When cars were first invented, they were considered to be engineering marvels. They were faster and more efficient than animal-driven carts. The earliest automobiles used steam engines. These steam engine-driven cars were eventually replaced by petrol and diesel-operated vehicles for higher efficiency.
In the twenty-first century, petrol and fuel-driven cars are being phased out rapidly. These cars create vehicular exhausts, which are harmful to human health and the environment. Modern cars are being designed to run on batteries, and 3D printing is used to manufacture car parts. Driverless cars are using artificial intelligence to run cars without drivers. However, these developments are in the nascent stage, and most cars that we see on the roads use internal combustion engines, gears and pistons to operate.
A valve is a device that regulates the flow of a fluid(liquid or a gas) in one or both directions. A car uses valves, its engine, brakes, door locks etc. Different types of valves are used in each of these parts, depending on the critical function. Ball valves are routinely used in car manufacturing. To understand the usefulness of these valves, people should know how does ball valve work.
In ball valves, the valve body has a ball with two identical holes bored on opposite ends. When in one position, the two openings align with each other and the pipe to allow an uninterrupted flow of fluid. In a close position, the open end does not allow with the pipe and blocks the flow in the pipe.
Cars use other valves like sleeve valves and butterfly valves. The sleeve valves can fit in like a sleeve. They can fit in seamlessly to form a continuous channel between the car engine(cylinders) and the exhaust ports. These valves are used in applications which need to produce less noise as these valves work silently.
Butterfly Valves have a disc that rotates in a circular frame to come to an on or off position. In car engines, the flow of a fluid is stopped when the disc is perpendicular to the flow direction, and the flow is allowed when the disc lies parallel to the flow direction.
Plastics are durable, flame retardant and convenient to mold. Hence they have found tremendous applications in all industries, including car manufacturing. Cars use both thermoplastics and thermosetting plastic. The critical difference between thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic is that it behaves differently when subjected to heat. Thermoplastics melt when heated even after they have been polymerized. In contrast, thermosetting plastics do not melt once the polymerization reaction has occurred.
PVC or polyvinyl chloride is a thermoplastic used for car dashboards and polymers. It is a flame retardant and is stable at high temperatures. Thermoplastics like polypropylene are used to line the carpet fibers of the car’s flooring. Polypropylene is used for its affordability, durability and strength.
ABS sheets or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene give a sleek look. ABS sheets cover wheels, dashboards etc. ABS is a good insulator, and it is easy to paint. Polyamides which have outstanding mechanical properties and high strength are used in making gears, bearing etc. Thermosetting plastics are used in applications that require lightweight and affordable alternatives to metal parts.
The automobile industry uses stainless steel in large quantities. Steel is affordable, highly durable and offers high tensile strength. Aluminum, on the other hand, is used in areas that require completely rust-free parts. In some cases, titanium is used to make body parts as it is extremely lightweight and resistant to corrosion. When compared to materials of similar density, titanium offers the highest strength.
Different car parts use the metal that is best suited for their purpose. For instance, car pistons are usually made of aluminum alloys or steel. Pistols and cylinders are vital components that generate the force required to run a car. Hence they need to be strong and free of rust. Pistons are helpful in generating force from a mixture of compressed gas and fuel in cylinders.
Since pistons need to move back and forth to produce continuous energy, they are subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Hence PTFE piston rings are used to protect pistons against mechanical damage. PTFE is known to reduce friction and tolerate high temperatures, and hence pistons covered with PTFE piston rings run smoothly for a long time.
New cars that are being manufactured today are a combination of environmental sustainability and elegance. Car makers are pouring a lot of money into research and development. Thus, the latest car models serve twofold purposes; first, they are convenient for the end user. Secondly, they are increasing the profit margins of manufacturers.