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Ford Wants Far Less Metal in Its Cylinder Heads

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Iron or aluminum? For cylinder head development, that’s the basic menu we’ve lengthy grown used to. There’s benefits and disadvantages to each. Aluminum is lighter, however extra susceptible to warping. Iron is stronger however heavier, with low thermal conductivity. Each supplies are vulnerable to the ups and downs of the commodities market, irritating beancounters working at automakers all over the place.

In a U.S.patent software filed in October and revealed at the moment, Ford Motor Firm’s international tech division proposes one thing new: a cylinder head containing a barest minimal of metallic. Referred to as the Hybrid Composite Cylinder Head, a lot of the element’s bulk is made up of polymer composite, not aluminum or iron.

Ford International Applied sciences LLC factors out that partial ceramic or fiber-strengthened ceramic composites have been proposed in cylinder head development earlier than, however each endure from main drawbacks in withstanding excessive warmth and strain. Nor can ceramic be molded round a metallic skeleton. With its thoughts on effectivity (hovering aluminum costs hammered Ford’s backside line in 2017), the automaker took a special strategy.

The proposed head features an inner metallic construction surrounded by a polymer composite construction, one which can be fiber strengthened. The metallic construction, made from forged iron, might embrace higher combustion chambers, combustion chamber inserts, hearth deck, engine coolant ports, and oil drain ports. In the meantime, the polyment construction will get some holes of its personal. The patent claims the encompassing construction might embrace consumption or exhaust oil feeds for a hydraulic lash adjuster, plus spark plug and direct injection pockets.

Image: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Any variety of resins, or a mixture thereof, might make up the polymer composite construction, with silicone or some type of fiber being one other attainable ingredient. Ford’s clearly not ruling a lot out in this patent.

What the automaker hopes to realize is a cylinder head that’s mild, sturdy, corrosion-resistant, and much less expensive to construct than present elements. An additional advantage from the decreased weight can be a tiny improve in fuel effectivity. The patent states that the top might discover a residence on a direct-injected gasoline engine or a port-injected fuel or diesel engine.

As light-weight, excessive-power carbon fiber slowly begins discovering its method into automobiles, it’s not shocking to see Ford take a look at metallic options for its engine elements. Two years in the past, the automaker confirmed off a 1.zero-liter EcoBoost engine on the Detroit auto present that made use of injection-molded carbon fiber for quite a lot of elements, together with the cylinder head. The mill’s weight fell almost sixteen % in comparison with a inventory motor.

Final yr, Ford and Magna teamed as much as develop a carbon fiber-strengthened composite subframe. This key piece of structure weighed 34 % lower than a standard subframe, using far fewer elements.

H/T to Bozi Tatarevic!

[Image: United States Patent and Trademark Office]

– Ford Wants Far Less Metal in Its Cylinder Heads –

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