Humans have always wondered on various creations of Nature. But at the same time, as expected, humans have tried to improve things around them by imitating the nature creation. In other words, humans have ventured into world of God by attempting to make machines that looks and works similar to nature`s product. Welcome to the world of bionics! Bionics is a method of studying properties and working of a phenomenon that is observed in the living world and consequently, applying this knowledge to the world of machines.
As automotive engineers and designers are exploring new realm of possibility to attain new levels of functionality and aesthetics, bionics is proving out to be an important tool for them. Taking indispensable factors, such as comfort, safety and environment-safety into consideration, engineers at DaimlerChrysler have designed a new car with a length of 4.24 meters and having space for four occupants plus luggage-- based on Boxfish`s unique features. These unique features include fish`s streamlined profile and its body strength. The streamline feature of the fish is used to improve the car`s aerodynamics, while animal`s boxy frame is adopted to increase strength and stability.
Superb strength with lightweight
Since the body structure of the Mercedes-Benz bionic car is based on Boxfish, 40 percent more rigidity is achieved in the external door panelling than would be possible with conventional designs. In fact, the total weight is reduced by around one third with uncompromised strength and crash-avoiding feature.
The structure of DaimlerChrysler car is based on easily maneuverable Boxfish. When tests were carried in the wind tunnel, a drag co-efficient of 0.095 was obtained for clay model. In addition to boxfish based structure, the aerodynamics feature is also contributed by rear wheels, which is completely wrapped with sheets of plastic. This feature avoids formation of air pockets that slow down vehicle. The car is also equipped with flush-fitted door handles that open outward when they are touched.
Lower fuel consumption and less fuel emission
Apart from superb aerodynamics and a lightweight construction, the 103 kW/140-hp diesel engine and innovative SCR technology (Selective Catalytic Reduction) greatly contribute to fuel economy and a further reduction in exhaust emissions. By this means and with the additional operating fluid "*AdBlue", the nitrogen oxide emissions of the direct-injection diesel engine can be brought down to 80 percent. The aim of these trials is to avoid the fuel consumption disadvantages by optimising the in-engine combustion processes.
To sum it up
Research in bionic field to design and construct machine similar to nature`s creation is gaining ground. But bionics research does not mean copying nature. The aim is rather to understand the properties, principles and working of a phenomenon observed in nature. More importantly, by adopting nature`s design the long desired wish to make an environment-friendly device that uses minimum energy can be accomplished.
"AdBlue" is an aqueous urea solution, sprayed into the exhaust system in accurately metered quantities, depending on the engine operating status. This converts the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water.