Worn out tires could find new use in concrete. A printed sensor measures automobile tire wear and tear. And we’ll show you an all-electric trash truck. Hey, it’s the road trip edition of the Engineering360 news brief. I’m Rich Northrup. Let’s go!
Tires to Bridges
Worn and discarded tires have found a purpose beyond clogging landfills thanks to University of British Columbia engineers. They’ve developed a concrete mixture suitable for use in the construction of roads, dams, buildings and bridges. The concrete mixture, which includes traditional concrete materials also includes tire fiber from discarded tires. Researchers believe that the addition of rubber will both extend the life and improve the resilience of the concrete. Lab tests showed that fiber-reinforced concrete reduced crack formation by more than 90% compared to regular concrete.
Printed Sensor for Tire Wear and Tear
A team of engineers at Duke University has developed a printed sensor that monitors tire wear in real time. It warns drivers when their tires have become worn and dangerous. The team hopes that the sensor will increase safety, reduce fuel consumption and improve vehicle performance. The sensor uses metallic carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes can track millimeter-scale changes in tread depth and is said to be 99% accurate.
All-electric Trash Truck
Sacramento, Calif., is taking delivery of an all-electric automated left-side loader garbage truck. The Class-8 vehicle will be built on a Crane Carrier chassis, and the body will be built by Loadmaster. The truck will use a Motiv Power Systems powertrain. The truck will complete three routes per day to remove trash, recycling, and green waste in a downtown Sacramento neighborhood. To supply enough electricity to move the truck and power the hydraulics, the vehicle is equipped with 10 battery packs, expandable to 12 packs if needed for future route expansion. Motiv is supplying equipment for overnight recharging.
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