Thursday, October 14, 2010
Pink and Blue Styrofoam. That's Snazzy! And, erm.., you're building a car out of it...?
People make all kinds of stuff out of styrofoam now. It's basically just plastic with a lot of air inbetween. And people have actually been doing for years with other sources of transportation* the same thing that I am doing with the design of this car. Styrofoam covered with fiberglass is light and incredibly durable and it's 11% lighter than aluminum for the same size and dimension.
Durable and light is important to my project because we expend energy trying to move mass, so the lighter something is the less energy we use moving from a dead stop. If it requires less energy to get this car rolling, basically it'll take less energy from my battery pack. The less energy I use then the farther I can go on the limited amount of power that is stored in my batteries.
So where does one get a truckload full of sheets of blue styrofoam...? You can find it at the hardware or other supply stores... OR if you're on a shoestring like I am, once again to the rescue is the online auction where one just needs to search and find it on Ebay.
I purchased a full skid, about 150 9'x4'sheets of styrofoam, for a hundred bucks. I picked it up in Indiana with my wife's F150 and drove it home in a wind storm. The height of it in the bed extended to 12 feet high, and if you need some comic relief I was the guy all over the road that day coming down Rt 30 through Bucyrus tipping like a stack of Jenga blocks. Fun stuff.
PS. As an aside, we also used the styrofoam sheets for insulation in our home remodel (under the kitchen and bedroom walls that we replaced in the CrapShack), and we also put it up to keep the wind out of the shop insulating the bay doors with it. Get some styrofoam today you'll find good uses for it!