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Old 07-26-2005, 01:07 PM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,830
Look out! -- Biodegradable wiring is making a comeback!!

Green Wire

The latest issue of Design News has an article on biodegradable wiring. The article makes absolutely no mention of the fiasco with this wiring 10 years ago.

One phrase that stands out is, "The average luxury vehicle contains more than a mile and a half of wiring". That's a lot of wire to replace every 20 years!

I wrote the author of the article to let him know that there are many car owners aware of this technology and that we want no part of it.

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Old 07-26-2005, 01:22 PM
msethk's Avatar
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Every 20 years? I think Mercedes owners know better than that. Luxury car manufacturers really do want to make a disposable car. Instead of making one part that lasts they prefer to recycle the whole car. Now that really IS green!
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:25 PM
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Thats nothing new...The Brits used in in their cars up through the 70's at least.....Lucas Electric invented it. Along with biodergadible connectors and sockets.
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:30 PM
. . . . . . .
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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Really GREEN as in $$$$ for Mercedes and their dealers.

In another 20 years Mercedes will be wondering what happened to their market share just like General Motors experienced. You can only lie and feed BS to the customer for so long before they will take their green elsewhere.
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:38 PM
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This is another example of "false economy". Wiring in cars, in terms of the weight of copper, may actually be less than it was 15 years ago, because of distributed intelligence and better initial design. The CAN network alone saves a lot of control wiring - and the maze of control wiring is usually the part that drives everyone crazy.

A much better idea would be design for disassembly (which isn't always hand in hand with design for assembly), where separating all the raw materials would be easier. A spectacular amount of energy goes into producing a car. The replacement of a 20MPG, 10 year old car with a 30MPG car doesn't necessarily save "society" as much as you would think in the big picture.
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:30 PM
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Location: Alpine, AZ / Green Valley, AZ
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Am I missing something in the article?

It would appear that the new proposed insulation would have better lasting ability than what we have now. I didn't see anything in the article where it would decompose more quickly. What's up wid dat???
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:48 AM
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There's no longer a mile and a half of wire in a new MB, if there really ever was. The new cars use fiber optics which drastically reduces the amount of copper wire.

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Old 07-27-2005, 10:38 AM
I told you so!
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Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,830
Wes, the way I interpret the article, though it mentions the new biodegradable insulation is thinner, lighter, stronger, more abrasion-resistant, tougher, and even better performance at higher temperatures.... there's no assurance it'll retain these properties over time during the life of the car.

The article would haver more meaning to us folk here if they mentioned what happened in the past and gave assurances that this new product has now been thoroughly tested to where we won't see brittle insulation on future cars.

Again, there may be some politics behind this article because if they did mention that MB had this problem, it would go against the company line (as we now well know) that MB isn't aware of any such problem with the wiring in their 93-95 models, and provide fodder for us folk at the ShopForum with written documentation to prove to MB that there IS a problem and that they are AWARE of it.

The printed version of the article has a few tables of data not presented in the electronic version. One of them is titled, "Thermal Testing (ISO 6722)", which tested Class C wiring for "winding after aging". The result was a "did not pass" because it couldn't withstand 1kV for 1 min. There was also a long-term-aging test (ISO 6722.10.2, 125C for 3000 hrs). I wonder if this test was done back in the early 90s on MB wiring and what the result was for comparison.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:52 AM
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I didn't read anything about "biodegradable", just recyclable. Sounds like a move forward in wire technology.

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