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Car Underbody Winter Shrink Wrap

Seasonal Protective Barrier for Car Underbody
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A seasonally-changeable disposable shrink-wrap is applied to the underbody of a vehicle to provide protection from water, mud and road salt, primarily during the winter season. Just like swapping on winter tires, the winter underbody shrink wrap would be part of the annual ritual of winter automotive preparation. Heat shrinkage would make the wrap taught and aerodynamic, to avoid flapping in the wind while traveling at high velocity. An adhesive strip made of silica aerogel foam would first be glued to the underside of the exhaust/muffler, to provide a small air-gap separation between the hot surface of the exhaust system and the shrink wrap. [see link below to learn about aerogel]
sanman, Oct 25 2020

Aerogel https://www.youtube...watch?v=5sw1tNeJ0Rw
aerogel thermal insulation in action [sanman, Oct 25 2020]

Full Underbody Shield https://www.composi...ng-to-north-america
protective cover for full underbody of vehicle [sanman, Oct 26 2020]

[link]






       Salty water would collect between shrink wrap and metal, enhancing corrosion.
pocmloc, Oct 25 2020
  

       The shrink wrap would hydrophobic, to repel water. It would only be intended for use across a single winter season, before being discarded. As a shrink wrap, it would be stretched tight like a drumskin across the vehicle underbody, and not hugging each and every surface contour like a coating would. An air gap would therefore exist between the plastic wrap and most of the vehicle underbody.
sanman, Oct 25 2020
  

       You would get better results from annual reapplication of undercoating.
kdf, Oct 25 2020
  

       The underside of a car is a complex structure that features moving parts, as well as an exhaust that gets very hot. The best way to treat it is to spray it with something simple like sump oil. That's what we used to do. Nowadays cars are better made and the bottom less prone to rusting out. Of course I'm not taking about American cars which are complete rubbish in every way. I'm describing properly made European, Japanese, or Korean vehicles. The America ones probably do need cling film to hold them together.
xenzag, Oct 25 2020
  

       I used to have an MG. It was a level of bad engineering that I actually sort of respected. Like getting to be a pitcher in the major leagues without being able to throw the ball more than 3 feet. It's like "Wow! How did you get this job? You actually must be pretty clever!". I think the electical system was actually designed by squirrels, which again, I sort of respect.
doctorremulac3, Oct 25 2020
  

       kdf - rubberized undercoating can actually end up trapping moisture and causing rust, since its ability to adhere to the metal surface is imperfect. With the shrink wrap, there would be an air gap between the wrap and the metal surface in most places.
sanman, Oct 26 2020
  

       I just posted another link for "Full Underbody Shield" which I found while researching online. Maybe this could be a more long-lasting solution. I'd imagine you'd want these things to be replaceable every 50K(?) miles. Just as we have floormats to protect the carpeting in our cars, maybe we could have an underbody mat made from corrugated rubber, and it would be cheap enough that you can replace it every once in awhile.
sanman, Oct 26 2020
  

       “ rubberized undercoating can actually end up trapping moisture.”
-sanman
  

       Only if applied incorrectly. And as with sump oil, it flows/seals any gaps. Even the tiniest puncture in your shrink wrap would defeat it, instantly and completely.
kdf, Oct 26 2020
  

       Yes, sump oil and other types of grease can form a coating and self-seal any gaps. But the problem is that in snowy places, you can be traveling over snow, and it will be brushing up against the underside of your car, and it will scrap off large sections of your greasy undercoat, which results in the loss of that coat and its protection.   

       Ever traveled in snowy weather, and trucks other big vehicles are pushing the snow and slush around under their big tires, to literally pile it up in places? You'll travel over those piles, and you'll hear it scraping the underside of your car. What's your greasy/waxy undercoat doing to do against that? Most people don't have a hoist/lift at home, to be able to reapply the grease/wax undercoat every time they've driven over a snow drift.
sanman, Oct 26 2020
  

       If the car itself is made out of plastic, then no need for plastic coating.
sninctown, Oct 26 2020
  

       Composites are too expensive, and also lack general strength beyond specific directional orientations. Regarding plastics, remember GM's Saturn? I remember the plastic doors on the early models used to warp on hot days.
sanman, Oct 27 2020
  

       Make the car entirely out of shrink-wrap!
pocmloc, Oct 27 2020
  

       “ ... traveling over snow ... brushing up against the underside of your car...”
-sanman, October 26 2020
  

       I’d need to see a durability study comparing your shrink wrap to sump oil to undercoating in the conditions you’ve described. You’ll also need to include a simulation of other driving conditions, e.g, sand, gravel, or road salt being throw up against the undercarriage.
kdf, Oct 27 2020
  

       “...American cars ... complete rubbish in every way.”
-xenzag, Oct 25 2020
  

       I don’t go in for absolutism, but even with qualifications this is largely correct. So much so that there are relatively few “American” cars made anymore. Most of the cars built in the United States these days are Hondas and Toyotas.   

       Though I sometime still have a nostalgic pang for my ‘66 Rambler Classic, the best made cars I’ve owned have been Hondas.
kdf, Oct 27 2020
  

       In fairness, the ones produced in the 60s and to some extent in the 70s had a unique individuality and style. Since then the trend towards giant ugly 4x4s has resulted in the worst kind of rubbish. Hondas are indeed very well made cars, though as dull as dishwater.
xenzag, Oct 27 2020
  

       Concur, mostly. Funny thing about Hondas being dull though - that perception is based on seeing so many of them. And different makers copy successful design from each other so much that they all end up looking alike. Folks get used to a certain look and don’t even notice.   

       The few odd models Honda introduces and only offers for a few years (like to original 2-seat Insight, or the Del Sol) do turn heads.
kdf, Oct 27 2020
  

       //I used to have an MG. It was a level of bad engineering that I actually sort of respected. Like getting to be a pitcher in the major leagues without being able to throw the ball more than 3 feet. It's like "Wow! How did you get this job? You actually must be pretty clever!". I think the electical system was actually designed by squirrels, which again, I sort of respect.//   

       It is pretty impressive. Any particular MG, a B I guess? What's also impressive is that they could still sell them in the late 70's, even resurrecting the bodyshell in the late 80's. I'd not single them, or even British cars of the era out though. French & Italian stuff of the era was just as nuts.   

       //the ones produced in the 60s and to some extent in the 70s had a unique individuality and style.//   

       A few other things too. Given the environment, that is the USA with half the current population, big distances of arrow-straight roads, they produced some cars that fit their niches quite well. It's possibly the remarkable lack of individuality in the mechanicals that generated some good cars. Most things through 1940's-1970's was a variation on the same engine, trans & axle, medium/large cars and light trucks included. Take a 1st gen Camero, V8 up front, turbo-350 3 speed in the middle and a 12-bolt rear end with an Eaton locker. With 11:1 compression, that's a fairly efficient 300bhp, that's totally drive-able today.   

       Where it went wrong was the response to the emissions legislation. Or maybe the heavy-handed nature of that legislation from '70 onward. Low compression ratios saw horsepower & fuel economy plummet to globally embarrassing levels. The cars were still heavy, new complexity was creeping in, build quality wan't progressing.
bs0u0155, Oct 27 2020
  
      
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