HOW NASA HELPS NASCAR
A chemically treated fabric that won't burn or give off fumes was developed by NASA to protect astronauts. It's now used to make suits for race car drivers and pit crews.
Inorganic paint protects the hot parts of automobiles like exhaust systems, brake drums, firewalls, and engine manifolds. The paint was developed from NASA technology.
A gas leak detection system developed to monitor the shuttle's hydrogen propulsion system is now being used by automakers to build natural gas powered cars.
Materials from the space shuttle thermal protection system are used on race cars to protect drivers from the extreme heat generated by the engines. Without the insulation, it can reach 160 degrees inside some vehicles.
A plasma spray coating eliminates the need for liquid lubricants in certain engines. The NASA technology may lead to lighter, cheaper, and more efficient compact cars.
NASA's search for heat-tolerant space materials led to composite materials for brake linings that wear longer, cost less, and stand up under friction temperatures up to 650 degrees.
Spaceflight research on how and why things burn has helped scientists' efforts to find other fuels, like hydrogen, for engines and furnaces. The research has already begun to show up in improved jet engines, and could soon mean cleaner-burning cars.
NASA developed sealing gaskets to stand up under the extreme conditions of spaceflight. They keep car engine oil clean, increasing the life of the vehicle.