Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Labs in Tennessee have developed a version of carbon foam that acts as a super-conductor rather than an insulator of heat.
Studies have shown that at highway speeds, roughly 12 percent of the fuel burned by a truck is used just to overcome wind resistance. “For a heavy truck, you look at the size of radiator and it can be [about] four foot square,” says James Klett, the lead researcher of the project . “Basically, it’s like pushing a parachute down the road.”
“If I can reduce the size of radiator by 50 percent — which we think is achievable — we can move it to another part of vehicle,” says Klett. And that would allow the truck or car to become more streamlined and gain fuel-efficiency.