Sounds too good to be true? Apparently, it is indeed so. Cornstarch which is a low-nutrition cooking ingredient has been used to make body parts of a vehicle. This engineering feat has been carried out by R&D centre of Tata Motors. Teams from the R&D facilities of Tata Motors at Pune, Lucknow and Jamshedpur are currently working on the integration of the cornstarch to improve the safety aspects of the vehicle. According to the company, the cornstarch is a non-flammable and non-toxic material and when used for body parts is more stretchable and capable of withstanding more pressure during crash compared to the conventional sheet metal.
“At any given point of time, R&D is working on several ideas, for the future. This is one of them. We have a structured process of taking an idea through several gates to determine their feasibility. This idea, too, will go through that process. Hence, it is premature for us to be specific as of now,” A Tata Motors spokesperson, confirming the development, said.
Now-a-days, the car companies are carrying out researches on using different materials for the components as opposed to the conventional ones. Companies like Ford are planning on using the cotton obtained from recycled blue jeans for use as absorption and carpet backing material. Using these kinds of materials also prove to cheaper, light in weight and thus better in product development. In other materials, engineering plastics are fast replacing their metal versions in fabrication of body panels, floor panels air-bag containers and air ducts. Tata Motors has currently built a prototype small car using cornstarch and is undergoing crash tests.
Source – Business Standard