Corvette uses 354 spot-welds to do away with about 2 pounds of rivets from body parts as a multi-ring domed electrode head conducts an electrical current to create intense heat to disrupts oxide on sheet, extruded and cast aluminum surfaces to enable a stronger weld.
GM-patented lightweight shape memory alloy wire replaces a heavier motorized actuator to open and close the hatch vent that releases air from the trunk, which allows trunk lid to close more easily than in earlier models where trapped air could make the lid harder to close.
The Patent Board says GM received 1,672 US patents in 2013 applied to global product engineering, powertrain engineering, manufacturing, research and development and OnStar organizations. This equates to 176 more than Toyota and more than twice as many as Ford. The Patent Board named GM No. 1 in Technology Strength.
“Breakthrough technologies like aluminum welding and shape memory alloys show how GM is leveraging its intellectual property for real-world applications,” said Jon Lauckner, GM chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures. “Commercializing patented inventions as game-changing vehicle features and manufacturing processes reflects GM’s commitment to innovation.”