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Automated System
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Today, Chrysler opened the Toledo Assembly Complex to reporters, including a new body shop where a unique acoustic foam is injected into the Cherokee. Its density is lower than conventional acoustic material, cutting up to 1.5 pounds per vehicle. Weight reductions are important for fuel economy, handling, and acceleration. Bill Hall, Director of Sustainability and Business Continuity, said, “This new foam not only helps deliver noise reduction and improved fuel efficiency, but its renewable content minimizes the impact on the environment.” Developed with and supplied by Dow Automotive Systems, BETAFOAM™ Renue replaces a petroleum-based ingredient with a soy-based material. Less foam is needed to achieve the same result due to its lower density, cutting costs. It is also easier to work than conventional acoustic foam, and has twice the shelf life. It is used in ten locations in the Cherokee structure, including the pillars and rear wheel wells. This is the..

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I will research this. Interesting.
 

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Dave said:
Wonder how many gallons per year of oil this is saving?
I would think the savings are minimal.

Refining crude creates multiple products, not just gasoline.

The savings may come in the form of lower foam prices for other applications, such as housing, machinery or ear muffs!
 

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NOT GOOD to put more soy in automobiles. It's in a lot of electrical wire insulation, and that's what attracts vermin to eating wires. This is bad news if you don't use the car daily or have a fair amount of wildlife around.
 
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This is not just an acoustical foam......it is a structural foam as well, which improves crash worthiness.

It is an interesting product. Using soy does not seem to provide any advantages (other than bragging rights) and may lead to the unforeseen issues Bob Lincoln has raised.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
NOT GOOD to put more soy in automobiles. It's in a lot of electrical wire insulation, and that's what attracts vermin to eating wires. This is bad news if you don't use the car daily or have a fair amount of wildlife around.
So it's an ostensibly environmentally-friendly way to implement planned obsolescence, then? ;)
 

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Aren't we making an assumption that simply because it's soy based that it's still edible or even attractive to rodents?

I would certainly think that experience automotive engineers would have considered this and planned for it.
 

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Plymouth Makes It
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One advantage listed was lower density than current foam and weight saving of up to 1.4 lbs for vehicle. Sounds like inexpensive weight reduction, better performance and fuel economy. Serious drag racers would remove all the sound deadening from the car, it was a lot easier in early Plymouths that had as little as possible. I bet you in the early fuel economy runs the Chrysler vehicles left that stuff out, some great stories about the events. I think it would generate create interest if it was done again.

Mobil Economy Run was an event that took place every year from 1936 (except during World War II) to 1968. It was designed to provide real fuel efficiency numbers during a coast to coast test on real roads and with regular traffic and weather conditions. The Mobil Oil Corporation sponsored it and the United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioned and operated the run.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
I have had rodents chew through wiring that had no soy in it at all...
 

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JRS200x said:
I have had rodents chew through wiring that had no soy in it at all...
My uncle lives just outside of a smallish city here in Iowa and all of his older cars that don't get driven have problems with wiring being chewed.
 

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Yes, they do, but they are more attracted to soy products.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
NOT GOOD to put more soy in automobiles. It's in a lot of electrical wire insulation, and that's what attracts vermin to eating wires. This is bad news if you don't use the car daily or have a fair amount of wildlife around.
Studies have shown that its the electrical current, not the type of insulation, that tends to attract rodents.
 

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No current flowing in most of these wires with the engine off. Even the IOD is less than 30 mA. My truck measures zero IOD. And the nests that I've had were in the air cleaner and inside the airbox by the evaporator.

Do you have a link to any studies?
 

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I think the bottom line here is that "rodents tend to eat stuff." The nutritional content - or lack thereof - doesn't seem to be a much of a deciding factor to the rodent.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
NOT GOOD to put more soy in automobiles. It's in a lot of electrical wire insulation, and that's what attracts vermin to eating wires. This is bad news if you don't use the car daily or have a fair amount of wildlife around.
Exactly. I had a car in the driveway that wouldn't start after a squirrel or rat climbed into the engine compartment and chewed up wiring. Fortunately the damage was visible and I was able to splice new wires into the damaged area and got it going. I sprayed rodent repellent everywhere under the hood.

As to putting soy foam in the cabin, never a good idea to use a food derived product. in another car I had a mouse get into the car while in the garage. It chewed a hole into the passenger seat where a spot of chocolate was imbeded in the fabric, they ware yellow spots on the carpet, and droppings on the top of the dash. My ex was driving that car and the floor was littered with dropped french fries and other fast food garbage....and she parked the car in the garage with an open window....
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
No current flowing in most of these wires with the engine off. Even the IOD is less than 30 mA. My truck measures zero IOD. And the nests that I've had were in the air cleaner and inside the airbox by the evaporator.

Do you have a link to any studies?
The studies (study?) were in reference to electrical wiring, primarily in homes.
I can look them up when I get back to my office, don't know if they are on line.

Yes I agree that most of the current is off and much of our ranch equipment has the batteries removed, when stored and they still eat the wiring, as Strat said, they also eat everything else that has a chewable surface, but they seem to be drawn to anything with vinyl, or synthetic coatings, seat covers, insulation, rubber, headliners, paper, they don't discriminate and likely won't boycott Soy, nor will they be specifically drawn to it, but a little de-con added to the formula might be fun.

Have that soy study?
 
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