Hard Plastic car Floor MatsHard-plastic car floor mats
What makes it so difficult to create a functioning floor mats?
Then why do our automobiles still have such crummy snow mats? With the technical challenge, it doesn't seem so difficult to protect the footrests of a car. When I inspected the floor of our trustworthy Honda some time ago, I realised they hadn't been given much shelter from the mats that were to be their custodians - the rugs were damp and dirty, with evil spots of snowy salts that gave them the appearance of an Appaloosa that had to struggle with an incurable soreness.
Salty waters had worked their way through the Honda's rugs to the underlying metal flooring, producing million of minute corrosive pores that the car would begin to eat. When I looked into the manholes of our Honda's feet, I felt like a physician travelling to the valley of the lepers - in front of me was a gloomy cave of rusty stainless steal and flowering mold colonies.
I' ve always been a conscientious car steward and installed every autumn a watertight carpet before ice and ice made it. The mats were used to do a basic job: prevent moisture from getting onto the rugs they were vowed to keep. I have always had a good technical challange as a lifetime gearhead, but I must say that I have never invested much intellect into the floor mats.
Fiddling around with floor mats is much less interesting than screwing in a high-lift cam shaft or thinking about a kit of titan elbows. Doormats are ignored because they are modest machines that do an ungrateful task - most riders give their mats about as much thought as Louis XV to the staff who worked with his bedside pots.
Meanwhile, I have been studying the snow floor mats and have come to the realization that they are one of the least mature parts of the contemporary car. Though there are some progressive answers (more on that later), most snow mats are brutal rough mats.
There are two main fundamental styles - the sturdy plastic mesh and rugs, which are backed with a plastic coating that prevents the flow of rain. I have always opted for strong plastic mats because they seem to provide the greatest shelter. In order to function well, a blanket must tightly integrate into the footwell and have elevated corners that prevent molten snows from flowing over and into the underlying rug.
However, this styling poses another challenge - the amount of bottled running down the pad turns it into a tiny floating basin that wet the bottom of the trousers. In order to get over this, many mats are equipped with deeper rips that lift your foot and trouser bones above the surface of the well.
One of the greatest faults with most fixed mats is that they do not go well with the feet. However, the overwhelming majority of them are generically formed to suit a large number of automobiles, so the fitting is inaccurate. Badly working full mats can be even worst than no mats - moisture flows over the sides, penetrates into the rug and stays locked up there for a long period of your life, as the firm plastic coating delays vaporization.
Even the best firm blanket must be drained from time to time to prevent accumulation and congestion. Riders may prefer a thick rug with a back side that is impermeable to moisture. Even though these carpeting mats are less trustworthy than rigid plastic mats, they work on a different principle: the rug absorbs moisture like a foam and the plastic backing keeps it away from the floor underneath.
I recently drove a Lexus with these mats, and their performances are amazingly good, provided most of the snows are knocked off people's toes before they come in. The design of a powerful floor mats is anything but easy. Door mats are mostly commodities - they have to be able to accommodate a wide range of vehicles and be sold at a low cost.
It must pass around obstructions including seating rails, floor tunnel, heating vents and boot unlocking lever. The car must have no opportunity to block its foot-beats ( as Toyota learnt the hard way in 2009). The chances of finding a generics mats that will match your car are slim.
It is the strategy of a US based enterprise manufacturing a floor liner based on the Floor Liner concept. The floor of each car is photographed with a scanner that scans the floor in thousands of different directions and follows every last push, plunge, shake and protrude. Using this Laserscan, a three-dimensional shape is milled from full metallic.
It is used to create tailor-made plastic floor mats that fall into your floor basins like small paddling washbasins. And as you might have expected, this will cost many more than a generics floor mats. I' ll be back with the floor mats.