understanding goes, CF will be way stronger than regular plastic moulds and equivalents.

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      Quote Originally Posted by shishirbn View Post
      wouldnt the carbon fibre body car costlier than the normal sheet metal ones?
      Quote Originally Posted by Lvramanan View Post
      Definitely yes. But don't know if they both can be compared in terms of strength.
      Yes, but the high cost of carbon fiber is mitigated by the material's unsurpassed strength-to-weight ratio. There is a good read in this link
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      so the future classified section will refer "Buy 1 composite body and get 1 free" as rest of materials used in the car be more expensive to replace!

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      Quote Originally Posted by bbllaazzee View Post
      There is a good read in this link
      Thanks for sharing the link bbllaazzee. Interesting to read about CFRP. While reading through, I came across this & was shocked.

      Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs) have a long service lifetime when protected from the sun.

      Despite its high initial strength-to-weight ratio, one structural limitation of CFRP is its lack of a fatigue endurance limit. As such, failure cannot be theoretically ruled out from a high enough number of stress cycles. By contrast, steel and certain other structural metals and alloys do have an estimable fatigue endurance limit. Because of the complex failure modes of such composites, the fatigue failure properties of CFRP are difficult to predict. As a result, when utilizing CFRP for critical cyclic-loading applications, engineers may need to employ considerable strength safety margins to provide suitable component reliability over a sufficiently long service life.
      .

      How could this be possible for a vehicle which is used on a day-to-day basis ! If its failure cannot be predicted after a fatigue, will that be practical at all ?

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      composites are an area which has tremondous potential for R&D.

      GM has an exclusive team in Bangalore for materials research. gogineni, you have more info on this?

      Think about it, Pagani is an Exotic Super car builder. He did not build a car before the Zonda and yet he came up with something that blew everyone away..his Magic was his extensive knowledge in Composites with which he came up with a alloy called CarboTanium. Its a patented process through which he is able to fuse Carbon Fibre and Titanium. With this learning, he went on to design the rest of the car.

      How about that.
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